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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just over exactly one year ago, I moved to Houston. My car (just my Escort at the time) was titled under my grandfather and was under his insurance (technically, as the state was concerned, it was his car). Eventually, since I was making pretty decent money at the time, I signed the title over to myself to register and insure under my own name here in Texas. I have dual residency, both in New York and Texas.

Fast forward a few months and I get my GTI. Getting it registered and insured obviously was much easier now that I had everything in my own name. For the record, I'm going on 20, with a spotless record. Not so much as even a parking ticket.


Things hit the fan back in April and I lost my job. Made me realize that paying ~$225/mo for insurance is my most expensive expense by far.


So, here's the punchline. I'm thinking about sending the titles of my cars back up to him (with a bill of sale as a "gift") for him to title and insure the cars in his name. That would mean that I get New York plates once more, and much cheaper insurance (with the cars in his name, and my as an alternate driver, it's roughly $150/mo to have me and my cars). With my name on the insurance policy, and the cars registered under his name (I still have a New York license), am I breaking any laws? Technically, the cars are owned by him. It's his cars, and since my New York address is the same as his, as I'm dual-resident, I'm not lying by saying that I live with him.


As far as I know, as far as the state(s) know I'm driving my grandfather's cars with his permission and with valid insurance on his policy. Right? :thumbup: :beer:
 

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Car insurance is designed to protect the principal operator from losses as a result of a motor vehicle accident. To pay for such a protection, the fee is determined based on where the principal operator reside, and the level of risks associated with said 'P.O.' The insurance is essentially a contract to protect the P.O. for losses, and the P.O. has to pay the premiums on time.

When you secretly operate the vehicle as the P.O. without notifying the insurance carrier, they have every right to deny a valid insurance (contract) was in place should you become involved in a motor vehicle accident. You will be responsible for all losses incurred.

In essence, you will be paying for an insurance policy that is not valid, and may not protect you when you need it the most.

TLDR; no, don't be a cheapskate.. purchase a policy in your name with a higher deductible, or trade in your car for one that is dirtcheap to insure
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Car insurance is designed to protect the principal operator from losses as a result of a motor vehicle accident. To pay for such a protection, the fee is determined based on where the principal operator reside, and the level of risks associated with said 'P.O.' The insurance is essentially a contract to protect the P.O. for losses, and the P.O. has to pay the premiums on time.

When you secretly operate the vehicle as the P.O. without notifying the insurance carrier, they have every right to deny a valid insurance (contract) was in place should you become involved in a motor vehicle accident. You will be responsible for all losses incurred.

In essence, you will be paying for an insurance policy that is not valid, and may not protect you when you need it the most.

TLDR; no, don't be a cheapskate.. purchase a policy in your name with a higher deductible, or trade in your car for one that is dirtcheap to insure
Ah, I see, thanks for clearing that up :thumbup:.


Thing is, my cars are actually pretty damned cheap to insure, it's just the fact that I have a penis and am under 25 years of age that is causing me to get raped by insurance premiums :(.
 

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Car insurance is designed to protect the principal operator from losses as a result of a motor vehicle accident. To pay for such a protection, the fee is determined based on where the principal operator reside, and the level of risks associated with said 'P.O.' The insurance is essentially a contract to protect the P.O. for losses, and the P.O. has to pay the premiums on time.

When you secretly operate the vehicle as the P.O. without notifying the insurance carrier, they have every right to deny a valid insurance (contract) was in place should you become involved in a motor vehicle accident. You will be responsible for all losses incurred.

In essence, you will be paying for an insurance policy that is not valid, and may not protect you when you need it the most.

TLDR; no, don't be a cheapskate.. purchase a policy in your name with a higher deductible, or trade in your car for one that is dirtcheap to insure
Yeah, with family that's not going to happen. My insurance technically thinks my car is still 'garaged' at my old college address because, in the middle of rural Ohio, I save about $1000 a year than having to claim I garage it at my current address in Cleveland.

This is similar and, if the worst ever did happen, all your grandpa has to say is that you were borrowing 'his' car ... his insurance will cover it as long as you weren't specifically excluded. It's the same as letting a friend borrow your car for a day except it's not a day, it's half permanent, lol.
 

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Many states also require that you change your registration if you reside for more than 30 days. I can't imagine it's enforced or how one would really go about enforcing it, but just putting it out there.

We own property in the Lakes Region of NH, and all the cars used to have NH registration and plates, despite living in MA. We gave that up years ago because even though it's technically legal, it was getting awfully sketchy. MA registration, insurance and inspection are actually considerably less expensive, which surprised me.

[The Financial Lounge]Perhaps it's time to consolidate to one car? If you're out of work and trying to trim expenses, it's going to be low hanging fruit, despite the fact that it sucks. [/The Financial Lounge]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, with family that's not going to happen. My insurance technically thinks my car is still 'garaged' at my old college address because, in the middle of rural Ohio, I save about $1000 a year than having to claim I garage it at my current address in Cleveland.

This is similar and, if the worst ever did happen, all your grandpa has to say is that you were borrowing 'his' car ... his insurance will cover it as long as you weren't specifically excluded. It's the same as letting a friend borrow your car for a day except it's not a day, it's half permanent, lol.
Yeah, exactly what is going through my mind.

Many states also require that you change your registration if you reside for more than 30 days. I can't imagine it's enforced or how one would really go about enforcing it, but just putting it out there.

We own property in the Lakes Region of NH, and all the cars used to have NH registration and plates, despite living in MA. We gave that up years ago because even though it's technically legal, it was getting awfully sketchy. MA registration, insurance and inspection are actually considerably less expensive, which surprised me.

[The Financial Lounge]Perhaps it's time to consolidate to one car? If you're out of work and trying to trim expenses, it's going to be low hanging fruit, despite the fact that it sucks. [/The Financial Lounge]

I see the point in having residents change their registration after living here for 30 days... if you're a permanent resident, which I am not. Do they expect me to register (not renew, mind you - actually go to DMV and register the cars as if I had just purchased them...) over, and over, and over again every 6 months because I've stayed in New York for 3 months here, Texas for 5 months there, New York for 8 months, etc? :screwy:
 

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Yeah, exactly what is going through my mind.




I see the point in having residents change their registration after living here for 30 days... if you're a permanent resident, which I am not. Do they expect me to register (not renew, mind you - actually go to DMV and register the cars as if I had just purchased them...) over, and over, and over again every 6 months because I've stayed in New York for 3 months here, Texas for 5 months there, New York for 8 months, etc? :screwy:
In CA, it's 20 days within first entry into the state (with some exceptions for military personnel). The cops love giving out tickets based on this.
 

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I see the point in having residents change their registration after living here for 30 days... if you're a permanent resident, which I am not. Do they expect me to register (not renew, mind you - actually go to DMV and register the cars as if I had just purchased them...) over, and over, and over again every 6 months because I've stayed in New York for 3 months here, Texas for 5 months there, New York for 8 months, etc? :screwy:
Are you paying rent on a residence in Texas? Do you have utility bills in your name in Texas? If so, you are a resident of Texas.
 

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In CA, it's 20 days within first entry into the state (with some exceptions for military personnel). The cops love giving out tickets based on this.


Ha. Easy, in California, if stopped by LEO, never admit to the car being in California more than several days. Works really well on the highway, not so well with the neighborhood cops at the local 7-11.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Are you paying rent on a residence in Texas? Do you have utility bills in your name in Texas? If so, you are a resident of Texas.
I don't have anything in my name here, it's all under the mother-in-law's name as it's her house, we're just renting it out from her. I have bills in my name back home in New York though, and still have a residence address in New York. Which brings me back to the question: If I'm technically/legally a resident of both states, what state has precedent?
 

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Technically you can't be a resident of two states. You can live in two states but you have to declare one as your home - that's where you file taxes, register to vote, et al.

Did you file a NY income tax return? If not, then you are a resident of Texas.

I know that you are trying to avoid the high insurance cost in Texas. But registering your car in NY under someone else's name while you drive it in Texas is unethical in my eyes.
 

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I'd shop the insurance. I personally saved nearly 50% on my bill by changing companies. Don't know if Liberty Mutual is in Texas but if it is, check them out.
 

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I knew of someone who lived and worked in downtown Boston but her residence was still listed as her parents house a few hours outside of Boston. Her car got stolen. Her insurance company questions where she was living. They investigate and confirm that she worked and lived in a different place than what was listed on her policy. They refused to pay out on the policy.

Granted this was a long time ago but insurance companies will look for any reason NOT to pay out on a policy.
 

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I know that local cops have fined people who have vehicles registered in other counties- based on driver's license residency versus plates.
But they do it to avoid playing wheel taxes, not for insurance fraud reasons.
 
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