Can I Buy a Car Out of State?

Couple sitting at sales desk at dealership


You need a car, but you’ve searched every corner in the Sandy area and you can’t find a pre-owned model that you like or one at a price that is right. By chance, you came across the ideal car that just checks every single box on your list but it is stuck in a state outside of Utah. If you’re wondering “Can I buy a car out of state?” you absolutely can. The team at National Auto Plaza don’t blame you and agrees this is your best bet.

If anything, we would say buying a car out of state isn’t as confusing as you might think! Plus, when you have help from National Auto Plaza, an established used dealer with not one but two locations, you can be sure that the experience will be awfully similar to your previous car shopping experiences in Utah. Read on to find out more about what to expect when buying a car in another state!

Buying a Car Out of State: Registration

After taking your new-to-you car back to your home state, you will need to register it in Utah. This should be the first thing you do after buying a car in another state! All you’ll need is a few documents and a trip to a DMV near Draper, where you’ll do the following:

  1. Ask for a bill of sale that has the purchase price that you paid listed clearly. Then, locate your local DMV on a website like DMV Near Me.
  2. Before you head to your local DMV, make sure to have the following items with you:
    1. Bill of sale
    2. Completed application for vehicle transaction form
    3. Title of the vehicle signed by the previous owner
    4. Lienholders’ names and address
    5. Filled out odometer disclosure state for title transfer
    6. Tax Form RUT-50 Private Party Vehicle Tax Transaction
    7. Registration Fees
    8. Proof of insurance
    9. Proof of residency

Once you’re at the DMV, let the clerk know that you purchased the car out of state with the intent of titling and registering it at your address. Then, what will happen is as follows:

  1. The clerk will most likely return your bill of sale, but they will keep your UT title and ask that you pay the appropriate difference in sales tax between the state where you purchased the car and the state you’re registering the car in.
  2. Wait for a new title in your mailbox.

Buying a Car Out of State: Taxes & Fees

Asides from registering your car in Utah, you’ll also need to take care of the taxes and fees as another crucial part of buying a car out of state. You can expect to pay your local sales tax, the difference between UT and other states’ sales tax, and any applicable processing fees at a DMV location near Salt Lake City. If this isn’t your first time buying a car, this portion will feel familiar and it is! It will also run the same as when you bought a car within the state.

Learn More About Shopping a Used Car from National Auto Plaza

Now that we have tackled your question “Can I buy a car out of state?” we welcome any other questions you may have about buying a car in another state! Whether you decide to let either our National Auto Plaza or Sandy teams have one last try finding the right used model with our vehicle finder service or you decide it’s time to cast a wider net outside of Utah, we’re excited to be a part of your car hunting journey.


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