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

thevictor390

Teen Wankeler
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
11,893
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
'17 Mazda MX-5 RF, '89 Toyota Blizzard SX5
Ann Arbor. I'll actually be driving from Ann Arbor to Pittsburgh for the first leg of the journey Saturday evening, then Pittsburgh to MA for most of Monday.
 

Rossco

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
963
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
05 Saab 9-5, '99 Yamaha XVS650A, '07 Suzuki DL650
Massachusetts does not issue temporary license plates.

If you want to do this by the books, you will have to sell the old car, and use it's old plates. However, the old car must be sold!

Misuse of a license plate is a no-no, and getting caught suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Trust me, it's happened to me before.

Your likelihood of getting caught is pretty slim, however, since you are using a plate from the same make and model of car.

When I got caught, I was using a plate off a Porsche, on a Saab, with an expired Inspection sticker, and I didn't have a front plate on the car. I made it about a half mile before getting stopped.

I did alot of stupid things when I was younger....
 
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_HighVoltage_

Captain Volvo
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
9,964
Car(s)
1998 Volvo S70 T5M
Massachusetts does not issue temporary license plates.

If you want to do this by the books, you will have to sell the old car, and use it's old plates. However, the old car must be sold!

Misuse of a license plate is a no-no, and getting caught suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Trust me, it's happened to me before.

Your likelihood of getting caught is pretty slim, however, since you are using a plate from the same make and model of car.

When I got caught, I was using a plate off a Porsche, on a Saab, with an expired Inspection sticker, and I didn't have a front plate on the car. I made it about a half mile before getting stopped.

I did alot of stupid things when I was younger....

It's worth pointing out that he wouldn't get pulled over just randomly. Chances are he will be pulled over for a reason, and if that reason happens to be that he was doing 100+mph, then they will really throw a fit about the different license plate and throw him in a place he wouldn't want to go.
 

thevictor390

Teen Wankeler
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
11,893
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
'17 Mazda MX-5 RF, '89 Toyota Blizzard SX5
Massachusetts does not issue temporary license plates.

If you want to do this by the books, you will have to sell the old car, and use it's old plates. However, the old car must be sold!

Misuse of a license plate is a no-no, and getting caught suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Trust me, it's happened to me before.

Your likelihood of getting caught is pretty slim, however, since you are using a plate from the same make and model of car.

When I got caught, I was using a plate off a Porsche, on a Saab, with an expired Inspection sticker, and I didn't have a front plate on the car. I made it about a half mile before getting stopped.

I did alot of stupid things when I was younger....

Everything from every source is conflicting. The insurance company says to bring my plates and attach them (new car is already insured). Dealer says to use transit plates. The one thing I can conclude is that MA law is stupid, incomplete, or impossible.

I'll cover all my bases and if I get stopped, so be it, I have done everything I can. I'll have bill of sale, proof of insurance, transit tags and MA plates and they can tell me what to use.
 

_HighVoltage_

Captain Volvo
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
9,964
Car(s)
1998 Volvo S70 T5M
The insurance company doesn't know shit! Use the transit plates, and don't ever think about your regular plates.

MA cops won't give you too much trouble about this, even if it's "against the law". You have done everything you could - you have transit plates from the dealer, have insurance, bill of sale, and title. Worst case scenario is that you get pulled over and they give you a warning. But do not put the other plates on this car.
 

thevictor390

Teen Wankeler
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
11,893
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
'17 Mazda MX-5 RF, '89 Toyota Blizzard SX5
The insurance company doesn't know shit! Use the transit plates, and don't ever think about your regular plates.

MA cops won't give you too much trouble about this, even if it's "against the law". You have done everything you could - you have transit plates from the dealer, have insurance, bill of sale, and title. Worst case scenario is that you get pulled over and they give you a warning. But do not put the other plates on this car.

Worst case scenario is I get pulled over and ticketed. And towed. I will have my plates on me, but will use the transit ones until instructed otherwise.
 

xtabay1

New Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
5
Location
Boston
Victor390, glad you made it back, I'm making the same trip to MI this Friday and driving car back to Boston. Massachusetts does have messed up laws. And the RMV expressly states on its website that Massachusetts DOES NOT recognize temporary plates. All cars traveling in MA must have a license plate. Here is the very informative .PDF on the MA 7-day transfer of plates rule that allows you to transfer your existing license plates to a new car (even one purchased out of state) and your existing insurance transfers with the plate transfer. But it is only good for 7 days and you have to have sold/lost possession of the car you are transferring the plates from.

link
http://www.mass.gov/rmv/forms/21426.pdf

In my case, I'm selling my existing car to my brother, and as such, am timing the sale for the date of my flight, and am taking the plates with me to MI to drive the car back to MA. The MI sales people I've been working with have been a bit confounded by this and keep telling me I don't need plates, that they are providing me with in-transit tags.... I'm thinking better to have the actual MA plates AND the in-transit tags. Also, the .pdf link recommends having a copy of the law with you as well as purchase and sale among other things....
 

thevictor390

Teen Wankeler
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
11,893
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
'17 Mazda MX-5 RF, '89 Toyota Blizzard SX5
I left the transit tags on the car and had the MA plates with me as well. There really doesn't seem to be a clear answer for when you have NOT lost possession of your current car, which I hadn't. It wasn't a trade. Luckily I wasn't given any trouble.

Can you point out where the law states that MA does not recognize temporary tags? All I could find is that MA does not provide them, so it was ambiguous to me whether it would accept one issued by another state.
 

xtabay1

New Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
5
Location
Boston
Hey there,

Massachusetts RMV issued guidance clarifying the rule as follows:

Massachusetts does not issue temporary registration plates for its own residents but it does recognize temporary registration plates validly registered in other states to non-residents of Massachusetts who are temporarily operating in this state (assuming the plates are not expired or suspended.) Thus, a Connecticut resident operating a motor vehicle in Massachusetts on validly issued temporary Connecticut registration plates is OK, but a Massachusetts resident operating a newly purchased motor vehicle in Massachusetts with validly issued temporary Connecticut plates is not.

A Massachusetts resident who purchases a motor vehicle in another state must apply for and attach valid Massachusetts registration plates to the vehicle before he/she can drive the vehicle back to Massachusetts.

Bulletin is here:
http://www.massagent.com/info/2010-21.pdf

So....it seems if you are a MA resident, the 7-day rule is the only way to go...which kinda sucks. No, actually, it totally sucks.
 
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