Do You Want to Buy a Car in Another State: What to Do

Regarding car buying, things can get tricky if you want to buy a car in another state. Many factors come into play when purchasing a vehicle from another state. The biggest issue is that most people assume they cannot buy a car in another state without a special license or permit.

However, this is not the case. It’s just a little more complicated than most people think it is. You might want to buy a car in another state for several reasons. Whatever your reason;

Do You Want to Buy a Car

Here is what you need to know about purchasing a car in another state so that everything goes smoothly and efficiently!

Check Out The Car Dealer’s License

If you buy a car from a dealership, the first thing you should do is check out their license. The dealer should have a permit from the state DMV. If they don’t, run away from that car dealership! You don’t want to deal with an unscrupulous car dealer, especially if you’re crossing state lines to get your hands on that car.

You also want to ensure the car dealer is a legitimate business. You can do a thorough online search to make sure they are who they say they are. If they have a physical location, make sure that it is listed. If it’s not, you know they are not a legitimate business and should be avoided at all costs!

The Paperwork

Ok, you’ve found a car you like at a dealership that appears to be legitimate. Now what? Well, one of the first things you want is to get the paperwork for the car you want. You need to ask the dealership if they will ship the vehicle to you.

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If they say yes, ask them what the shipping cost will be. You will want to pay for this upfront to ensure the dealership gets its money. You will also want to ensure that the car has all the documents you need to register the vehicle in your name correctly.

  • You will likely have to have all the following: The title will be the main document you need before you can buy a car. Make sure that the title is signed and that it is not a loan title.
  • Bill of sale: The bill of sale will state the car’s price and when it is sold to the dealership.
  • Security interest: This document will note that you have paid the dealership for the vehicle.

Establish Residency

You must be sure that you are a resident of the state where you are willing to buy a car. You will want to provide proof of this. Typically, this would be in the form of a driver’s license or state ID. You may also need to show the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a utility bill from your residence. You should also consider car transport from state to state while purchasing.

Transferring the Title and Registration

That is where things can get tricky depending on where you are purchasing the car. You need to get the car title from the car’s owner and then mail it to the state DMV in your state. Once you receive the title in your hands, you need to go to the DMV and complete the title transfer paperwork.

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You will also need to pay the state DMV any taxes associated with the car title. There is the chance that you may also have to pay state sales tax on the car. Most states have a threshold where if you spend less than $500 for a vehicle, you do not have to pay sales tax.

Vehicle History

You will want to check the vehicle history report on the car. You can do this online at sites like CARFAX. You can also check with your insurance company to see if they offer vehicle history reports. You will want to ensure that the car is not stolen, has not been written off by an insurance company, and has no repair issues.

You may want to get an independent vehicle report to cross-check the information the insurance company provides. You can also ask the car dealer for vehicle history information.


Following the tips and advice in this article, you should have no problem buying a car in another state! There are many advantages if you wish to buy a car from another state. That includes lower prices and less competition.

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