Change of Address on Vehicle Registration and Titles

By: Staff Writer June 16, 2012
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The whirl of disorganization follows every jump to a new address. Top priorities on your Things to Do list easily get sidetracked. Instead of notifying the utility company you spend hours deciding on where best to hang the framed motivational quote poster. Next thing you know you're sitting in the dark eating Pop-Tarts for dinner.

And on and on it goes.

Fortunately you have time to settle in and get your new life organized before you must notify your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office of your address change. How much time depends on your state. Vermont, for instance, allows 30 days, as does Virginia, while California demands notification within 10 days.

Updating your address eliminates the potential of your registration renewal notice, or any other DMV correspondence, from getting lost in the mail.

How to Update Your Address After Moving

All states make the process easy. Depending on your DMV, you may have all or some of the following notification options:

  • In person: Complete and submit your state's Change of Address form. You can either download it from the DMV's website, or grab one from any motor vehicle office. Submitting in person guarantees receiving an updated registration certificate before you leave.
  • Online: This option, if available in your state, is fast and easy. The online form provides full instructions.
  • Phone: Only a few states offer this option. After dialing, you'll be prompted by either an operator or recorded voice on how to enter your new address.
  • Mail: Send to the address listed on the address change form.

In most instances, the DMV will update all of your records, including your drivers license information, but it's always wise to confirm, rather than assume - especially if you live in a state with separate departments for licenses and vehicle registration.

New Title After Moving

This is only required for new out-of-state residents. If you move within state you generally do not have to apply for a new car title.

New Car Registration Certificate After Relocation

You must get an updated vehicle registration card if you're a new resident from out-of-state. In-state moves, however, are a different story, contingent on your DMV.

Colorado, for instance, requires all drivers to carry updated vehicle registration certificates, whereas Nevada's DMV makes it optional, allowing drivers to write their new addresses on the existing certificate.

Do you have any extra tips to offer folks who've just moved and need to change their addresses? Share with us in the comments below!

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