I'm fixin' to buy a car off craigslist soon, in a nearby state (NV). I'm in CA. Whats the process- can I keep the NV plates til tags expire?

Or do I have to get CA plates right away as soon as title transfer takes place? What are the ins and outs,  does having 2 states involved complicate things more or its pretty much the same thing kr what 

9 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The govt doesn't believe in financial efficiency for citizens. 

    Just pay the new prices. 

    It's the seller (previous owner) who possibly could reuse the plates. 

    Better inquire about the smog test.

  • D50
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    This can be tricky to do. With some states you can get temporary tags, but you might need to get the seller to deliver the car to Cali and then sign it over and take his tags. As others have said, be sure it will meet the requirements (smog, etc) in Cali before you hand over any dough.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Make sure the car is CA emission compliant and get it smogged first.  If you buy it and the car is not CA emission compliant, you will have an expensive driveway ornament.

  • 1 month ago

    You must get CA plates immediately.  The expiration date shown on the plates is when they would have expired if the car was still owned by the person living in Nevada.  However, once a car is bought or sold or the state of the owner changes, the plates are no longer valid and must be replaced immediately.

    If you wait too long, then CA will charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars in late fees.

    Before you buy the car, make sure that the car either has CA emissions or is sufficiently old for that not to be a requirement.  If you buy a relatively new car while you are living in California, then the car can never be registered or driven in California (there are a few exceptions that are not likely to apply to your situation; the only one like to apply to you is based on the mileage of the vehicle at the time of sale).

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  • nt
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Call your DMV and ask. 95% chance you cannot keep the old tags.

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    CA has such strict emissions regulations that importing a used car from another state is a gamble. If it won't pass CA emissions, what are you going to do with a car you can't drive?

  • May
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Buying, registering an out of state car is no different than buying, registering an ion state car.

    No.  You cannot use somebody else's license plates or plates from another state for even a mile.  You must get Ca. plates immediately

  • 1 month ago

    The owner of the vehicle shouldn't even give you his license plates dude.

  • 1 month ago

    You likely have 30 days to get the vehicle inspected and get new tags. You'll also need a Bill of Sale, even for a private transaction. Oh, and don't forget the Insurance. 

    Most states will impose a heavy fine if you are pulled over, even on Day 31! 

    Certainly you will find the answers you seek on your state's Department of Public Safety / Department of Motor Vehicles. 

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