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Virginia / Maryland / DC DMV / Registration Law Questions!

Discussion in 'Parking Tickets, Towing, Impound' started by polititodd, Jan 5, 2011.

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  1. polititodd

    polititodd Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hey guys!

    I have a question regarding a potential employment change. I'm considering accepting a position at Oracle. My question is a rather aristocratic one, and it deals with the legality of registering a car in one state, but living in another.

    I have a couple of cars. One of my cars however is a sports car which I absolutely vehemently refuse to put a license plate on the front of. I currently live in a state which does not require a front license plate. It appears that DC, Maryland, and Virginia not only require a plate in the front, but also require a garbage-load of stickers on the front windshield.

    Here's my question, if I take the position, I will be moving to that tri-state area. I'm not concerned with paying the fees, or the taxes, I just don't want to have a plate, plain and simple. It's a fairly vintage Ferrari and I absolutely refuse to put this crap on my car. I almost never drive it, so I would have my regular daily drivers with front plates, and registered in the state.

    So here's my question. I still have family that lives in the other state that currently does not have a front license plate. If I was to add one of those family members onto the car's title, can I continue to have that car registered in the other state, while keeping it in this state? Since the other family member would end up being the part-owner, I know I can legally register it there. I would obviously tell my insurance company that I was keeping it in the DC Metro area.

    The question remains though, are there any legality problems associated with keeping a car in the DC Metro area, that's INSURED for the DC Metro area, but registered in another state to the address where one of the owners would live?

    I've contacted the various DMVs for the two states, and they seem to be confused. They just keep telling me that if I'm going to live here, I have to register the car here... however they didn't know what to say when I told them that I would put the car under the ownership of someone else. If I need to, I'll transfer the title over to my other family member completely so I don't have to put a handful of stickers on my windshield and a stupid plate in front.

    Anyway, I know this is silly... but to a car guy, this is a really big deal...


    Thanks!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What do you think people like Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates do?
    There is no requirement that you register every car you own in the state where you live or work.
    I own home sin three states, and cars that are left those residences.
    I claim Texas as my state of residency.
    But, that doesn't stop me from registering vehicles in Michigan and Wyoming.

    This is easy.
    Register the cars you're going to take with you in VA, MD, or DC.
    Leave the other car in CA, WA, NY, or where ever it may be.
    You don't have to add anyone else to the title to do that.
    You only need an address to register to in that state.
    Many people use a relative's address, a friend's address, their business address, etc...

    Good luck!
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    In most states your are required to register in that state within 30 days of becoming a resident. If you register in one state but primarily operate the car in another where you are actually residing, you are committing a form of fraud, and the vehicle code usually has additional sections to address this that could be misdemeanors. The bottom line is that the state where you reside wants the money.

    That said, if you leave the car registered where it currently is, and you seldom drive the car, the odds of you getting stopped are probably pretty slim (depending on how you are driving)... and even then, as long as the registration is current the cop probably won't dig too deep to figure out your resident status.

    I too refuse to mount a front license plate on my car here in CA... I even got a ticket for it while parked in the parking lot at LAX... I just paid the $30 fine. I'm not about to drill holes in my car so I can mount a plate on the front.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can own 100, 200, even 5,000 vehicles.
    You can own property in more than one state.
    I do.
    I register the cars I own in the state where I keep them.
    No state can compel you to register a vehicle you store mainly in another state at another residence.
    It isn't any form if fraud to do so.
    I'm no Bill Gates, Ted Turner, some hip hop mogul, or billionaire industrialist.
    How do you think they register their vehicles?
    Even car rental companies operating in 50 states, like Hertz or Avis, don't do that.
     

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