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Old 07-06-2016, 09:14 PM
1,210 posts, read 1,383,512 times
Reputation: 1561


This is confusing as hell. In Pennsylvania. I identified a car I like 100 miles away, it belongs to a private seller not a dealership. It's not a car you run across everyday. I'll likely have to meet the seller over the weekend. My plan is to meet the seller at a branch of my bank. If everything works out, I'll withdraw the money from the bank and get the bill of sale and/or transfer of title paperwork notarized on the spot.

The law is clear that the seller takes the plate and registration back. I'll be driving another car down to the spot, one way or another, one of the two cars needs to be towed back. I can get a towing company to tow the car I just bought that doesn't have a plate or registration yet right? I'll have the bill of sale and the title signed. In my hometown I'll get the plates and such right? I don't have an unused PA plate I can transfer.

Is that how it works for a private sale?
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:31 PM
15,529 posts, read 13,513,460 times
Reputation: 21208
It should be fine to tow. You only need plates/registration for driving on public roads. You can tow an unregistered car all day long just fine.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:34 PM
Location: Wayne,NJ
1,352 posts, read 962,744 times
Reputation: 1825
A towing company will tow anything, although to go a hundred miles I'd get it flatbedded. The bill may surprise you though. Is it possible the seller could keep the car for a couple of days till you can come back with plates and drive it yourself, (have a friend bring you there)?
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:39 PM
Location: Las Vegas
3,582 posts, read 5,736,895 times
Reputation: 4260
If the new purchase is mechanically sound just take a friend with you to drive one of the vehicles back BUT call your insurance company have it insured immediately after the sale before you drive it anywhere. If you have all your paperwork from the sale+ plus they can check the insurance it is unlikely you will get too much hassle if pulled over.

Or set up transport thru an auto shipper...might be less than a tow.

Check prices.

PA probably has some movement permit as they do here or a grace period where you can drive an unregistered vehicle purchased from a private party for 48hrs or so as somebother states allow.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:49 PM
Location: Southern Arizona
9,387 posts, read 26,630,005 times
Reputation: 10861
I would think Pennsylvania DMV would offer either a 3, 10 or 30 Day Temporary / Transit Paper Plate for situations such as this, Mighty_Pelican.

Here in Arizona they run less than 10 bucks and are Computer Download / Printable.

Check it out and Good Luck.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:34 AM
1,148 posts, read 2,419,460 times
Reputation: 852
Take a friend. Meet the seller at one of those independent tag/plate/notary agencies, do the deal there, immediately get a plate/temporary registration there, and drive away. No reason why you need to get the plate in your hometown if both locations are in PA.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:36 AM
Location: Massachusetts
9,559 posts, read 10,302,330 times
Reputation: 13350
May want to get some quotes first, and think about hiring a shipper instead of a standard flatbed tow company.

I towed one of my cars, which had no plates, a distance of 20 miles, for $175 plus $25 tip to the driver. This was a local tow company. Not having a plate wasn't an issue. Driver pulled up, I pointed to the car, and we loaded it up and headed off.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:32 AM
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
2,060 posts, read 3,554,699 times
Reputation: 2031
I don't know what the rules are by you, but I believe in Michigan you are allowed to drive it home after the purchase with out plates or registration.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:27 PM
10,522 posts, read 15,573,695 times
Reputation: 11833
Find second driver and take along. Buy temp driving permit for the new purchase. DRIVE both cars home. 3 day permit here in WA is like ten bucks.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:48 PM
Location: Mount Laurel
4,165 posts, read 9,095,216 times
Reputation: 3460
The last time I purchased a used car from private seller in PA, we met at a local notary service company that has DMV service. Title was transferred and I purchase a temp tag. Had someone drive my car home while I drove the newly purchase car home. I added the vehicle to my insurance policy online.
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