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Full Version: Registering a vehicle when you're not in your home state
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So if you followed my story from the last 10 days, you know that our bus broke down here in IL. We are from NY. I had just registered the bus at the end of February. I don't even have the new title yet, as NYS takes their sweet time sending them. NYS also has very little in terms of online DMV services. 

Our bus is being sold to a vintage bus collector from this area. Now we are on the hunt for a new RV, and have several in mind and will continue to look, if needed, all the way to AZ or wherever we end up. 

How do you deal with transferring/registering a new to you vehicle when you're not in your home state? The only thing that seems feasible, aside from driving all the way back to Buffalo to transfer the registration in person at the DMV, is to just slap the plates on the new RV, drive it to where we're going, and hope for the best. New York is terrible with all of this. 

Any ideas? Anyone had to deal with this before. I REALLY do not want to have to drive 500 miles back to Buffalo just to walk up to the DMV counter to transfer plates from one vehicle to another.

When you get a new to you vehicle in any state, you can title it there and get temporary registration (the paper thing that goes in your back window). We got our tow vehicle in Michigan and went to Florida to establish domicile (which is not the same thing as residency). The timeframe for the standard process was short, but when we told the DMV clerk that we were moving to another state and it would take us a few weeks to get there, they gave us a 30 day temp registration.

If I were in your shoes, I'd call the DMV in whatever county you're looking at RVs in and explain your situation to get a sure answer. If you dont like the answer, try the next county-- because some people are roadblocks and some people do all they can to meet your needs.

I think I'm not speaking only for myself when I say I'm following your story with great interest. Also rooting for you!
There are several mailing services in South Dakota that also provide vehicle tag/registrations.

SD is one of the easiest states to use for nomad residency.

There are a lot of sites online plus threads on this forum about choosing a state for residency.

But if you definitely will be moving to AZ and establishing residency there and you buy an RV in another state, you can get a temporary tag/registration for travel to AZ.

Each state has their own rules and fees. The length of time the temp tag is good for varies.

If you buy from a dealer, they can give you all the details for their state. Or visit that state's DMV site.

Good luck on your search for another vehicle!
Doesn't one have to spend at least one night in SD before all the process can begin?
What Ravella said. 

You will want your tags to be for the state of your domicile & with the correct address to eliminate future problems. Online services is the best way once you have completed the initial inspection process for the state of your domicile.

AZ has online process AFTER the initial inspection (they walk over there and check your VIN). Metro areas may have more requirements such as smog check, so rural is better.
I would try to keep everything in the one state you choose to be a resident of. As others have stated above there are several options for temporary registration depending on the state you are in when you buy. There are several considerations such as sales tax, insurance costs, required inspections and how much can be done online or delayed until you are physically in the state you wish to register it in. Escapees club would be a good place to start researching and well as here as there are a lot of considerations. Sometimes a 500 mile trip may be the least of your problems, depending on where you are and where you intend to be. I do over 500 miles of travel when I buy a new vehicle but I only have to do it once not every year like some states.
NY, NJ and CA have got to be 3 of the worst states tax-wise to be residents of. Maybe they make up for it in some other way but I'd doubt it.
I have a job and residency in Mississippi, but am currently in California staying with family but doing my job remotely online. Mississippi doesn't have adequate online services, is 2000 miles away, and California has ridiculously high taxes and a notoriously disfunctional DMV. I bought a new van in Colorado and registered it in South Dakota as a temporary solution. Did not need to go there or stay a night but did it through a mail forwarding service that provides a local address.  If and when I return to Mississippi for the job, I will re-register it there as local cops are quite predatory in that state and an out of state plate that is not an adjacent state such as Alabama attracts way too much unwelcome attention.
(03-23-2021, 02:43 PM)Camper Wrote: [ -> ]Doesn't one have to spend at least one night in SD before all the process can begin?

Yes, to establish residency but it's not necessary to register a vehicle.
Just an FYI we don’t go to the DMV in California unless it’s for something special I don’t know about. We go to Triple A (Auto Club) if you’re a member. I’ve always gotten everything done there that I’d do at the DMV. Saves hours of waiting.
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