Auto registration question - moving to a new state

lydia1959April 25, 2012

My DD just accepted a job and has moved to Omaha NE. The car she is driving is in me and my husband's name and we have been (and will continue for a while) to pay her insurance. The car has Missouri plates.

From a website New residents in Omaha have 30 days after establishing residency to purchase license plates, register their vehicle, and pay auto taxes. Automobiles are taxed as personal property. If you are not establishing Nebraska residency, it may be less expensive for you to maintain registration in your permanent state of residence.

I'm guessing it is okay for her to just continue to drive the car with the MO plates (they are good for about 15 more months) since the car legally belongs to us. Is that right?

Sorry if I seem dumb... I've lived in one state my entire life and never had to deal with stuff like this. :)


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You are not establishing residency so you don't have to register the car in NE. Your daughter is simply borrowing it.

I do, however, suggest you check with your insurance agent.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Probably a good idea to consider transferring ownership to her ... maybe when current registration about to expire.

In some jurisdictions, if you're getting on to senior-hood, and a car registered to you is in an accident, even a "mere" fender-bender (or two) ...

... the department of motor vehicles/ministry of transport may question wheher it's time to consider taking you off of the road ... or conducting a study to see whether such should be considered.

After that - any slip-up may well put your driver's licence in jeopardy.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Not a dumb question at all. There's several issues involved and what you're doing complicates things.

Personally, I wouldn't do what you're doing after an experience I had loaning a car to my brother, but that's beside the point and another story. If she loans the car, then it gets complicated if there's an accident.

Call the DMV in Nebraska and talk to them. Much will depend on their laws. In MN, you have 30 days after you move to change your driver license and update plates and can use visitor status, but you are not allowed unlimited "visitor" status as is apparently the case in PA so again, laws vary from state to state so don't ask here, get advice from a competent source. My old GF had an issue with this and was ticketed because a hotdog cop somehow documented that the car was here and essentially put a timer on it. Then ticketed her after 30 days. Odds of it happening in your case? Probably slim, but you should at least know the risks.

Given that you have plates with 15 months left on them, (here, tabs are only good for a year) I'd check it out to make sure you can go with the current plates. Financially, it'd make sense unless tabs are cheaper there and you can get credit on unused license in your state. Again, variables that should be checked out.

Another question is whether a borrowed car status would supersede resident status. I'd guess it would but won't give you a legal opinion to that effect.

You definitely need to talk to your insurance agent or another agent knowledgeable with your company's policies. A permanently loaned vehicle being permanently operated in another state could easily (and likely) affect rates, and could be in either a good or bad way. And not apprising the company could get you canceled or more.

I'd suggest you get on the phone and make a few calls. (I'd also ask for the advice to be confirmed in writing.) I totally agree with Joyful, you might want to consider giving her the car. Why keep it in your name? Assuming it's because of cheaper insurance, that might not even apply. I'd definitely give that some thought. It cost me when I tried to be helpful. And I didn't think it'd happen to me either.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Having moved from one state to another more than 15 times I have repeatedly run into this situation.

First of all, the address on the vehicle registration MUST BE the primary address of the ownner of said vehicle.

If the owner of said vehicle moves from one state to another they normally have 30 days to change the vehicle registration, although there are exceptions to that rule. By example, in the State of Florida it is common for people to primarily live up north, but they have a second seasonal domicle where they winter in Florida. The law in Florida says that if the primary owner is employed or has children registered in school in Florida, then they have established Florida as their primary residence and are required to change the vehicle registration within 30 days, but if they are not employed or have no children in school in Florida, then they claim their Florida address as a temporary domicile for up to one year.

Note that the registration remains with the owner and is to be listed at the owners primary residence or place of business.

In this case the owner is not changing residence so the vehicle registration must remain the same as the owners primary residence.

However it also must be mentioned that if you loan a vehicle to someone and they are stopped by the police for any reason, the person operating that vehicle can be held in custody as a suspected auto theif until the police can confirm that they have legal permision to be operating that vehicle.

You should check with your insurance company. Under most insurance policies if you permit others to repeatedly use your vehicle you are required to have that person listed as an additional driver on the policy.

You should also know that if your daughter should be stopped by law enforcement for any reason they will automatically run the license plate to see what the owners name & address is. When they then check the operators drivers license and it does not match the owners informtion the cop could hold the operator as a suspected car theif until they can get confirmation that the operator has legal permission to operate that vehicle. I would write a letter granting the daughter permission to use the vehicle and have that letter notorized.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 6:33PM
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