Hello, recently I visited my sisters who live in NY City.... funny thing was while driving through one neighborhood to a restaurant I noticed there were more Vermont plates on the cars than there were NY plates, I noticed because I happen to live in Vermont! I asked my sister who is also a NYC police officer, and she told me they all do it because Vermont insurance is cheaper than NYC insurance. She said they dont like that the folks do it but it is hard to prove and not much they can do about it. She said problem with out of state plates on NY residents vehicles is a lot of them do not keep insurance as not all other states require insurance to get plates so she said a lot of accidents they dont have insurance and then the NY resident with Insurance has to go thru their company for uninsured vehicle so it costs NY folks more for insurance in the end due to it.
Well, if you go to Vermont DMV website you will find that they specifically allow for non residents to register a vehicle here.
Help & FAQs | Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
Go about half way down the page to see it.
NY says you can too: (but they require NYS insurance to register... and their tax rate is higher) see it here, 2/3 down page.
NYS DMV - Vehicle Registration and Certificate of Title
Actually only a few states are specific about not allowing it.
South Dakota lets you do it without even going there apparently..
Your Car's License Plates
and rates are reasonable... tax is like 3% at purchase and annual fees are under 100..
Motor Vehicle Registration Information
and virginia... what is interesting and what would be the loophole some are looking so if you live in virginia.... virginia only makes you provide proof of having paid sales tax elsewhere if you owned your vehicle for less than a year... so if you bought your rig elsewhere where there was no sales tax due but owned it more than one year you could then register it there without worrying about sales tax... other states look back longer (i read vt is now 3 yrs... it used to be longer ... when i moved here they made me show proof for vehicles I had owned for 6 years already... good thing i saved all my reciepts! )
I was shocked to see virginia license fees are under ten bucks a year... WHAT?
Thing is if you would want to register in another state where the annual registration fee is cheaper than the annual fee or tax you pay now BUT you dont want to do so in a way that makes you a resident... most states say you are a resident (and then need to switch your license) if you work there long term without commuting from your home state and/ or if you claim to live there (full time) so to register as a non resident without having to switch your license, you would want to do so without claiming to live there. Most of what I read implies you should register your vehicle where it is primarily garaged/used.... or if you register it where you bought it or lived you should switch it when you move or 'return with it to your home state'. So registering AND storing it/using it, in another state is not illegal. Storing/primarily using it in your home state is.
I read the link someone posted above about Mass. investigating Montana plates in combination with LLCs registered in Montana... seems the big factor there was folks were evading the big sales tax of 15000 and more, which made it worthwhile for the state to do so. I figure many of those in Mass going out of their way to register in another state to avoid the annual taxes have already paid the sales tax when they bought their vehicle.... the LLC in Montana deal is definitely to avoid the sales tax. Problem is if you live across the country keeping it in Montana is not a real option.
When registering a vehicle here in Vt. you do not pay sales tax again As long as you show proof you already paid sales tax on your vehicle when you bought it..... you only pay the registration fees. (and it has to have been equal to or more than Vt sales tax rate is or you pay the difference... vt tax rate is 6.? something)
Now, I would imagine they figure nonresidents may want to have a vehicle here at a vacation home or relatives? I do not know the thinking behind it, but it is ok as far as they (Vt) are concerned... most likely they figure it is just money in for the state, so come on down!!! Of course you still need insurance, here in Vt you cannot get your vehicle inspected without showing proof of insurance. NY requires proof of insurance to even get your plates but here you only need it to get your inspection, go figure. So that's why there are a ton of folks out here with no inspection or insurance, but they got plates, LOL. If you say you are a resident here, you have to get a license here... so no need to do that since they allow non residents to register vehicles.
So one could register their vehicle here even though they live elsewhere. And they could keep their own states insurance but would need to inspect their vehicle here. I would imagine if one tried to get insurance here (as many NYC folks do) the insurance company may require you to have an address here and/or license here...may depend on your company. But, that too is probably not too difficult... many folks use po boxes these days. But insurance rates usually depend on where your vehicle is garaged/used the most.
If Mass. (or any other state) says you cant register a vehicle elsewhere unless you have ties to the registering state, well then I guess you must have ties then. They are saying you cant do it if it is ONLY/mainly to avoid taxes... and you cant do it if the vehicle is mainly used or stored in your home state... but if you use or store it elsewhere, then their argument does not hold up. If I lived near the border, I would consider storing my rv in vermont then... but paying to park it there instead of parking it in my own yard may eat up the tax savings...??? Maybe then i would need to make a friend in Vt, one with some land LOL. I know of some campgrounds here that charge almost nothing to park rvs on off season, and cheap in season too. So unless you needed/wanted to have your rv outside your door year round, if you lived a reasonable distance, you could register and park your rig here in vermont legally. The problem is when you park such a vehicle in your front yard with out of state plates... obviously.
From the article it seems Mass. DMV used Montana LLC records to track LLC folks with Mass. residences and then went to their home and took pictures of the RVs and cars with Montana plates right in their yard. Some folks with Montana LLCs and Mass. residency may actually have their Montana RVs and Cars parked in Montana as they may have land their or rent a spot or have family there. So if the Mass. DMV did not SEE their vehicles I guess they would not have been able to accuse them of not conforming to Mass. rules for registration. It seems like the rules don't say you cannot purchase or register vehicles elsewhere, they say you cant register a vehicle you - PRIMARILY USE IN MASS. - elsewhere. So if someone registers a vehicle elsewhere that they use elsewhere, what is the problem? Avoiding the original purchase sales tax is a different issue, but if you are not using the vehicle in your home state why should you pay an annual road tax there?
But I dont know how much that tax is so not sure if it is worth all the trouble. Here in Vermont if you park a camper in a campground spot year round (and it is not closed down for off season) technically you (or the campground) gets charged property taxes as it is considered a residence (at least last I heard from locals with year round campers it was so) I don't know if everyone complies with that, I guess it would be like tax on a mobile home on rented land, so the tax would depend on the value of your camper... but that applies to folks using the campers as second homes year round.
But since I live here in Vt and since I have room on my own land to park, I don't have to deal with it at the moment... but I do feel for those of you who do. Some people do move to other states when they don't like the rules/rates/taxes. Or of course you can fight to change the laws, rules, tax rates. But, if I had a large purchase where the sales tax was going to be 15k or more and the neighboring state had no sales tax and allows me to register and park my rig there without huge fees... and the location of my rig would be reasonable travel time, lets say 2 hrs or so to get to it... and I am enjoying my rig in the state I keep it in, it would be legal on that states part, and as long as i did not take possession of it in my own state or primarily use it in my own state then there are no (tax) laws broken. Vt tax law asks you on your tax return if you bought items in another location that you have/use in vermont that you did not pay tax on... key words being brought to / used in ... vermont . I think most states require the same, so when you buy stuff out of state and dont report it and remit tax in your state, and when you buy stuff on the internet and do not pay tax, well, you are probably breaking a tax law of some kind LOL. Someone mentioned that food is taxable but clothes are not (was it Mass?) I bet a lot of folks drive over the border to neighbor states to food shop... and those neighbors drive to Mass. to clothes shop. I think I remember years ago folks in NY used to go to PA to shop as clothes were not taxable. And there are folks that drive to NH to stock up on booze LOL. As a resident of Vt you are allowed to buy fireworks in PA that NY folks are not allowed to buy.. but probably you can not drive thru NY with them in your car, but to get to Vt, well.... so guess the point is some folks are going to find a way to get around the rules, whether fair or not, whether legal or not.
But I say, keep it legal... buy it and/or register it in a state that allows non residents to do so, and then keep it parked there (when not traveling) too... simple. OR .... tell no one, and hide it real good !! LOL :-)