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Q

My daughter is getting a master's degree in California. I plan to have her use my car during her studies there. The car is registered and insured in Ohio. Is there any problem with this plan?


A

There may be a problem with the plan.

First, you have to make sure your Ohio car insurance company will extend coverage to your daughter while she borrows your car for use across the country in California.

Your insurer's guidelines may not allow them to cover the car since it will be driven and garaged in California for a majority of the year. They may say that you and your daughter will need to get a California car insurance policy to properly cover the vehicle.

Even if your Ohio insurer will cover the car in California, you may run into problems due to the rules of the state of California.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) states that any vehicle, including a vehicle registered to a nonresident owner who is based in California or primarily used on California highways must be registered in California.

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A vehicle is considered to be primarily used on California highways if it is located or operated in this state for a greater amount of time than it is located or operated in any other state during its registration period.

There are some exceptions to this rule. A nonresident student operating a nonresident vehicle that displays valid registration/plates in the student's home state is exempt from California registration normally.

If your daughter is under 23 years of age, is a dependent, pays nonresident tuition, and is unemployed, then she does not have to register the car in California under the nonresident student exemption.

But if she does not fulfill all of the eligibility requirements of being a nonresident student (for instance, if she is 24 and employed in California), she would not be exempt.

If that were the case, any vehicle operated by her must be registered in California and all the state's emission and registration requirements must be satisfied. Part of registering a car in California is showing proof of insurance from a California car insurance company that will electronically report your insurance information to the DMV.

Since there are so many variables involved, we would recommend you contact the California DMV to find out if she must register the car while attending graduate school there.

Whether you end up needing insurance in Ohio or California, CarInsurance.com can help you find affordable auto insurance. We offer instant car insurance quotes from multiple car company companies and the ability to purchase from one place.


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