Out-of-state Private Used Car Purchase

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Topic: Out-of-state Private Used Car Purchase

Auto June 30, 2015 at 10:25 am

Out-of-state Private Used Car Purchase

I’m purchasing a car from a friend who doesn’t live in DC (or Virginia or Maryland, for that matter). I generally understand the process of getting it registered in DC — get it insured, bring proof of insurance and the title and so forth to the DMV, prepare to pay excise taxes, etc.

My question is how to legally get the car to DC. I plan to pick it up from her, and in her state, she is technically supposed to hang onto the plates when she sells the car. My understanding is that DC won’t give me temp plates until I bring in the signed title. Should I get the title signed and bring it in to get temps to put on the car when I go to pick it up? Or should I just keep her plates on it and mail them back to her once I can get the car back to DC? I’m wondering if anyone in POPville has experience doing this sort of thing and can advise.

Separately, I’m also curious if anyone has kept their excise taxes low by bringing in a bill of sale that reflects the actual purchase price — since I’m getting this for a bit cheaper than what is likely provided in their database.

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Following up on this (and the thread on the PoPville Blog), I followed the advice of a commenter and went to AAA for the temporary registration and title transfer. AAA gave me the temporary non-resident registration required by the state for the purchase, as well as a new title in my name (in the state I purchased the car). When I brought it to the DMV, whether by rule or by oversight, I was not charged excise taxes. Thanks to whomever made the AAA suggestion!

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