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Old 06-15-2019, 05:25 AM   #1
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Buying out of state

We live in New Jersey and are looking to purchase an Airstream in Michigan. How can we register the trailer to make sure we can legally drive it home without the title? Is there a way to do this online? We are looking to purchase this over a weekend and thinking any motor vehicle agency would be closed.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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If it is currently registered maybe the owner would let you use those plates to get it home. Offer a separate deposit check which the original owner would destroy (or return to you) when they get the plates back.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:40 AM   #3
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I would think a standard bill of sale would get any police off your back if you were pulled over. Usually there is a grace period to get it home and you have full insurance, Iím sure they will just say to go straight home. You can call your local DMV to ensure that is the case.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:41 AM   #4
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I would think a standard bill of sale would get any police off your back if you were pulled over. Usually there is a grace period to get it home and you have full insurance, Iím sure they will just say to go straight home. You can call your local DMV to ensure that is the case.


If youíre buying from a dealer then they will have temp plates for you until you get it to your home state and pay for registration and taxes
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
We live in New Jersey and are looking to purchase an Airstream in Michigan. How can we register the trailer to make sure we can legally drive it home without the title? Is there a way to do this online? We are looking to purchase this over a weekend and thinking any motor vehicle agency would be closed.
Being in New Jersey surprised you're not purchasing from Colonial AS if you are buying new. Michigan is a long drive!

Anyway, your dealership in Michigan should give you temp tags for Michigan and you register in NJ when you get home. We bought our trailer in Ohio, the dealer put on Ohio temp tags, and we took it to WV where we registered and got plates.

Or, are you buying used in a private sale? If you are buying used in a private sale I'd call your local DMV and ask how to handle your situation.

Steve
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:54 AM   #6
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I live in RI and bought our used trailer from a private party in MA. I brought along a plate from a utility trailer we own, but would have used a plate off my wife's car just to get it home. Get the VIN, get insurance, get a bill of sale, get the old title and drive it home staying under the speed limit.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:51 AM   #7
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I presume you're buying this used, from a private party?

States have reciprocity for registration and titling issues. Even though each is different, the transit and sale laws of the state in which you're purchasing the trailer will apply in this case, so Michigan law will apply.

In Iowa, for example, the registration and plates belong to the person not the vehicle and must be returned to the local County Treasurer's Office (where DMV functions are handled.) In Iowa, you have 30 days from the date of sale to re-register the vehicle. That means that all you get is a bill of sale and a released title, and those are sufficient proof of ownership for the 30 days.

Other states are different.

Years ago, I bought a 34' tri-axle from a New Jersey couple. We met half-way on a Saturday in Ohio, and met in a parking lot to arrange the sale and transfer. I drove home to Iowa without any plates on the trailer at all as apparently New Jersey also requires the plates to be surrendered upon sale. I was passed by three State Troopers, one in Ohio, one in Indiana, and one in Illinois... and none of them even noticed that the trailer didn't have a plate. And I didn't really care WHAT either New Jersey or Ohio law was. The worst that would happen would be that I'd get a registration violation... and that'd be resolved when it was registered in Iowa.

Quite frankly, as long as you have the bill of sale and the reassigned title, and proof of insurance... I'd just take it home and not worry about it. I doubt anyone will notice even if you were supposed to have a Michigan temp tag.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:52 AM   #8
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Check with both states licensing bureaus or DMV. States have their own policies. Florida sells a temporary tag for $30; other states do not. Sales tax is of greater significance. You may or may not have to pay it in Michigan, and NJ may or may not credit what you paid against what you may or may not owe there.

The only way to know what the options are is to check with both states. This may best be done by phone. The FL temporary tag was well hidden on their website.

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Old 06-15-2019, 09:28 AM   #9
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We live in California and also bought our Airstream in Michigan. CA and Michigan have some sort of reciprocity agreement so it worked fairly easy. I looked into this before we purchased. Not sure what the tax situation is in New Jersey, but Michigan caps tax at 6% I believe at the time of purchase. You will be charged that in Michigan and then you will have to pay the remainder of any sales tax due when you get home in New Jersey (or at least we had to do that in CA). You will be given a temporary registration slip which you put in the window of the Airstream while you are driving home. It is typically good for 2-3 weeks. Then when you get to New Jersey, you will likely pay the remainder of the sales tax and the registration fee. In CA, this was quite expensive but seemless, but in no small part because we owed 3% + for the remaining sales tax. The other hitch is that (at least in CA) you want to do the registration as soon as possible as if you wait past 10 days in CA to register your trailer, the penalties are very steep, like thousands of dollars. You will not be able to register your trailer though until you get all of the paperwork from the dealership. This paperwork was not provided at the time of purchase or upon leaving the lot; it came after we got home. Then I was able to register the trailer in CA. I hope this helps.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:42 AM   #10
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If it is currently registered maybe the owner would let you use those plates to get it home. Offer a separate deposit check which the original owner would destroy (or return to you) when they get the plates back.
This is what we did and she said keep them! We drove from NC to CA and the CA plates now hang in our Airstream. One of the best things we have ever done was to purchase that Airstream! We are in love!! (And it has been a year now... STILL in love!)
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:29 AM   #11
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Michigan would probably be more than willing to issue you a short term permit. When we bought our AS we lived in Idaho and purchased in Washington. The dealer got us a 5 day permit from Wa.
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:49 PM   #12
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If you are buying a used Airstream that is registered in Michigan, the license plate stays with the TT when it is sold. We live in Michigan and traded a sob in on a new Airstream last Fall. The plates on the one we traded-in stayed with it, we had to buy new plate for the Airstream.

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Old 06-15-2019, 03:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
I would think a standard bill of sale would get any police off your back if you were pulled over. Usually there is a grace period to get it home and you have full insurance, Iím sure they will just say to go straight home. You can call your local DMV to ensure that is the case.
Totally agree!!! A month ago I picked up a used motorhome in Washington state and drove it to Wisconsin. Got pulled over in Fargo, ND for no front plate. Had a rear plate though. All I had with to show was the signed title and an insurance card from a car I also own. ďOk, good to goĒ Insurance is automatic for two weeks on a new purchase on an existing policy and I believe itís 30 days for registration. Go get it!!!
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:07 PM   #14
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I would go with no plates and an in-transit sign before I'd use plates from another trailer or the previous owner's plates. Easier to explain an act of omission than an act of commision.

You can get a temporary permit in Michigan:
https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,...6421--,00.html

I've got temporary permits in several states over the years to import vehicles and trailers into Canada. The only time I was unable to to that was when we bought our truck in Massachusetts. Mass didn't have temporary permits so the dealer loaned me their dealer plates in exchange for a check from me which they tore up when I mailed the plates back to them from New York State. He said "We're not really supposed to use the plates for this, so if you get stopped just tell them you're on an extended test drive."
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