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Buying 3 states away and driving it out...

mkb1491mkb1491 Posts: 4
edited August 2016 in General
Hi there! I did a search and found some sort of similar posts but nothing that quite fit my description... hope someone can help me out.

I have an older family member who lives in rural Georgia, who I am supporting. I live in the Virginia suburbs of DC. Her car died and she needs a new one. I want to get her an older Accord and per a cars.com search, there are way more to choose from in the DC metro than in the Atlanta metro. And I have a great mechanic up here who did a pre-purchase inspection for me on my own used car, so that's extra peace of mind if I buy here rather than there.

But I'm unclear on how this all works.

First of all I don't even know if I can buy in her name without her being present. I'd be paying cash so financing isn't an issue. The assumption I'm making is that it's better to have it in her name than mine even if I am paying for it, just in case my name being on it makes me liable in some way for any insurance issues or accidents or other issues down the road--right? (The one she had I also bought for her and in her name, but we were together in Georgia so it was easy.) I guess this part's negotiable, but her name seems like a better plan than mine.

Second, my Google search on "Virginia car sales tax reciprocity" came back with no useful results. I wonder if someone can explain how the sales tax would work? I'm really close to both DC and Maryland so if it's easier to try to find something in one of those jurisdictions that is an option too.

Third, can a used car dealer give me a temp tag that I can drive it to Georgia on? I am unclear from my searches whether it's the destination state tax or the destination state registration that determines whether I can drive it down. And do I have to worry about getting through the Carolinas legally?

Last, I'm assuming that adding a private seller into the mix here just makes things even more complicated... have never bought from a private seller but my guess is that it adds time due to (probably?) having to handle getting the temp tag myself from the DMV or I don't even know what all.

Sorry this is so long. It's a little overwhelming, having to handle all this for her... buying my current (first ever) used car was nerve-wracking enough, but this is next-level. Thanks a million for any help.

Comments

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 109,970
    Not sure I can answer all your questions .. I'll see if I can get some of the other regulars to pop in and assist.

    Have you considered a power of attorney? That way, you should be able to buy/register the car in the relatives name without that person be present.

    A temporary registration should be valid in any state, so there should be no problems driving the vehicle to Georgia.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Most states have reciprocity agreements so that shouldn't be a problem. The Georgia DMV will settle up on any differences.

    I'd be sure that your family member gets the VIN of the "new" car and calls it in to her insurance before you start your journey home.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 32,330
    You can do mist everything over phone/mail/email. Have the dealer do the papers, fax or overnight signed docs, and all you need to do is show up with cash.

    All states have some sort of temp or transport tags for out of state buyers. You then settle up in home state to register and pay tax.

    And yes, absolutely put it all in her name.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • mkb1491mkb1491 Posts: 4
    Thanks everyone for the logistical info. And for the backup that putting it in her name is best! I will try to remember to post back here how everything turns out so that others can maybe get some use out of it.
  • mkb1491mkb1491 Posts: 4
    DMV confirms 30-day VA temp registration means I can drive to GA no problem, but dealership I called says no way to buy in her name without her being present, which means I'd have to do all the title, registration, tax stuff here in VA as if the car were staying in VA, then get it to GA and go through the bother of transferring all that stuff to her there. Ugh, why is this so hard? I really do not want to travel to GA and hope to find something there and not have a mechanic I trust to take it to but it almost sounds easier at this point.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 119,709
    mkb1491 said:

    DMV confirms 30-day VA temp registration means I can drive to GA no problem, but dealership I called says no way to buy in her name without her being present, which means I'd have to do all the title, registration, tax stuff here in VA as if the car were staying in VA, then get it to GA and go through the bother of transferring all that stuff to her there. Ugh, why is this so hard? I really do not want to travel to GA and hope to find something there and not have a mechanic I trust to take it to but it almost sounds easier at this point.

    Don't put it in your name, and then try to transfer to her. You'll end up paying sales tax, twice.

    In my state, you can only transfer from parent to child, with no tax. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles are out of luck. Plus, if you paid sales tax in VA, and want to transfer to a GA resident, they will want tax, no matter what.

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  • mkb1491mkb1491 Posts: 4
    Thanks @kyfdx. Georgia actually replaced certain taxes on car purchases with a one-time "title ad valorem tax" a few years back, 7% of fair market value, and as I am looking to buy an older car, it's a pretty minimal amount, certainly worth it to me to be able to do shopping & pre-purchase inspections where I live.

    However, I called the Georgia motor vehicles division to ask about what's required to transfer the car to my relative's name, and wow, all of this will NOT be happening. They said there's an emissions check required (even though everything I can find on the web says that's only in Metro Atlanta, far from my relative's county of residence) and also you have to set up an "inspection with a police officer" to make sure the VIN matches the title or some such, and then you have to get a GA title before you can get the GA registration which who knows how long that takes, and... yeah. It goes on and on.

    So I guess I'm going to Georgia. Anyone got a decently-maintained older Accord to sell me in the Peach State? Cars dot com has all of 9 listings under $3500 within a 150 mile radius of my relative's place, and all but four have over 200,000 miles on the odometer. The same search where I live gives 64 results, over half of them under 200K in mileage. Ugh, it's killing me for real.

    Thanks again, everyone.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited August 2016
    "Inspection with a police officer" is typical in my experience, and that chore is usually farmed out to DMV. I had to do it in Idaho, Michigan and here in New Mexico. None of the title/registration stuff really took all that long, and the VIN check was just a couple of minutes of that. Idaho required an emissions check but that came after the registration somehow (details are foggy on that one).

    And you may want to ask another dealer or DMV about "must be present to purchase" requirement. Could be a Homeland Security requirement now though.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 119,709
    Yeah.. where I live it's the sherriff. They just check the VIN and odometer reading, to make sure it matches the out of state title/paperwork.

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