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Buying a used car while on the road?


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Just make sure you get all of the documentation that YOUR state needs to register it. Not all dealers, and especially private sellers, know what YOUR state needs.  Had that problem with a dealer in Utah.  Worked out but took a few calls and wasted time. Some states don't need a notarized bill of sale. Others require it. 

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In the past 10 years we have bought 3 cars in TX while being registered as SD residents.  The results have been mixed.

Car #1--After 60 days of asking the dealer about the status of my registration, they were forced to issue me another set of temporary tags.  I eventually had my SD mail service person walk over to the County office and get things straightened out; including adding a necessary ~$100 to the check that the dealership had written to the State revenue office.

Car #2--Bought another vehicle from the same dealership as #1; told the dealership that I wanted  them to give me the titling package so I could send it directly to "our person" in SD.  Had my registration materials back in a week.

Car #3--Bought from a different dealership this past August;  I tried to get them to release the package but they refused.  The dealership started the transaction by sending the payoff check for my trade-in to the wrong financial institution! 😁  The SD revenue office then returned the package to the dealership because of a wording problem relative to SD law.   At the 7 week point I got a call from County staff letting me know they had received my package and that there was a ~weeklong backlog and that I might want to get my mail service to hand carry it through the process.  At that point I did get my SD mail service engaged but, fortunately, after having repeatedly bugged the dealership's GM about the problem, a person on his staff finally stepped up to the challenge and got the matter resolved on the 57th day of my temporary tags!  Of course, the County staff managed to make matters even worse by sending the registration card without the necessary stickers to put on my license plates!  

I'm glad others have done this so easily.  Looking back at these episodes they now appear comic but they were somewhat aggravating at the time!  😂

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I've only bought a new vehicle out of state once but it went smoothly. I stopped into my local Tag/Title county office, told them what ii was doing, and they told me EXACTLY what i needed to bring to them. Maybe if you call the office where you want to register your car, you could head off problems.  And if the seller balks at giving you exactly what you need when you need it, maybe you should buy from someone else.  Good Luck!

Edited by CFerguson
spaillin'
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We bought our current towed while on the road. No problem, other than SD requires two license places, and TN only has one, so the dealer only took one off the trade-in. I had to go back and get the second plate. Then I had to add a front license plate holder to the car ($80).

The biggest shock to the dealer was that SD sales tax was so much less than TN. The selling dealer insisted that we had to pay the sales tax, so I insisted that it be the SD tax. All went through without any difficulties. TN dealer was impressed.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/18/2020 at 11:10 AM, docj said:

In the past 10 years we have bought 3 cars in TX while being registered as SD residents.  The results have been mixed.

Car #1--After 60 days of asking the dealer about the status of my registration, they were forced to issue me another set of temporary tags.  I eventually had my SD mail service person walk over to the County office and get things straightened out; including adding a necessary ~$100 to the check that the dealership had written to the State revenue office.

Car #2--Bought another vehicle from the same dealership as #1; told the dealership that I wanted  them to give me the titling package so I could send it directly to "our person" in SD.  Had my registration materials back in a week.

Car #3--Bought from a different dealership this past August;  I tried to get them to release the package but they refused.  The dealership started the transaction by sending the payoff check for my trade-in to the wrong financial institution! 😁  The SD revenue office then returned the package to the dealership because of a wording problem relative to SD law.   At the 7 week point I got a call from County staff letting me know they had received my package and that there was a ~weeklong backlog and that I might want to get my mail service to hand carry it through the process.  At that point I did get my SD mail service engaged but, fortunately, after having repeatedly bugged the dealership's GM about the problem, a person on his staff finally stepped up to the challenge and got the matter resolved on the 57th day of my temporary tags!  Of course, the County staff managed to make matters even worse by sending the registration card without the necessary stickers to put on my license plates!  

I'm glad others have done this so easily.  Looking back at these episodes they now appear comic but they were somewhat aggravating at the time!  😂

Based on your related vehicle buying issues (3) I will probably not be asking you about a hot stock pick. Anyhow, my experience has been to the contrary. We bought a 5th wheel in TN and towed it home to FL. Private seller signed the title, gave me a Bill of Sale (which no one ever asked for), took it to the Dept of Revenue, got a temp tag and towed it home to FL. Easy peasy! Title transfer/registration was just as painless (inexpensive) here in the Sunshine State. 

Edited by Friz
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