Finding the vehicle you want at the price you can afford from a private seller or dealership is just the beginning of the car buying experience. To complete the process and become the new owner of the vehicle, you have to follow through with all the required paperwork. Neglecting to properly sign over a new title in a timely manner could land both buyers and sellers in hot water.
When moving to a new state, you may want or be required to transfer your vehicle title so that you’re issued a title by the state you now reside in, for the vehicle you already own. It’s a simple process that requires you to hand over the out-of-state title for an in-state title.
If lost the title, you could (usually) get a copy from the state it’s filed with. You may also be able to just register your vehicle in the new state (where you just moved to) to get license plate(s) without having to transfer the title at all.
Contact your state’s DMV, MVD, or RMV for more information on this option.
Depending on where you live, you may be required to have an approved state verifier complete a VIN verification such as CHP in California or law enforcement officer in FL. Your vehicle may also have to go through an emissions inspection. Often, any required value taxes may be waived as well.
Remember, while often thought of as one thing, a vehicle registration is separate from a title. Your vehicle title establishes ownership, while a registration allows you to legally drive on public roads.
Registrations are important documents. If you’re stopped by the police or involved in a crash, you’ll need to show your registration card or certificate along with proof of insurance. This is virtually the case in every state, which is why it’s important to keep documents in car or always with you.
In regard to transfer of license plate(s) from one car to another, you can usually do that as long as the owner remains the same. You can’t typically do a registration transfer or plate(s) transfer to another person, such as the one you’re selling your vehicle to or gifting it.