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Old 08-23-2012, 08:06 PM
 
686 posts, read 1,444,860 times
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Hello,

Over on the NH forum, some well-meaning members have mentioned the possibility of purchasing a used car in NC for operation in NH.

Assuming buying a car in NC for use in NH makes sense, and assuming purchase from a dealer, what is the process? What are some of the costs?

I have looked for related information on the NC DMV web site, but I don't anything specific about this case.

My understanding of the process is:

1. Dealer signs the back of the title (seems notarization is required)
2. Buyer obtains proof of insurance for the car (because NC, unlike NH, requires insurance)
3. Buyer takes the car and the title to NH DMV for registration.

Though the process I have outlined seem logical, it looks too simplistic (NC DMV is not at all involved?). Would people-in-the-know please enlighten? You will be helping many like me.

Thanks.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:46 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,482 posts, read 62,084,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMUR View Post
Assuming buying a car in NC for use in NH makes sense...
It doesn't.
Long story short... NC is about the worst state to even try anything of this in.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:17 AM
 
Location: High Point, NC
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MrRational, can you explain further? That seems to be the process- at least the buying process here in NC but I don't know if registering the car in another state complicates things. One thing I will say, whether you're buying a car to register in NC or any other state, insist on having the car inspected by a mechanic even if the registration isn't close to expiring. We bought a car a couple of years ago and a week or so later, the check engine light came on. All the seller had done was disconnect the battery to get the light to go off but the fact was, there were several problems that prevented the car from passing inspection. Insist on taking the car to any inspection station to make sure it will pass before buying.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:24 AM
 
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^^ An uncharacteristically irrational reply from Mr. Rational.

Actually the process is very simple. You don't have to involve the NC DMV at all. The seller simply signs (with notarization) the title over to the buyer, and the buyer takes that to his home state DMV to register the car. No insurance required, no need to contact NC DMV, nothing. The seller then turns in the license plates to the NC DMV--transaction finished.

There is one potential rub, and that is how the buyer gets the car home. Laws/rules vary among the states--the best/easiest solution would be for the buyer to obtain a temp permit/license from their home state that's valid long enough to drive the vehicle home and get it registered. The buyer also has the option of getting a temp license from NC, but if you go that route then proof of insurance is required and the title has to be submitted to the NC DMV to process the temp permit. So it's usually much simpler to get the temp permit from the buyer's home state.

But if you're buying from a dealer, they will handle all of this for you. You usually just sign a few documents and you're on your way home.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
It doesn't.
Long story short... NC is about the worst state to even try anything of this in.
Thanks for the clear response. Would you please elaborate a bit more on the rationale?
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:01 AM
 
Location: High Point, NC
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I apologize, I didn't take into consideration that you'd be registering the car in another state even though you made it clear you would be. The DMV doesn't have to be involved if you're registering the car in NH, but you still might want to insist the car pass inspection before buying and transporting it to NH, even if it passed within the previous year.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
It doesn't.
Long story short... NC is about the worst state to even try anything of this in.
Quite the opposite. I bought my car from NC last year to have registered in VA. Clean, simple operation. No issues at all.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:35 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMUR View Post
Thanks for the clear response. Would you please elaborate a bit more on the rationale?
I missed the part about TRANSPORTING

On point though I'd still be leery of buying used cars in NC unless you KNOW the specific car.
Cars that won't pass inspection in other states are wholesaled there and then brought down south to be sold.
NC has no meaningful safety inspection on used cars and the dealers like it that way.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:09 PM
 
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I just spoke with DMVs at both NC and NH.

In NC: Take notarized title, proof of insurance, and an inspection tag that is current to DMV to obtain a 10-day temporary registration for $5.

Most NC dealers will give/get you a 30-day temporary registration without the buyer having to go to DMV,

The temporary registration suffices to drive the car from NC to NH (or wherever else you want to take it).

In NH: Take title, bill of sale, proof of residency to the town/city clerk to obtain permanent registration and plates. The car must pass inspection within 10 days of registration.

NH does not require the title or bill of sale to be notarized. It also does not require proof of insurance (except in some special cases). So, the proof of insurance is required only to obtain the temporary registration and to drive the car in states that require insurance.

NC does not require a bill of sale for purchase from dealer, but NH does for out-of-state purchases (and for in-state purchase from private parties).

I forgot to ask at NC DMV about sales tax. Any one has any idea? NH does not have sales tax, but I gather NC sales tax varies between 4.75% and 7.25% depending on the county; 6.75% in most counties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
On point though I'd still be leery of buying used cars in NC unless you KNOW the specific car.
Cars that won't pass inspection in other states are wholesaled there and then brought down south to be sold.
NC has no meaningful safety inspection on used cars and the dealers like it that way.
Yes, this part worries me. I am not paranoid, but I have heard horror stories from others. For example, I am not sure if taking a mechanic to the dealer's lot to inspect the car will work, because I have heard of collusion. Perhaps a conditional bill-of-sale will do the trick: Something like, the car must pass at least NC's inspection within three days and that it should pass a mechanic's inspection for the major parts. Hopefully I can take the car to a mechanic myself without having to reveal where the car is from.

I wonder if this is all too much effort for too little gain.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:10 PM
 
Location: High Point, NC
97 posts, read 253,619 times
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MrRational, I respectfully disagree. NC requires used cars to pass the same inspection tests that new cars have to pass. And now that all the inspection stations are online, there is no "knowing a guy" and getting your inspection sticker. Also, cars made in 1996 and since have to pass the OBD emissions test as well as the other inspection requirements.
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