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Thread: Changing states

  1. #1

    Default Changing states

    Hi all new to the forum, have some great stories and trips however I must get some paper work sorted first before I get into the fun stuff. I am trying to get my head around where and how to register what, along with insurance.

    The Background.

    I am from New Zealand originally but was living and working in Vail Colorado. So I have an expired CO drivers licence and previous insurance with my last vehicle as it is only for the length of my work visa which is a 6 month period each time. I also have CO plates from my previous vehicle. At the moment I am currently in Vancouver BC, and am looking at going down to Seattle to purchase a car then use it for about 7 or 8 months in CO.

    So I need to know when I buy a Car in Washington, do I need to register it there or can I use my CO plates. I will be in CO in about a week after purcahsing a car. The only valid Driver license I have is a New Zealand one although this can be easily changed for a Canadian. but once I get back to CO I will then have a valid CO license. I want to know what I can do in the grey period between WA and CO. As for insurance I will ring my company on Monday and ask them about insurance I have a previous record and also a professional driver with many safety certificates.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I really think the questions you have are "above the pay grade" of this or any other internet forum.

    Because each state is a little different, you're really going to have to just spend a lot of time on the phone/websites with the DMV in CO and Washington.

    If Colorado is a state where "you" keep the plates when you change cars, and your old plates are still valid, its quite possible that you could simply put those plates on the car and go. However, some in some states the plate stays with the car, and I have no idea what CO's rules might be. Another option might be to get a transit permit of some sort from Washington St, however, again I have no idea what their specific rules might be.

    If your NZ license is still valid, then you should be able to drive on it in the US no problem, the place where you'll need a US license will really come up when you try to register the car - so I probably wouldn't worry about the license until you get to CO, but again, that's the kind of think you really should check with the DMV.

  3. #3


    Thanks for your reply, you help me get a clearer picture of the vague differences between each state. I will check with the DMV as to what is needed. Once I get to CO then I am fine so hopefully it is just a matter of restarting my insurance and should be good. thanks again

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