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Old 07-28-2008, 07:09 PM   #1
MaryAnnDVC
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Can an unlicensed driver register a car?

Mom is 85 and in assisted living in RI. She moved to RI from MA. She no longer drives (thank God) and no longer has a valid driver's license. She has kept her car tho (still has MA plates, but the registration expired ) so that my older sister, who lives in NYC, can use it when she's here; my sister doesn't own her own car, nor does she want one in NY.

We just realized tonight about the expired registration, so we haven't looked into it with phone calls yet, but DH and I were trying to figure out how to handle this. Yes, we should have dealt with all of this when Mom moved here in the first place, like one is legally supposed to. But we got sidetracked dealing with everything else about the move (including cleaning out her 10 room house and preparing it for sale...all ME)...excuses, excuses, I know.

Can my unlicensed mother keep the car in her name?

If not, can she transfer title/registration to my NYC sister, but with RI plates?? She can't, I'm assuming, register it in NY, since the car is here in RI 365 days a year.

There's NO WAY I'm putting this vehicle in our name...I'm not taking on that responsibility or liability. Mom wants the car to go to my brother (in NJ) when she dies, but I'm sure HE doesn't want it in his name now either, left in RI for my sister to drive.

I'll make some calls tomorrow, but I'm trying to get some possible options straight in my head.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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I work at the BMV in Indiana. In my state anyone can register a car as long as you insure the vehicle. With or Without a license but check with the local BMV/DMV. Also look on website it may a FAQ. Good Luck.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:29 PM   #3
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I know in PA you can. My mom never learned how to drive and "owned" every car in my parent's 51 years of marriage. Dad said it was so she could always choose to leave if she wanted

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Old 07-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #4
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Mare, I agree with some of the others. I don't think one needs to have a valid license - just proof of residency and proof of insurance, to register a vehicle.

Here's the RI DMV webpage (with links to the necessary forms) that tells you what you need to do to transfer a title. It does recommend starting with getting a RI driver's license, but I think that because in most cases the vehicle owner IS driving the vehicle. I can't find anywhere that says having a license is mandatory.

http://www.dmv.ri.gov/registration/out_state.php
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses.

Bet, I saw that about getting the RI license first, and I didn't understand if that was mandatory. One problem we may have (and we've got this problem with financial issues) is that my mother doesn't have a valid picture ID now at all. I'll have to look into getting her a state ID, but that involves taking her somewhere, and that's always a project. Oh well.

I can't help being a BIT aggravated that if it wasn't for a certain someone ("dear" sis ), I wouldn't have to deal with any of this...we just would've gotten rid of the car (and the in$urance) a long time ago.

I'll have to make some calls tomorrow and sort this all out.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MaryAnnDVC View Post
Thanks for the responses.

Bet, I saw that about getting the RI license first, and I didn't understand if that was mandatory. One problem we may have (and we've got this problem with financial issues) is that my mother doesn't have a valid picture ID now at all. I'll have to look into getting her a state ID, but that involves taking her somewhere, and that's always a project. Oh well.

I can't help being a BIT aggravated that if it wasn't for a certain someone ("dear" sis ), I wouldn't have to deal with any of this...we just would've gotten rid of the car (and the in$urance) a long time ago.

I'll have to make some calls tomorrow and sort this all out.
I hear ya, Mare. In a normal world, we wouldn't be dealing with this stuff - our siblings would do it, if they wanted the convenience of the car. But we're way past normal....

I don't know that she needs a valid id, though. Looks like she'll just need to have the application notarized. Do you have someone there who can do that, without needing a picture ID?
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:51 AM   #7
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One thing to consider is how much time your sister spends in RI when visiting.

In New York my mother decided that based on insurance and costs of operating it is less expensive for her to use a taxicab when not taking public transportation, or renting a car of needing it for a few days.

See what it would cost for insurance/registration/maintenance and compare it to the amount your sister would spend if she rented a car when visiting.

And then give it to your brother now (He can get it registered in NJ and drive it home afterwards).
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshire Figment View Post
One thing to consider is how much time your sister spends in RI when visiting.

In New York my mother decided that based on insurance and costs of operating it is less expensive for her to use a taxicab when not taking public transportation, or renting a car of needing it for a few days.

See what it would cost for insurance/registration/maintenance and compare it to the amount your sister would spend if she rented a car when visiting.
You know, that's a really really good point...in a normal situation. Unfortunately, we're talking about my sister. You have NO idea! Anything more complicated than having a car on hand for her to use would just be way too difficult for her to deal with (at 58!), and mom doesn't like to "upset" her. So, I'm thinking mom's going to keep the car, but I'm going to think about the situation with getting rid of it a little more. (I have another sister from Arizona who would also use the car, but only comes once a year or less.)
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:42 AM   #9
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Car - no license

In NY the license, registration and insurance must all match...DW is in the car biz.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyStory Fan View Post
In NY the license, registration and insurance must all match...DW is in the car biz.
So how to they register company cars in NY?

In Michigan I've never been asked to show a drivers license when registering a new car. Just proofs of ownership and insurance.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:45 AM   #11
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I believe there are states where you can't register a car without a valid drivers license. It's part of how they get people with suspended licenses (for tickets, child support, etc...) to finally pay their fines and stuff. I mean, no one notices much if you drive without a valid license, but once you aren't permitted to re-up the registration because your license is invalid, the cops will notice expired tags.

I agree with the previous poster.... I'd look into the price of rental cars. Some of the rental places would even drop the car at your mother's house the day sis gets there, so it isn't like it would be a lot of extra work for sis.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #12
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When I bought my car, I didn't have a license. My dbf was going to be the prime driver until I got my license. So, since the last names weren't even remotely alike, we put him on the title and registration stuff to avoid a bunch of issues. When we moved to another state, the woman at City Hall or wherever, looked at us like we had two heads when we said the car (2002) was paid off (2005). And, six years later... I still don't have my license.

Unless your sister is going to be there quite often, it'll probably be cheaper and easier to just rent a car.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:55 AM   #13
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My sister spends about 8 days a month with my mother at the assisted living facility...96 days a year. Yeah, I know. Don't ask. (Apparently, the doctor forgot to cut the umbilical cord 58 years ago. I think I'll sue.)
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