buying a car and driving it home; or, the one-way road trip

thevictor390

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I am venturing into completely unknown territory here and would really appreciate any insight from someone familiar with the process. Long story short, I will by flying to Michigan this weekend and driving my newly purchased RX-8 home. What I am worried about (among many many other things) is the legal technicalities. The car is insured, but what do I do about plates/registration? I assume I bring the MA plates off my car, the one it is replacing? Anything else I need to do or think about?
 
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argatoga

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I don't see why you would need to replace the plates that quickly. Unless there is a law over there I am unfamiliar with you have plenty of time before you need to switch them over.
 

Labcoatguy

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Bring proof of sale and insurance. So long as you have non-expired plates of any sort you should be fine.
 

argatoga

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I just reread your post, unless there is a crazy law over there you do not transfer plates from one car to another. Your DMV should provide new ones.
 

prizrak

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I am venturing into completely unknown territory here and would really appreciate any insight from someone familiar with the process. Long story short, I will by flying to Michigan this weekend and driving my newly purchased RX-8 home. What I am worried about (among many many other things) is the legal technicalities. The car is insured, but what do I do about plates/registration? I assume I bring the MA plates off my car, the one it is replacing? Anything else I need to do or think about?
I thought you were buying from a dealer? If so they should be able to give you temp plates on the car.
 

_HighVoltage_

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Okay now...I've been through this two times with both of my cars.

1. Putting the plates from your old car on the new one is technically illegal. Many people do it. But if you do get pulled over, you can get in a lot of trouble.
2. Did you already pay for the car, and are you buying it from a dealership? If it is from a dealer (even a used car dealer) they SHOULD be able to provide you with transit tags ($15-$30 depending on your state).
3. Finally - just check the laws of the states you will be passing through (it's a hassle). For example, in Colorado you can drive a car without tags IF you have the title, bill of sale, and insurance for a period of 48 hours after the purchase.

Just be careful - don't do something stupid. You could put the old plates, you could even drive without plates and not get pulled over, but in the odd chance that you do...
 

thevictor390

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I thought you were buying from a dealer? If so they should be able to give you temp plates on the car.

I am and I asked. I wouldn't put it past MA to have some "crazy law" but thanks for the info everyone. As you can see I am a bit nervous.
 

prizrak

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I am and I asked. I wouldn't put it past MA to have some "crazy law" but thanks for the info everyone. As you can see I am a bit nervous.
Like HV said, if you have some sort of a temp tag on the car you should be fine, when I bought my first car I got in NJ and they just put little temp plates on, no one bothered me about it at all.

Do you have a bill of sale signed by both you and the dealer? You might be able to register the car in the DMV with that (check MA laws) this way you can transfer the tags legally and just put it on when you pick the car up. This is what I did with the Subaru since it was a friend I had him sign the paperwork and title and took it to the DMV to transfer my plates then went to his place put the tags on and drove off into the sunset.
 

CrzRsn

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I just reread your post, unless there is a crazy law over there you do not transfer plates from one car to another. Your DMV should provide new ones.

Why would they do that? Its perfectly fine to transfer plates if they are still in good readable condition. The plates on our Rav4 right now have been passed down from our 1991 Volvo 740 to our 2001 Volvo V70XC before finding a home on the Toyota. The only reasons I can think of to get new plates are if you wreck one (or both), or if the paint and/or reflective coating wears off.


And as for temp plates, I see people with paper plates in their rear windows all the time here in Pittsburgh. Took a closer look once, and it said something along the lines of 'newly purchased vehicle', a date, and some sort of registration number on it. So see if you can get something like that from your dealer.
 
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_HighVoltage_

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Why would they do that? Its perfectly fine to transfer plates if they are still in good readable condition. The plates on our Rav4 right now have been passed down from our 1991 Volvo 740 to our 2001 Volvo V70XC before finding a home on the Toyota. The only reasons I can think of to get new plates are if you wreck one (or both), or if the paint and/or reflective coating wears off.

BUT with prior approval from the DMV. You can't just slap them on the new car and be done with it.
 

thevictor390

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I checked with the dealer and there will be transit tags, as well as proof of sale and insurance. I think I am good. Except for that typo in the title I just noticed. Thanks again everybody.
 

prizrak

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Took a closer look once, and it said something along the lines of 'newly purchased vehicle', a date, and some sort of registration number on it.
The one I had had my insurance policy number on it.
I checked with the dealer and there will be transit tags, as well as proof of sale and insurance. I think I am good. Except for that typo in the title I just noticed. Thanks again everybody.
Hooray! We expect a full report! :)
 

Cobol74

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Over here, the dealer did all that for me - one of the reasons why you pay more at a dealer. Car was all valeted, 6 months tax (Tags) and had a bit of diesel in it ready to go. Just put debit card in machine, sign here on ownership form and V5 and off I go. V5 turned up at home 1 week or so later. Even got 1 weeks free comprehensive Insurance.
 
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Matt2000

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This is why I don't understand US registration laws. In this country you just sign the V5, get a tax disc for the vehicle if it is expired and that's it. No transferring of plates because they stay with the car, and they never expire. I don't suppose it's as complicated as it sounds, just very strange to me. :D
 

MaTaR

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In my case , i had my car parked without plates cuz i was waiting for the title to register it , when i asked if i could just drive it 6 miles to my campus , they said that i would be in huge trouble and that i shouldnt even be allowed to have it parked ( as in it should be on a trailer ) . I dunno how forgiving it may be in your case , i asked the police on my campus and they told me i cant drive it at all . but with your case it can be different considering you got other plates and all the papers and insurance with you .
 

duckedtapedemon

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This is why I don't understand US registration laws. In this country you just sign the V5, get a tax disc for the vehicle if it is expired and that's it. No transferring of plates because they stay with the car, and they never expire. I don't suppose it's as complicated as it sounds, just very strange to me. :D

But then you can't drive around with a temp tag for a few weeks showing off to everyone you just bought a new car.
 

LeVeL

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An RX8 is faster than a Crown Vic :whistle:

 

thevictor390

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I bet a police interceptor would give me a run for my money, the RX-8 is not exactly supercar :hmm:
 

Viper007Bond

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I checked with the dealer and there will be transit tags, as well as proof of sale and insurance. I think I am good. Except for that typo in the title I just noticed. Thanks again everybody.

Yep. All you need is a temporary tag / trip permit (which is the car registration) and you're good to go, proof of sale, and insurance and you're good to go.

This is why I don't understand US registration laws. In this country you just sign the V5, get a tax disc for the vehicle if it is expired and that's it. No transferring of plates because they stay with the car, and they never expire. I don't suppose it's as complicated as it sounds, just very strange to me. :D

Plates themselves don't "expire" exactly but you put stickers on the plates saying when your registration expires. When it does, you need to go pay for fresh stickers and every once in a while also take it through the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for an emissions check.

You can keep your plates and move them to a different car when you sell your car. I'll be moving my "IM STIG" plates off my Mustang onto my Viper when I get it and getting different custom plates for my Mustang.


Picture of the tags (bottom left and right of the plate):



In July 2013, I'll need to pay the DMV another like $70.
 
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