Handling vehicle reregistration timing
June 14, 2010 11:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there a better way to handle this vehicle registration timing issue?

I currently live in Arizona and have a vehicle that's due for reregistration. However, in the next 1-3 months, I'll be moving out of state to Virginia (either Virginia Beach or Chantilly).

I've contacted the AZ DMV and they don't offer refunds for partial years of vehicle registration. Before I bite the bullet and give them ~$230 and then have to pay again to reregister it almost immediately, is there a better way to handle this situation?

Virginia requires new residents to register their vehicle and get a new drivers license within 30 days. I'm also under the impression that I'd have to reregister to update my auto insurance. The DMV states that they can register any vehicle with current or lapsed-within-12-months registration.

Please let me know if any more information would be useful - this is my first time moving a vehicle. Thanks!
posted by bookdragoness to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
I think you're more or less screwed. The only compromise I can see is simply to drive your AZ-plated car in Virginia for as long as possible before regging it in VA. Things like that are usually fixit tickets, so you'd just go a finally reg the car in VA and get the ticket signed off. Do get your VA DL right away, though.
posted by rhizome at 11:55 PM on June 14, 2010

Everyone I've ever known that has changed states (which includes no people that had unlimited funds), has just waited until the month before the inspection sticker expired to worry about this. The only reason they wouldn't is if insurance rates were much lower in the new state. --- I am not advising you to do things this way however.
posted by Some1 at 12:24 AM on June 15, 2010

Is it possible to just pay for 3 months of registration in Arizona?

In my city (in Australia) the DMV equivalent offers registration in 3, 6 and 12 month blocks.

You pay a surcharge for 3 month registration, but it still works out a lot cheaper than 12 month registration.
posted by Year of meteors at 1:36 AM on June 15, 2010

From a legal standpoint you're boned. If you're wanting to minimize the time you're not in compliance with one state or another, it would be best to renew your AZ registration (as AZ is pretty broke, they're probably looking for expired tags). From what I can tell, the registration is pretty cheap in VA compared to AZ so it won't bite as much (When I moved to California from Texas last year I had recently renewed my registration but it didn't sting as much since it was only $67 to register my car in TX compared to the $350 I had to pay in CA). Having valid AZ registration in VA will be better than an expired registration if you happen to slip past that 30 day rule in VA. When I moved to Arizona years ago from California I was pulled over in Mesa by the cops for the sole purpose of asking if I lived there or not and when he asked when I moved to AZ I sort of fibbed and said a "few weeks ago" when it was closer to a 90 days. Cop let me go without even a written warning but told me to get to the DMV. It motivated me to get my ass down to the DMV.
posted by birdherder at 2:18 AM on June 15, 2010

"From what I can tell, the registration is pretty cheap in VA compared to AZ"

But in VA you'll also be paying 4.5 percent of your car's value every year as the dreaded car tax.

Fuck Virginia. Register your car again in AZ and drive it until that registration is complete, then register in Virginia and prepare to be screwed. You can avoid the pain for a few extra months at least.
posted by bardic at 5:34 AM on June 15, 2010

In addition to the registration, you have to get your car inspected in Virginia. Once it's inspected, they affix a sticker to the windshield which is valid for a year. Having no sticker or an out of date one, is the fasted way to get pulled over. Car inspections are pretty thorough and you'll most likely be spending money on getting things fixed.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:40 AM on June 15, 2010

I have "a friend" who drove a Wisconsin-plated car in Illinois for the better part of a year before registering it in Illinois. The same friend also did not get an Illinois drivers license for many, many months, despite the same 30-day requirement as Virginia. The proper response to a police officer is "oh, I moved recently, I am going to change my license this week" where "recently" is < one year.

Really, as long as your tags aren't expired, and you don't do something really stupid like a DUI, no one cares what state they're from.
posted by desjardins at 8:03 AM on June 15, 2010

I have a coworker here who has been driving their Maryland-plated vehicle with Maryland driver's license for over a year. This sounds fairly common, I guess.

"But in VA you'll also be paying 4.5 percent of your car's value every year as the dreaded car tax."

Ouch, I didn't know that.

"Having no sticker or an out of date one, is the fasted way to get pulled over."

Plus, AZ doesn't do front plates. I'd better make sure to drive very legally.

Also, "Is it possible to just pay for 3 months of registration in Arizona?"

Not in Arizona, although different states/municipalities have different regulations. I can do 1 or 2 year registration here but they don't give refunds and all it saves is the $8.25 processing fee for the second year (and the time to take care of it).
posted by bookdragoness at 1:12 PM on June 15, 2010

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