When purchasing a used car, there are certain factors you need to take into account and processes to follow. This includes registering the vehicle.
When registering a used car, you will first receive a license plate and tags from the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or sometimes the Transportation Department. Of course, these come from the state you live in.
However, it can take some time for the license plate and tags to arrive on occasions. If this is the case, then the department will usually send out temporary tags.
State rules must be followed and adhered to as this is an official process when purchasing a used vehicle. Therefore, it is unlawful to create temporary tags yourself.
Once you have chosen the car you want to buy, you probably just want to jump in and drive away to enjoy what it has to offer. But, you will have to attach temporary tags before you head out of the dealership. The question remains – what exactly do you need and how do you do this?
In today’s article, we will be explaining the process of getting temporary tags for your used vehicle. We will also discuss other important types of documentation required so you can drive away in your new used car as soon as possible.
How Can You Get Temporary Tags?
If you are buying a used car from a dealership, temporary tags are usually provided. This is typically a part of the service agreement with the dealer. However, if you purchase a used car from an individual and privately, then it is your responsibility to get the temporary tags yourself.
It doesn’t matter what state you live in as the law says that it is illegal to drive a car without a temporary or permanent license plate and tag. Therefore, obtaining tags should be your main priority before you drive away and hit the roads in your newly purchased vehicle.
The state you live in tends to determine the process of obtaining tags for a used vehicle. This is because the process can differ from one state to another.
Nonetheless, the process typically requires the completion of the necessary paperwork that will be provided to you by your local DMV. Then, you will need to supply all of the required documentation and information. This includes proof of insurance and the title of the vehicle.
Unlike permanent tags, the temporary kind is generally made from paper and is valid for up to 90 days. However, this can vary from state to state. This is why it is important that you check your state’s specific regulations behind buying a used car and obtaining tags in order to drive it legally.
The Cost Of Temporary Tags
Buying a car, new or second-hand, means you will usually be spending a considerable amount of money. This is why many people worry about the price of temporary tags on top of their newly purchased car.
As with the process of obtaining these tags, the prices of these tend to vary from state to state. For instance, Wisconsin offers temporary tags for free on request. However, you must ask for these tags at the same time as you apply for the car title and registration.
In other states, such as Florida, temporary tags usually cost around $5. There are some exceptions, however, such as DC where these tags can cost as much as $13 and over $30 in Pennsylvania.
As well as the cost of the tags, some states also apply sales tax on top which sees the prices rise even higher again.
Temporary Tags Requirements
In the majority of states, you will need to have valid insurance to obtain temporary paper tags for your newly bought used vehicle. States such as Pennsylvania and Florida require proof of this insurance when registering a car.
But, in other states such as Wisconsin, a certificate of title, completed state forms, taxes, title fees, and up-to-date identification are also required.
If you live in DC, you will need to complete a temporary tag application to successfully get a tag.
You will also need to provide a properly endorsed title, your state driver’s license, valid car insurance, a learner permit, and/or an identification card just to obtain a temporary tag so you can drive your new vehicle.
In states such as Mississippi, the new owner of a used car is required to supply the car’s title and registration from the state where it was last registered as well as a completed application form.
Check your state’s rules and regulations for the specific requirements associated with obtaining temporary tags for your newly purchased vehicle.
When Do Temporary Tags Expire?
What state you live in determines the expiration date of your temporary tags. Furthermore, your individual circumstances can also have an impact on this date.
When it comes to these tags, there is no grace period. Therefore, it is critical that you always check and note down the expiration date. In DC, for instance, temporary tags are valid for 45 days.
This allows for enough time for the new vehicle owner to have the car properly inspected before the registration process is finalized.
If a used car has an expired inspection sticker, then it will come with temporary tags that are valid but only for 15 days.
In Florida, temporary tags are not provided for residents who purchase used cars through private owners.
If you buy a car through this method in Florida, then the buyer and the vehicle’s current owner must visit the local tax collector’s office to lawfully transfer the title of the car and then purchase registration.
If a car is bought out of state and brought to Florida to register and title it, then a temporary tag can be requested. This will last up to 30 days.
Mississippi provides temporary tags but only for those who buy a vehicle from a dealership. These are valid for seven working days which date from the day of purchase. In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, temporary plates are valid for up to 90 days.
Each state can have different expiration dates so always check and take note of this. If the tags run out, you could face criminal charges and hefty fines.
It is illegal to drive a car without registration or tags in all states throughout the U.S. Check your state’s rules and process regarding these tags to ensure you drive lawfully.
As soon as permanent tags arrive in the mail, replace the temporary tags with these.
As the name suggests, permanent tags have no expiration date so you can safely drive out of the dealership and enjoy your newly bought car on the wide-open roads.