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Moving to a New State? Here’s How to Get a New Title for Your Car

Moving to a new state can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with a lot of administrative and tedious tasks. One important task is transferring the title of your car to your new state. This process can be overwhelming to get started, but with the right information and preparation, it can be easy to accomplish. Here’s how to transfer your car title when moving to a new state:

Step 1: Research the Title Transfer Requirements in Your New State

The first step to transferring your car title is to research the specific requirements for your new state. Every state has its own laws and regulations for car titles, and while most states will have similar requirements, understanding the specific requirements in your new state is crucial. Check the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website for your new state or contact the DMV directly to learn about the title transfer process, fees, and required documents. 

Keep in mind, not all states refer to their Department of Motor Vehicles as the “DMV.” Other names for this state agency can include, but are not limited to, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Registry of Motor Vehicles, Division of Motor Vehicles, Motor Vehicle Administration, Secretary of State, Department of Revenue, Department of Licensing, Division of Vehicles, etc.

Step 2: Get Your Car Inspected in Your New State

Most states require a vehicle inspection before you can transfer the title of your car. An inspection ensures that your car meets your new state’s safety and emissions standards. If this is the case in your new state, you’ll need to schedule an inspection and obtain a certificate of inspection. Typically, the inspection will be done with a DMV agent or through your new county or state police department. Contact the DMV in your new state for details about inspection requirements and authorized inspection locations.

Step 3: Gather the Required Documents

Before heading to the DMV, you need to gather the necessary documents for transferring your car title. The documents required may vary by state, but generally, you’ll need your 

  • Current car title (from your prior state)
  • Your driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of residency in your new state. 

In some cases, you may also need a bill of sale, the car’s registration, and proof of a lien release if you had a loan on the car. 

Step 4: Complete the Application for a New Car Title

The next step is to fill out an application for a new car title with your state’s DMV. Each state has its own title application that can be found on its DMV website. Most states will use a paper application, while some states are beginning to transition to all electronic DMV records. Check with your state before applying. This application is a formal request for a new title and allows the DMV to process your request. You must provide your personal information, the car’s information, and the previous title. Make sure you have all the required information before applying.

Step 5: Pay the Required Fees and Receive Your New Title

Once you submit the title application, the DMV will review your request and calculate any required fees. The fees vary depending on the state and could include a title transfer fee, registration fee, and taxes. Be prepared to pay the fees with cash, check, or credit card. After the fees are paid, you will receive your new car title. If you’re applying by mail, be sure to include all necessary fees in the form of a check or money order. Do not mail cash to the DMV. If you’re submitting your title application in person, the DMV clerk will notify you of the fees, and they will be due at the time of the transaction by any means that the agency accepts.

What if your car title was lost while you were moving?

If your car title was lost during the move, don’t panic! There are ways to get a new title. If the vehicle is currently titled in your name, just under your old state, you can apply for a duplicate title with your old state. A duplicate title can only be requested by the current titled owner (aka the person in the DMV records), and can only be obtained from the state where it was last titled. For example, if you moved to Florida from Maine and your vehicle was last titled in Maine, you’ll need to request a duplicate title from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, not the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If your title is not currently in your name but was lost during the move, consider using a method of title recovery to get a new title in your name. 

It’s important to keep the new car title in a secure location as you may need it in the future to sell the car or transfer the title to another owner. We do not recommend keeping your car title in the glove box or in the car. If it gets into the wrong hands, it can lead to serious legal problems and title fraud. 

By following these steps, you can successfully transfer your car title when moving to a new state. Remember to research the requirements in your new state, get your car inspected, gather the required documents, complete the application, and pay the fees to receive your new title. With these steps, you can ensure that your car is legally registered in your new state, and you can confidently hit the road.

Want a professional to do it for you?

For as little as $159 for most processes, we will save you the headache and prepare all of the car title paperwork needed to get you a new title. Simply choose the title recovery method you’d like to use and we’ll get started!

Select your title recovery method:

Order Vermont Title LoopholeOrder Deceased Owner Title TransferOrder Bonded Title ProcessOrder Abandoned Vehicle ProcessOrder Prior Owner ContactOrder Lien Release Request Letter

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

Book a consultation with a Car Title Expert from to get personalized guidance on your title recovery journey.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

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