Maintaining vehicle in another state

My wife and I live in Washington DC. We are in the process of buying a cabin in Virginia where we’ll spend 25-30% of our time. We plan on buying a car that we’ll keep at the cabin and rarely, if ever drive in DC. Under those circumstances, would we still register the car in DC? Anyone know who we would call with this question? Thanks.

Call the DMV.

Anecdotal story here, a friend has an RV registered in South Dakota but spends virtually all his time in other states. Has a residence in AZ, and lives with his fiancé in California as well.

Sent from my K92 using Tapatalk

IME most states care where the car is garaged. I’ve found states are usually happy to take your money to register the car. It’s proving that a car * shouldn’t* be registered that can be a pain. If you do bring it into DC and park it on the street, you might get hassled if it’s registered in VA, even if correct.

I’d register it in the state where you own the cabin. The car will be kept at the cabin.

You can save on insurance by notifying them it will be a low mileage car. We did that with my mom’s car. She puts less than 5 thousand miles on it a year. State Farm gives us a nice discount.

Was that car in the same state? I owned a cabin for a few years and put a truck out there. State Farm wouldn’t insure it at a much lower price in a different state. I had to have the truck registered in my home state of Maryland and insured there at a higher rate. My cabin was in West Virginia so the rates would have been a lot cheaper. Virginia could be different though.

I suspect the “legal” thing to do is register the vehicle in the state in which you have your “primary residence”. That is, register it where you have your driver’s license. It is not all that uncommon for people to have more than one residence, but usually only one is considered their “primary residence”.

If you cannot get lower insurance rates by keeping the vehicle garaged at a more rural location, you really need to talk to your insurance agent or consider getting a new insurance company. Ones that rarely deal with this situation may not recognize the lower risk, but there are plenty who do.

I second getting with the DMV. My two states are TX and CO, so still may be different than you. But I keep my jeep registered in TX, get the tags there, but since it’s in a hangar in CO, I explain to the DMV my situation, so they waive the inspection as long as it stays in CO. So at least I don’t have to drive it back to TX once a year to get that. They still collect their tax on the inspection sticker though, just add it to the registration.

I live in and register my car in Illinois, but drive in and park in Missouri regularly. It’s never been a problem.

Are you specifically talking about registering your car in a different location from your primary residence? Is this something police regularly look into? Or, how else might you get hassled?

I am specifically talking about DC, where while visiting friends before I moved there I got a note on my car saying that I would be ticketed and towed if they saw it again unless I jumped through a bunch of hoops to prove that it was properly registered in VA instead of DC.

Here we go:

And I’m a bad person for triple posting, but that link seems concerned about proving you aren’t a resident. If you *are *a resident, but occasionally bring the car back to DC, I don’t know what you do.

My mom only has one residence. State Farm offered her a cut rate because she’s a low mileage driver.

A vehicle kept at a vacation cabin would be similar. It’s only driven occasionally in the local area.

I’m not sure why insurance would care if it’s in another state. That has no relevance to the likelihood of the car being in an accident.

When I had a residence and car in two states, I registered each locally, and insured each locally. States have different insurance rules, so it made sense to me to do it this way. It took a bit of conversation with the insurance agent in state 2, but they figured it out.

That seems to be the purpose of the ROSA exemption far as I can tell. Apparently DC gives new residents 30 days to transfer their car registrations to DC. The second time within a 30 day period that they see your car with Virginia (for example) plates/registration during overnight hours, you receive a warning notice. You can then apply for the ROSA exemption if you frequently bring your vehicle into DC overnight but do not live in DC. From what I could tell, it didn’t seem to be that many hoops to jump through. But the link is indeed about proving you are not a DC resident- or more accurately, proving that you are a resident of Virginia regardless of whether or not you are a DC resident. Because you could actually have all of that proof of a Virginia residence while simultaneously having a DC residence.

It’s not so much an issue of a different state ( although different states do mandate different minimum levels of insurance) as it is a different location. I do not pay the same insurance rate in NYC as I would in some quiet little area upstate where I could drive for 40 minutes without seeing another car because I have a much higher chance of getting into an accident in NYC ( and car repairs are likely to more expensive her, as well)

Thanks for the comments. This would be a pickup truck left at the cabin in VA and never driven to DC. I know that police can hassle a car with out of state plates parked long term. The parking spot is visible from the road and if there is always a car with DC plates there, it might become an issue. I’ll contact VA dmv.

Wow. Took me all of fifteen seconds on the internet to come up with this pertinent set of FAQs from Virginia:

Military Frequently Asked Questions Specifically, you can register your vehicle in Virginia, even if it’s not your state of primary residence, but you have to title it in Virginia to do so.

My son, his wife, and his mother-in-law live in the Boston area and all three drive cars registered in Pennsylvania. The owner of record of all three cars is the auto dealership owned by his father-in-law. I should add that these are actually registered as owned by, not for sale by, the dealership. I still think that the arrangement is of dubious legality. That his MIL have such a car for life was part of her divorce settlement. That my son and DIL do is just generosity on the FIL’s part.

But is it required, or advisable to do so?