When you move to a new state, there are certain things that you need to do in order to get on the right side of the law. One of those things is transferring your vehicle title and registration from one state to another. We’ll walk you through how this process works so that when it comes time for you to make the big move, all of these steps have been taken care of for you!

Vehicle Documentation

In order to complete the transfer, you’ll need the vehicle title certificate or loan documentation from the current state, current auto registration, and proof of residency in your new home. As part of the process, you will need to sign the old state vehicle documents over to yourself as a resident in the new state.

Proof of Car Insurance

For many states, before you can transfer a vehicle title and registration, you must provide proof of insurance. While your car my technically be covered for a period of time under the prior policy, most states will require an in-state policy be in effect prior to the vehicle transfer

Proof of Residency

Generally, you’ll go through the process of obtaining your state identification, before you transfer a title. This is usually a driver’s license. These will also be the steps requiring proof of residency. For this step, consult with the state DMV. You should expect to have a utility bill with the new address, social security card or passport, lease, or bank statement with your current address. The various documents can change from state to state and usually require multiple documents to complete the proof of residency.

Vehicle Inspection Report

A vehicle inspection report from a certified testing station if required by law; you’ll need to check your new state’s DMV for requirements. If not required for the initial registration, these are often required to renew registrations later. So, it is a good idea to become familiar with the process.

A Visit (or 2) to the DMV

As digital as the world has become, you will inevitably have to show up at the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of the process for both the new state ID as well as the car registration. Since weekends are normally overly crowded, see about a week-day visit. It may also be worth calling the DMV in your area to see if they can suggest less busy times.

It may sound like over-planning, but you should get all your documents together the day prior to your visit. Take the time to check what you have against the DMV requirements. You’d be surprised how many people have to return to the DMV because they mist one small piece of paper.

Taking it another step, organize the information. The more familiar you are with the documents the faster you’ll be able to get through the vehicle registration process and get your new license plates from the DMV.

Final thought… bring something to read. You may be at the DMV a long time…