Blog November 29, 2020

How to Register a Leased car in Another State

Posted in How-to
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

You have a leased car, and you plan to move to another state? You’ll need to get it registered. If you’re not leaving the borders, the dealer of the vehicle will register it for you, but since you’re relocating, you have to learn how to register a leased car in another state. Each one has its regulations, but we’ll try to answer this question and help you out in this situation.

Every Car Type Must Be Registered and Even Checked for Environment Pollution

The US Department of State requires that every car must be registered before you can drive it. The requirements for that depend on the place you live in, and you can even see that some states ask for smog and emissions checks. For example, Florida, Hawaii, and Michigan don’t require those tests, but California, Georgia, and Massachusetts do. Some states, such as Colorado, ask for annual testing or inspections just in certain areas. Contact your local motor vehicle authority to be completely sure what tests your car has to pass. If you’re moving out for the first time, be sure that you know the regulations and that you have all the information before you relocate. Don’t let an unexpected tax surprise you and ruin your relocation.

In NY all emission inspection needs to be done every year

What Is the First Step When Relocating a Car on a Lease?

If you have a car lease deal and want to relocate outside of your home state’s borders, you will first have to notify your dealer. There are several reasons for that:

  • Who holds the title for a leased car? The leasing company. They are practically the owners, so they have to know first that you will be leaving.
  • Another reason is that the place you’re moving to may have different taxes that you have to pay, so there might be differences in prices.
  • Keep in mind that some leasing companies might not allow relocation. Make sure that you’re positive that your company does not restrict that.

If your lease is expiring, check if your dealership exists in the place you’re going to, and allows you to leave the car there. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to return the car to the first dealership.

man holding a phone and making notes
Most of the dealers allow that you relocate the car you got from them

How to Register a Leased Car in Another State?

Have you registered a vehicle before? If not, get ready for the DMV – Department of Motor Vehicles. Each state has its own DMV, and the procedure varies depending on the location.

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Step One Is to Contact the Car Lease Company Office

Since they are the title-holders, you must let them know that you’re relocating and list them as the legal owners. They will have to submit the original title to secure a new Certificate of Title. Your local titling authority will send the leasing company a request to forward the Certificate of title to them. After they allow you to relocate the car (give you a power of attorney), you can proceed to the next step, the DMV.

Gather the Right Documents Needed to Register a Car in Your New State

Contact the DMV of the place you’re relocating to and check with them what documents you need to have with you. Make sure that you’ve found the right data and information if you’re searching online. Also, try to make an appointment with them and be there on time, so that you don’t have to wait the whole day. Some basic documents that you will need are:

  • A certified copy of the title certificate
  • Current registration
  • Current insurance ID card
  • Your old insurance policy
  • US driver’s license
  • An authorization from the leasing company to register the vehicle in the place you’re going to
  • Proof that you paid each sales tax and other taxes

Also, if you have been asking yourself Can you lease a vehicle in a different state, the answer is yes. You’ll pay the taxes in the place in which the car is registered. If your plates are in CA, you will pay Californian taxes.

Return Your Old License Plates and Update Your Driver’s License

Some states require that you return the old license plates before getting new ones after the relocation. Also, you must apply for a new driver’s license that you can get by going to the DMV. Usually, you must do it within 30 days of your stay. There might be some tests that you need to do to cover the basic driver rules like the vision test or a written exam.

Notify Your Insurance Company of Your Move

If you’re lucky, you can stay with the same insurance company, but even then, the amount you have to pay may vary because the insurance rates can be different. If you find out that your old company doesn’t do business in the new place, you must find a new insurer.

Closeup the silver ballpoint modern pen on insurance contract with planning in background.
Getting an insurance policy for your car is almost always mandatory

Notify Your Insurance Company of Your Move

Relocation companies don’t have anything to do with the fact that the car you’re shipping is leased. You just have to contact them, book a date for auto transport and prepare the car for shipping.

For example, if you’re going to the Golden State, you must know Who is responsible for registration on a leased vehicle in California, but there will be no other issues to worry about.

If transporting your car worries you, and you can’t or don’t want to drive to the new location, the best way to have a stress-free moving is to hire a licensed professional relocation company. Your car will be in safe hands, and you will get to choose between the open and enclosed trailers and different delivery methods.

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