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      11-05-2019, 09:33 AM   #1
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Do I need to register the car in MA?

Daugther "borrowed" my car, to be driven in Boston, MA for an entire year.
The car's registered, licensed and the mandatory state inspection here where I live will be expiring in a few months. I asked the local DMV and they said as long as the car is not driven here, I don't need to register nor inspect it. When it comes back, I'll have 3 days to inspect and re-register.
So, the question is, what do I need to do to make it MA legal?

Note: daughter is not moving to Boston. She's there only temporarily (1 year). So she has no plans to convert her driver's license.
Can she keep driving the car in Boston with out of state license, for a year (she has out of state driver's license)?
If so, is she required to do any state emissions inspection (is there such a thing there)?

Last edited by MPBK; 11-05-2019 at 10:38 AM..
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      11-05-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
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The car will need to be registered, insured and inspected to be legally driven on public roads, no matter the state. You should inspect & register the car in your state, she won't be able to register it in MA without a MA license.
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      11-05-2019, 05:13 PM   #3
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The vehicle will need to have a current registration and insurance to be operated. Your home state may not care if the registration and inspection is up to date, but I am fairly certain an expired registration will get a ticket, at a minimum, if she is stopped.

Based on MA's DMV website, she can register the car in MA as an out-of-state resident under certain conditions; she's a student or a military member. Otherwise, she will need to establish residency in the state to be able to register the vehicle. Residency applies to all owners on the vehicle (I'm assuming you are at least a joint owner at a minimum). Source: https://www.mass.gov/service-details...e-registration

Based on my research, MA has a vehicle and emissions testing program. Source: https://www.mavehiclecheck.com/motorists-faqs

My advice, FWIW, is to go ahead and re-register and re-inspect the vehicle in your home state to bring the currency up to date. She should be able to keep the car with an out-of-state current registration and license. Also, if your daughter is not listed as a partial owner, you may want to have a legal document drawn up that states that your daughter has permission to operate the vehicle.

Note: I haven't lived in the States in several years, but I've moved across the US a couple of times before I moved to Germany. I've done both switching registrations and keeping a home state registration, it really depends on the state's laws and what was more advantageous to me at the time.
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      11-05-2019, 07:45 PM   #4
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Cops generally don't take expired registrations seriously especially if they're recent and from another state. She might get pulled over but the car won't get impounded and she will get a fine / fix-it at most.

The only real point to this is to keep your daughter from being pulled over if she has contraband or is driving under the influence, neither of which you would necessarily know about beforehand. And of course she can always get pulled over anyway for not precisely obeying traffic laws, but why tempt fate?
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      11-05-2019, 08:12 PM   #5
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Agree, keep it up to date in your state and your daughter will need to fill out Nonresident Student Vehicle Information Form and get a decal. (Edit: only if she is going to school in Boston -- if not there for school, this doesn't apply).

"Pursuant to the provisions of M.G.L c.90 ß 3, as amended by chapter 46 of the acts of 2003, this form must be completed in quadruplicate by every nonresident enrolled as a student at a public or private school or college in the Commonwealth during any period beginning on September 1st of any year and ending on August 31st of the following year, who operates a motor vehicle in Massachusetts that is registered in another state or country.This applies to students commuting from out-of-state to a school in Massachusetts and students temporarily residing in Massachusetts, whether living on campus or not. This completed form must be filed with the Police department in the city or town where the school is located. The Police department must provide a copy to the school, the local assessor, and the RMV. The school will issue the required decal, which must be affixed to the uppermost center portion of the windshield. The penalty for a nonresident’s failure to comply as required is up to $200.00"
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      11-06-2019, 08:25 AM   #6
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The rule everywhere is that a car should be registered where it is being garaged/kept within 30 days. We have two daughters who have lived out of state. Both cars were co-owned by my husband and we carried them on our insurance.

During college, it didn’t matter. College towns are accustomed to cars “living” there with out of state registrations. I would expect Boston to be that way. If I were you I’d keep and renew your existing registration and insurance. Much easier than changing everything for less than a year.

The daughter in DC eventually had to get registered there, as they watch for out of state cars parked on the streets. They ticket and possibly boot them. So she had to go off our insurance eventually, but she got away with it for about two years. But had off street parking most of that time. As soon as she began parking in the street, it became a problem.

The insurance could be a problem for you, as her insurance may be far more expensive in a city like Boston than where you live.

And yes, she would need a Mass drivers license to register there. And I think she would need the title. Not sure.

My daughter in Florida is in medical school, third year, and her car is still registered and insured with us here in Maryland. So, she still has a MD drivers license and can’t vote in Florida, she has to absentee vote in Maryland.

We checked with our insurance company to be sure she would be covered under these circumstances, and they are okay with her as a student staying with her Maryland registration and insurance. Registration can be done by mail or online, so no problem there.

My advice is to keep everything the same. As long as she has a legal registration she won’t be harassed by police. If she is parking in the street, she might have the same problem we had in DC, but being such a huge college town, I kinda doubt that in Boston.

I hope that helps!
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      11-06-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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You will have to get the car back for inspection, I guess. We don’t have that problem in Maryland. Car is only inspected when registered and we are rural so no smog inspection.

If the car is still at your home you might be able to get the inspections before the car leaves. They might be good for several months.

Your profile doesn’t say where you are, but if the car must be inspected to be registered, you will need to bring it home. Yikes. I hope you aren’t on the west coast!
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      11-06-2019, 09:11 AM   #8
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They give out of state residents 60 days to register there vehicles in my state, You can can get a waiver if youíre in the military or a college student. I would take care of the inspections and get everything up to date and go from there.

My state requires a 1 time safety inspection and they do emissions testing every 2 years, You donít have to have anymore safety inspections as long as you own the car.

Last edited by charmer37; 11-06-2019 at 09:16 AM.. Reason: Rewrites
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      11-06-2019, 08:43 PM   #9
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I left my home state for 4 years without issue. Did not change my plates. Was pulled over three times during that period and it was never a big deal. I was a grad student at the time.

Just moved someplace else and thankfully non issues thus far.
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