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My car will be purchased in New York... but might be shipped out to join me in California shortly after - will I have any problem registering the Elise in California due to emission changes? If anyone can shed any light on this, it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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They will all have CA emissions. However, as long as your car has under 7500 miles on it, you'll pay through the nose for CA registration. However, if you hold off, and register at 7501 miles, it's a used car and exempt from that fee.

I'm buying mine in CA, but was tempted to do your route.

Barry
 

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I don't think that you'll have any problems, pretty sure that the engine they put in will be a '50 state' engine. Plus I think that the actual emissions requirements are the same in New York (when I registered my car here recently - after hauling it out from California - I was surprised to find "california emissions" referenced in the New York requirements).

I'm likely to be doing the opposite of you. I will be buying from a California dealer and then transporting the car to New York. While it's a hassle to go through the process, there shouldn't be anything you're required to change on the car.
 

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One more thing: if you bought the car recently (within 90 days, I think) when you bring it in to the state, you'll have to pay sales tax.
 

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MattG said:
One more thing: if you bought the car recently (within 90 days, I think) when you bring it in to the state, you'll have to pay sales tax.
I think it's just the "difference" in sales tax from what you paid at purchase. Right?
 

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my experience in purchasing a car in one state and registering in another is that i have only paid sales tax in the state of registration. and that has been a fortunate thing as the state of registration has had lower auto sales taxes than the state of purchase. and also of interest is the fact that i happen to have auto insurance from the state of purchase rather than in the state of registration. it has never been an issue on claims.
 

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ouch watch out for sales and use tax

If the car comes into CA within six months of purchase you will be dinged for use tax in CA. Depending on the city you live it may approach 9%. If you get dinged in NY as well you may not be a happy camper.

Nick - CPA MS in Taxation #42 in SF
 

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Unless CA is completely different, you pay sales tax once, in the state the car is registered in. You register a car in the state you live in. MattG and Nick: are you saying someone would pay sales tax to two states if they move to CA soon after buying a car? :huh:

Property tax (or use tax or exise tax) is not the same thing assales tax: it's an annual tax from either the state or in my case (CT) by the local township. usually based on the mill rate, mine's around 3%.

Paul
 

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Snowphun said:

Property tax (or use tax or exise tax) is not the same thing assales tax:
CA calls the fee you pay, in this case, a "use tax". It is the same exact rate as the sales tax would have been if you had purchased the car here. Since there was no "sale" here, they don't call it a sales tax, but it's the same thing. It is a one-time fee assessed when you register the car here for the first time.

When you register the car you will also pay a property tax based on the value of the car. The property tax is paid annually when you renew your registration. I am not aware of any case where you would have to pay sales tax twice. As others have said, check out the DMV web site, IIRC that spells everything out pretty well.
 

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I don't know about the NY to CA case, but the way 420HP explained it is how it worked when I bought my Subaru in CA and then moved to New York (having not registered it in CA, but only in New York), I paid sales tax in California, and then when I registered it in New York, because I was registering it as a "new" car (NY defined 'new' for registration purposes as 'never registered in any other state'), I did have to pay NY sales tax.

NY does give you a "credit" for any sales tax you can show you paid to the state of purchase. So in this case, I only had to pay a little extra (relatively speaking) to NY.

The total I paid was equal to the amount I would have paid if I had just bought the car in NY, but I paid most of that amount to CA.
 

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Snowphun said:
Unless CA is completely different, you pay sales tax once, in the state the car is registered in. You register a car in the state you live in. MattG and Nick: are you saying someone would pay sales tax to two states if they move to CA soon after buying a car? :huh:
Paul, I know it doesn't make much sense, but it's for that very reason that I suspect that's how it works here (this IS California, after all)! The intent, I believe, is to prevent Californians from buying a car in Oregon to avoid paying sales tax (or buying in another state with lower sales tax). I would expect our DMV to go to great lengths to ensure this doesn't happen. If things worked the way you suggest, here's one way someone could get around paying CA sales tax: "move" to Oregon and get a new license, with place of residence being a friend or family member's address. Buy a new car, register it in Oregon. "Move" back to California. I expect this whole process could be accomplished pretty quickly, maybe a matter of a week or two, with one, maybe two short trips to Oregon. Of course, maybe CA is more like NY as Cordolf described. I'd hope so, as that seems more fair.
 

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Good news - I'm wrong! CA does have some sensibility left in it after all:
Use Tax-This tax is similar to sales tax. It is collected at the same rate as your county of residence. It is due on all vehicles purchased in California and on those brought into this state within 90 days of purchase. Any sales taxes paid out-of-state will be considered when computing the use tax due this state. This fee is due for ownership transfer of recently purchased vehicles.
link to source
 

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If you already have an address in CA many states have reciprocity agreements for auto registration. For example I am very low on the Elise list at Star Motors in Houston from having lived there. I am now in Georgia. When I pick the car up they will basically do Georgia registration for me in Houston (it's a little more complicated than this) and so I won't pay Texas and Georgia taxes and registration.
I do know that New York and California share traffic violation data, when my wife went to get her drivers liscense in New York they told her not until she cleared up a moving violation she had in California!
 

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Actually you pay taxes in the state that you register your car in, not where it is purchased. The dealer can put you out on a T-tag which allows you to drive it to wherever you are going and gives you enough time to get it registered. When they do this you are not paying tax in either place, however as soon as you register it you will pay the tax as if you bought it there!

K
 

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kbs2575 said:
Actually you pay taxes in the state that you register your car in, not where it is purchased.
Exactly. I bought my WRX in New York, registered it in CT. Paid the sales tax to CT when I registered it (NY dealer supplied temp tags). CA could certainly be different (they're different with everything else ;) ), but if they're somehow pulling in a second "sales tax", that's a shady practice.

Paul
 
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