How to get plates fast in New York for a Craigslist private-sale car?
June 22, 2020 10:16 PM   Subscribe

The DMV is only taking drop-off and mail-in registrations for new car purchases, because of COVID. I didn't realize the turnaround for them to mail the plates is ten days. Does anyone know any workarounds for this? We have non-negotiable plans to take care of family out of state sooner than that, and I could sure use some help.

I have read a couple tricks, including (a) use the backdoor of the Coney Island DMV (which is hilarious if true), (b) pay a used car lot to outfit you with plates, (c) sneak over to NJ and get a paper plate that lasts thirty days, (d) private companies that call themselves "DMV Services" (like this or this)

Because of this trip, I don't know if cost is really an object. But does (d) actually work? Do they give you temporary tags on the spot? Is there any speed gain? All the reviews seem to say it's faster to stand in line there than the actual DMV, but it's unclear if they have physical tags that could get me on the road legally, or if they just mail/dropoff the same way I would.

New Yorkers (and New Jerseyers), I would be very grateful for your wisdom!
posted by mahorn to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In private car sales at least in the midwest when you are waiting for your tags the DMV usually issues a temp tag that is good for thirty days. That Is not for sure but you might check the website of the dept of motor vehicles
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 7:17 AM on June 23, 2020

I noticed that Poughkeepsie DMV is open by appt. only, and has a contact telephone number. You can try calling and see if they accept out of county registrations. I know that I've registered a car in White Plains before because that's where I bought it even though I live in NYC, but that was in the before times.
posted by newpotato at 12:56 AM on June 24, 2020

I am very interested in this due to being in almost exactly the same situation!
posted by lalochezia at 10:38 AM on June 26, 2020

Response by poster: Thank you for the advice, Tii and NP, but lalochezia, I regret to tell you I failed to find a solution. Turns out (d) is no faster than mailing/dropping off myself, and the first four dealers I called for (b) said they couldn't (not because of the law but because of the lockdown), so I gave up. I'm going to try (a) next.

Worse? The people at (b) and (d) told me that the normal turnaround is ten business days, but they've been seeing delays.
posted by mahorn at 9:14 AM on June 27, 2020

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