How to Transfer a Car Title From One State to Another

By David Carnes
Luxury Car
Luxury Car sportscar from my luxury car series image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com

If you become a resident of one state but own a car titled in another state, you will be required by the state of your new residence to transfer the title of your car to that state within a certain period of time--normally no more than 30 days after you acquire residency. The requirements to transfer title of a car from out of state are different from an in-state transfer between a buyer and a seller.

Determine if you have become a state resident. You may become a state resident if you accept employment in that state--particularly full-time employment, claim a homeowner's exemption, lease a house or apartment, enroll in a local university under an in-state tuition program, obtain a local driver's license or perform another act that indicates an intent to remain in the state indefinitely.

Obtain your out-of-state title and registration documents. You will need to submit the originals, not photocopies.

Download an application for title from the website of your new state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent government subdivision. Fill it out and have it signed by all owners and lien holders.

Submit your car to an emissions test and Vehicle Identification Number verification, if required by state law. These tests are performed by state-approved establishments. You will be issued inspection reports.

Obtain proof of statutory minimum liability insurance that is valid in your new state.

Prepare a check or money order for the required filing fee.

Take your out-of-state title and registration, photo ID, proof of state residency--such as a local driver's license or copy of a lease agreement, application for title, emissions testing and VIN verification reports, proof of insurance and filing fee to the local office of the state DMV. You will be issued a new title certificate within a few days to a few weeks, depending on the state.

About the Author

David Carnes has been a full-time writer since 1998 and has published two full-length novels. He spends much of his time in various Asian countries and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Law.