Submitted by a-sillylittlegoose t3_126w7x5 in Connecticut

hello everyone! im going to be moving from california to connecticut by the end of may. i’ve already signed a lease for my new apartment and have a couple jobs lined up.

i will be bringing my car with me from ca, i have some questions about registering my vehicle, getting new tags, new insurance, & license.

i know ct is one of the states with 183 day rule. but if im already going to be living and working as soon as i moved, will i be able to become a resident right away? if so does that mean as soon as i move in on June 1st, I have 30 days to get my new ct license & 60 days to register my car?

if anyone has any resources or recommendations that would be GREATLY appreciated. this is my first time moving out of state as a ca native! :-) thank you!



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fadinglucidity t1_jebed1n wrote

Hey 👋🏻 did the move from LA in October to CT. They aren’t strict here. There’s a lot of out of state plates I have noticed. I wanted to get mine done right away. So it was finalized at the end of November. DMV is all appointment based just a heads up. Take a picture of your CA license for memories since they take it from you at the DMV appointment. You are going to be shocked how much cheaper car insurance is here. Insane. Shop around def still.

You will need to get your car smog inspected prior to the registration. Let me if you know need anything. I can help out with anything! Congrats on the move.


tongue2tied t1_jec8a2i wrote

I moved from LA in June of last year as well. This is a great summary.

One thing to note on costs of owning a car in CT versus CA is the ‘car tax’. You essentially owe property tax on your vehicle, with the rate depending on what town you live at. The town will bill you by mail, but on a new-ish car it could be up to $2k/year. It’s offset a bit by the fact that registration is significant cheaper and valid for 3 years at a time here.


fadinglucidity t1_jecgs39 wrote

Yes I’m waiting for my bill from my town. Should be coming this summer I heard.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebfrsu wrote

rip california license 🙏🏻

i’ve already taken a look at estimates and my jaw is on the floor haha

for the smog inspection is that something i can do here in CA? or would i have to get that done in CT?

appreciate your help from one californian to another :)


mbard16 t1_jebhash wrote

You have to get it done in CT, and just to avoid confusion, it's actually called emissions testing (smog isn't really a thing here). You can find a place that does it here:

It's actually really simple, you don't need an appointment, and it's usually pretty quick. I just had to get mine done and it was literally less than 15 minutes.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebjudq wrote

sweet, thank you for that :)


Misty1988 t1_jebxhmt wrote

Just make sure to bring cash. They only accept cash for emissions testing. It’s $20-30 (can’t recall the exact cost, but def less expensive than smog testing in CA)


whateverusayboi t1_jeby7tl wrote

$20...went twice last week.


Misty1988 t1_jechjw1 wrote

What a steal! You can’t get anything for $20 these days lol


NoMojoNoMo t1_jed4lq2 wrote

I went twice this week. Didn’t know they got rid of the late fees


Masty1985 t1_jee0psi wrote

In a world where you can't buy food with cash at the XL(state owned), you wonder where all the cash really goes? 🤔


upandb t1_jeef30d wrote

> They only accept cash for emissions testing

Wait, is that true? I'm almost positive the last time I went to emissions I just used my regular credit card...


Misty1988 t1_jeefsoe wrote

Just looked it up. They can accept other forms of payment, but they’re not required to. Every place I’ve gone to has been strictly cash only for emissions.


upandb t1_jeeh4rs wrote

Ah gotcha. I've always gone to the same place so I guess that's why I never noticed haha


Misty1988 t1_jef3yu6 wrote

Which place is this? I should start going there lol


Athrynne t1_jec5n7c wrote

It's also called emissions testing in California, "getting your car smogged" is just a turn of phrase.


I_Know_What_Happened t1_jec0f9d wrote

I moved from CA to CT. They aren’t strict on registering the car. But you need your title for the dmv. Which the CA dmv has and it took mine like 5 months to get sent over. But again ct doesn’t care you can do your license first. As for smog. Till they send your title over if you need to renew registration on your car in CA you can use a 3rd party online site. They charge for it but they will send your sticker to CT. Smog is waived in that case. You will need to do an emission test here prior to registering.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jec0vie wrote

My CA tags are due beginning of May before I move so luckily, I’ll be good on that. I just bought my car a year ago so I’ve spoken to my lender about my move so hopefully my title won’t take super long to get there. But thank you for the heads up :)


Calm-Ad8987 t1_jed22ch wrote

You don't need emissions if it's a new car but you DO need to go to any emissions place for a "VIN verification" it's $10 cash & they do nothing. But my fiance didn't have his and the dude was chill at the DMV also didn't have the like 2 pieces of mail you need (from different sources within the past 90 or 30 or something days to a CT address) & again dude was chill. Appointment system was easy breezy imo compared to the state I moved from (WA.)

The whole getting the lender to send the actual hard copy of the title was a pain in the ass in my case, chase sent a copy which is no good, then sent it to my sister in laws address (in another state, no idea how they even knew that??) but again DMV was chill & let me get plates & register & all just said i get a temporary until it officially went through when they finally got it all in order.

Calling the DMV phone line is hell, takes forever, but the people were nice after waiting 3 years on hold.

You need to switch over insurance before going to the DMV & have printed copy of insurance card. Uhh what's good for 3 years which is an odd number to remember tbh.

Car tax depends on mill rate & adjusted car value. Lots of people never register their plates in the correct state in the northeast which is wild. Certain areas you do pay a lot for insurance (like Bridgeport.)

They just said "turn to your right" & took the picture with no warning so my pic is hilariously bad so be ready!


I_Know_What_Happened t1_jec1415 wrote

The lender doesn’t have your title. They send it to the dmv they do have a copy. I would begin that process as soon as you move. I thought my bank would have it and they were like oh no we don’t have it CA takes it you have to call them.


Rustygaff t1_jecc0xv wrote

In CT, the lender gets the title and holds it until the lien is cleared. After the loan is paid off, they mail it to you.


mkt853 t1_jebiffk wrote

You could always just tell DMV you lost your California license. They can't take from you what you don't have. I assume they can just look you up to ensure you have a valid license in California before issuing you a Connecticut one.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebk1k2 wrote

that is true… luckily i have my passport so IF they did take my license i could still buy alcohol haha

but kinda stupid of them to take my CA license since they typically mail out new licenses…


BearLindsay t1_jebvg6e wrote

They give you a printed piece of paper that says "valid identification" on it. They just centralized the actual card production so they mail it out now.


1234nameuser t1_jebo5di wrote

Has to be done in CT. No rush, cops don't do traffic patrol and there's a property tax on it in CT.


tookerken t1_jecc8je wrote

You could always just say that you lost your license if you don't want to turn it in. That way you get to keep it. I'm the opposite of you I move from Connecticut to California I moved back in 2001. I still have my old CT ID.


gangsterkathryn t1_jee14g2 wrote

Depending on the age of your vehicle, you may only need VIN Verification ($10). 4 years old or newer - I just registered my 2021 vehicle yesterday. I also didn’t need any emissions or VIN verification for a 1998 and a 1992. Book your appointment at DMV as soon as you have a date to move because appointments are two months or so out for new residents. I’ve been here since August but I just did my registration because I kept having to reschedule when I got to the day.

Also, I moved from Florida and I love it here, so I hope you enjoy it, as well!


squeedle t1_jecsbiv wrote

I've been here 25+ years but my mom and step dad moved here last year. They have loved it here in CT so far, snow and all. Everytime there is a tax/ fee etc they always marvel how much cheaper it is here than CA.


darkbeer8 t1_jeckvgg wrote

Do you not have an option for them to just punch "void" in your old license? Hoping that's the case.

Also is the emissions test good for 30 days or so?


jaywillct t1_jefe70d wrote

We call it an emissions inspection here. The East Coast is in denial that smog is a thing.


DJ_DD t1_jebib99 wrote

I have nothing to answer your questions with but I will say welcome to CT and once you get here do yourself a favor and check out New Haven to try some real pizza.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebkfii wrote

lucky for me i’ll be close to that area.. definitely going to be missing the mexican food in california though </3


CatsNSquirrels t1_jec06it wrote

We came here from Texas. We’ve found plenty of delicious Latin food in CT. There is a sizable Hispanic population here.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jec0hp0 wrote

please feel free to drop some recommendations 🙏🏻


CatsNSquirrels t1_jec1g0l wrote

Our very favorite place is Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk. We just moved to the New Haven area from Stamford so are still trying places here. There seem to be some promising spots in West Haven (we plan to try a spot called Chiquita Queen) and there are also a ton of food trucks in New Haven along the coast (called Food Truck Paradise) that we haven’t tried yet. We have also really liked Don Rene taqueria in Milford. In Stamford, Cantina Mexicana and Cinco de Mayo were our favs for tacos.


chrisct625 t1_jec5asd wrote

Lots of Mexican food trucks along Long Wharf in New Haven. Never tried them(not a fan of Mexican food), but they are always busy around lunchtime.


Gettygetty t1_jecu603 wrote

I’m originally from California and I lived in Connecticut for a few years so I know how you feel! But if you’re ever in Willimantic there is a great Mexican restaurant called Taqueria Cordoba and their food is amazing! I’ve only had a few of their dishes but the salsa and chips are amazing. Plus they have horchata too!


Chemical_Ad7629 t1_jefm2re wrote

Nearly all kitchens in CT have Mexican workers, you will find Mexican food no problem.


ihavecancer_lol t1_jecwkfd wrote

once you have a ct plate most speed limits are optional


Betorah t1_jecy2qr wrote

I must admit that I reached for the laugh emoji button in response to this, only to realize this wasn’t FB.


dwightkschrute625 t1_jeep471 wrote

😂😂 it’s so true, I feel like every time I see a car pulled over for speeding it’s an out of stater


dmk1320 t1_jebxfx7 wrote

Welcome to CT! Hope you enjoy the state and all that New England magic as the seasons change! 😁


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebxva8 wrote

omg you have no idea how excited i am to actually experience SEASONS, california has summer & colder summer lol


DejaEntendu203 t1_jeckx6j wrote

we didn’t really have too many seasons this year lol. Next year should be better tho. But welcome to CT I hope you enjoy it here.


Own-Tomato4335 t1_jed0e52 wrote

Oh boy you’re gonna experience the seasons and their demons here haha! But we def have 4 seasons. It’s beautiful here


Chemical_Ad7629 t1_jefmdk4 wrote

Also, if you’re a wine or beer drinker, CT has “wine trail passports” for local wineries and breweries that you can get. It helps try new things in the area and you can get little stamps in the passport. Kind of fun, I thought.


HubcapMotors t1_jebjbie wrote

Something I'll just add about the DMV experience is that as others have said, it's by appointment. But when you go to book an appointment online, the availability could look pretty bleak depending on the DMV you picked and what you selected as your reason for the appointment.

If that's the case, just pick the soonest appointment and check back on a daily basis. I've had instances where I had to book 30 days out and then checked the next day only to find they'd opened up a bunch of time slots 7 days out.

Make sure your appointment is only for the kind of service you're needing. Don't select a different reason for the appointment in hopes of getting a better time slot.


Betorah t1_jecxusb wrote

And just do you know, after this initial change from a CA to a CT license, much of your future DMV business can be done online or, if you’re a member, at AAA. Welcome to CT from this native Nutmegger.


Boring_Garbage3476 t1_jebl56q wrote

I'll add to this. Pick an early morning time slot. The later you get in the day, the more likely it is that they will be running late.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebklku wrote

Gotcha, thanks for the heads up! I’ll definitely look at getting appointments once it gets closer to my move date.

(Edit: spelling)


CTMQ_ t1_jecuesu wrote

Be prepared to face endless CT whiners who will absolutely refuse to believe there is anywhere on earth more expensive than here. Oh, and those same myopic misanthropes also believe CT traffic is the worst in the world.

You’re in for a lot of head shaking and disbelieving chuckling.

But welcome. It’s pretty good here.


Masty1985 t1_jedt0xp wrote

Well we are top 10 most expensive, so quit your whining about whining. It is more expensive compared to 40+ other states. And it's tiny. Traffic is what it is, never really hear people bitch about that, the driving, yes. The best thing about living here is the weather. If you're like me , middle class rural small business owner, we're pretty much just ghosts. People from outside of New England don't even really think normal middle class people live here. You mention you're from CT, they're like damn, you must be loaded.

We're known for very wealthy people who work in and vacation from NYC, giant mega insurance corps, elite private prep schools and Yale, and women's college hoops. So since none of that rich people stuff applies to me personally or most of us normal people, I stand by my statement, best part is the weather. I've been here my whole life ,47 years, so it's a solid observation. Fact is more people are still moving out, typically to NC and FL, than moving in. Which is a product of the high cost of living.


CTMQ_ t1_jee1u83 wrote

yes to all of that. But my point still stands and I see it here all the time - CT residents who are unaware of things like cost of living in OP's current home. That other states have higher fees and taxes on certain things. That traffic is indeed way worse in SoCal and Atlanta and elsewhere.

That was my point. Not that CT is some easily affordable utopia.

Kind of like how parts of Florida are no longer an easily affordable utopia anymore either and those who moved there 10 years ago are now eating shit when they get their homeowners insurance premiums.


Masty1985 t1_jee590k wrote

I hear ya. But I'm pretty sure every person here is aware California and New York City are more expensive. That just seems like common knowledge.

And yes to FL, the rich parts anyway. Central Florida is still pretty affordable though.


CTMQ_ t1_jee6y9g wrote

To your first point… you’d be surprised. My original comment wasn’t completely stupid, I swear!


mbard16 t1_jebbb3o wrote

You actually have 90 days after you move to transfer both your license and your registration. You'll need to gather some documents and make an appointment at a full service DMV, but you can do both at the same time.

Here's the info you need about transferring your license:

Here's the info for transferring your vehicle registration:


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebc2rj wrote

Thank you so much, I’ll take a look at those. :)


mbard16 t1_jebe7q3 wrote

You're welcome and good luck! CT really is a nice place to live, hope everything works out for you.


nylaras t1_jebar5x wrote

I don't think they are real strict with the 30 and 60 days rule. I just moved here in August and it took forever to get appointments at the DMV and when I went the first time I couldn't get either done due to paperwork issues. I think it was about 3 months when I got everything sorted out. Just make sure you have all your documents and it's a pretty easy process.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebbyfl wrote

Thank you. I’ll have all those documents with me. I’m just worried about getting pulled over with CA tags & plates and having officers question me for it


Major_Batty t1_jebd26k wrote

I wouldn’t worry about that. We see out of state plates all the time. Hell, the Staties are barely cracking down on people who dodge taxes by registering their cars in ME, while thier primary residence is still in CT.

Obligatory welcome to CT, I hope your move goes smoothly :)

Edit: spelling


mkt853 t1_jebj2sk wrote

Do you think only vehicles with Connecticut license plates are allowed to drive on Connecticut roads?


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebkahj wrote

LOL not exactly, but if i got pulled over for a regular traffic stop they’d probably wonder why i have CA plates when I live full time in CT


Oldsmokyvet t1_jec8t5d wrote

Ct dot website has everything you need to know. There is also great pizza all over CT, not just New Haven.


ChodyMcChoderson t1_jebapfb wrote

If you don’t mind me asking, why are you moving out of CA? I ask because I’m looking to move out there


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebbpap wrote

well im not sure if you know how much rent is over here but it’s insane, all of the good job opportunities in my field within CA are based either in the Bay Area or LA. I would be working just to pay rent and in my opinion neither of those areas are worth working to paycheck to paycheck for. in CT i can live comfortably and still afford to save money for the future and travel like I want to. I love california, but the real estate market has become too expensive for myself and other natives.


paulabear203 t1_jebvtnj wrote

Welcome to CT! I'm a CT native but moved out west for 20 years (Phoenix and then Austin) and returned back here 9 years ago - so glad to be back.


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jebwi2y wrote

thank you :) super excited for something new!


Masty1985 t1_jedtafz wrote

Ever consider NC? You think it's cheap here(it's one of the top 10 most expensive states) look up NC. You'll be floored.


mkt853 t1_jeenpua wrote

Median income in NC is also $30k, so if you don't mind a 25% pay cut I'm sure it's awesome.


Masty1985 t1_jeep63l wrote

So the tax rates are identical to here? Every single one of them? And average home sale? types of jobs are the same? Everything is the same as here but you make less money? You do realize the median incomes up here are skewed because of the millionaires/billionaires near NYC and the coast?


mkt853 t1_jeerr2f wrote

NC has a similar income tax as we do. If you make $100k in NC you'll pay $4,750 in state income tax. In CT you'd pay $4,780. In NC you will likely pay higher sales tax up to 7% depending on where you shop. NC also has an annual car property tax like we do. NC also has a driving tax a.k.a. tolls while CT has none (for now). You'll likely save big on property tax on your home, though give some of those savings back in insurance costs. On a net basis you're probably coming out ahead in terms of overall effective tax rate, but on paper it doesn't seem worth taking a haircut on income just to save a little on the tax side. I'd much rather start with the biggest pile of money I can get my hands on, and then figure out how to reduce the tax liability as much as possible. Also we use median incomes to avoid having it skewed by millionaires/billionaires. It's not an average, it's the median.


Masty1985 t1_jeeuicu wrote

Good point. NC has been pretty much taken over by people from the northeast so it's going this direction, high taxes. Now compare with Tennessee and New Mexico.


zoidberg3000 t1_jefnj33 wrote

Not OP but we are from CA and planning to move to CT in the next 2 years. COL is the main thing and having more space is the other.

I grew up in rural NorCal and loved having space but there are no jobs for my wife or I up there and my little town has a huge meth problem now and is a little bit rundown and sad.

The schools in our area are all 2-3s unless they are private schools that cost 15-30k a year. We make quite a bit combined but our COL is so high that we aren't saving as much as we used to before COVID. It has been rough.

We also have summers of up to 120 here so that sucks, starts in April and goes through Sept/Oct being in the high 80s. It is 76 here today and will be hitting 80s next week.

Edit: Housing is crazy now, when we first moved to this place I was renting a 2 bed apt for 1350 now that same exact one was listed for 3200 last week.

We are also LGBTQ so need a state that is safe for our family.


jmlrjtm t1_jebybou wrote

Hi! Just moved here a few months ago from NJ. My understanding was I had three months to get the new license, updated insurance and registration. This link was helpful for me!


SonicBoom6 t1_jecb0uq wrote

Knowing CA plate attach with the car and not the person. You can keep the plate. Cuz when you register the car in CA it's the same plate number again.

The driver license in my wife case. She maintained the CA license but have the address on the license change from CA DMV website. If you do the address change here in CT DMV they will give you a sticker for the current license. The driver license in my case I was near renewal so I kept the CA license and change me address and mailing address. Still good

If you do not register the vehicle in a certain amount of time you will eventually get in trouble when caught. You park it on the street, CT will soon get around to tax dodger who have their car in the state for more than half the year but pay vehicle tax and registration outside. That tax you owe gonna look ugly.

Here smog test is emission test. There is no plate or window sticker.


yeetsucc69 t1_jecff0w wrote

I had an out of state license and plates for 2 years… don’t stress it too much


Skinsfan_IN_CT t1_jeevjvh wrote

Welcome to CT, I grew up in DC, lived in the San Diego area for 3 years, Southern California weather is the best in the country!


saqmuel15643 t1_jec76d3 wrote

Im going to be honest here, ive loved in CT from MA for like 3 years, and 2 of my 3 cars are still registered in MA. Dont worry too much on it.


Masty1985 t1_jee9s3j wrote

Being a neighboring state they probably have a harder time determining. But the cold hard facts are you are intentionally screwing over the town you live in. Why would you rather send your tax money to a town in MA you no longer live in?


LordConnecticut t1_jefu0xd wrote

I wouldn’t recommend continuing this. Think of it this way, town/state aside, you’re essentially committing fraud against your auto insurer. If you ever have to make a claim, say someone rear-ends you tomorrow, they will instantly find out and will deny you coverage. Then, of course you’ll face the double whammy because this will cause the state to find out as well.


rosietoesie t1_jeccdrp wrote

Welcome!! What town / area are you moving to?


a-sillylittlegoose OP t1_jecj0x3 wrote

New Haven!


daybeers t1_jed3ut9 wrote

hell yeah! welcome!! check out r/newhaven and lmk if you have questions!


rosietoesie t1_jecjbog wrote

Best of luck!! I feel like a lot of folks on this subreddit live in the New Haven area so you’ll have good resources for questions.


dwightkschrute625 t1_jeeq94m wrote

Independent brewery scene is nice too, a ton of options if that’s something you’re into. There’s a bunch of places right in the water or so others that are essentially your backyard (the vibe) on steroids. It’s all depending on where ya go/who you talk to


Hopeful_Chard_8346 t1_jee95o7 wrote

Can anyone tell me why they left California to move to Connecticut? I'll tell you my story if you tell me yours!


FireyToots t1_jeefhsz wrote

we moved to ct like mid height of the pandemic so i am not sure we have the right frame here... we did it when we got the time and the money together. no one gave us shit.


P45t3LPUnK t1_jeejq8d wrote

Don’t move here. It’s terrible


Complex-Direction-17 t1_jeengj4 wrote

I grew up in CT up until I went off to the military. 17. So, apparently there's been a bunch of changes since then. I am 30 now and can't wait to get back to CT. I've been nomadically living all over the US. Experiencing all different facets of life. But, one thing I do sure miss though are the fried green tomatoes and mystic pizza. Before Connecticut became a tourists state. All the real OGa back from the 70s to early 90s either moved away, got a family going or passed away.

I will say though so far as getting your ID and car registered. If you plan on living anywhere longer than 3 months to a year. It's always good practice to reassign yourself to that specific location. Although! Be warned if you do register your car in Connecticut there will be a monthly registration fee in order to hold a Connecticut license plate, custom or not. (Which in my opinion is such a scam but makes sense to keep revenue going especially in the south eastern coast.

Anyways, in my eyes to preserve the history of Connecticut. Industrialization is closely and highly imbedded in military culture, college students and small businesses. The great trick like anywhere is to network among friends and family. Always keeping your circle small and reach out to your neighbors Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey from time to time. You'll thank me later. (New York, low key is a rat race trap just saying)

So far as answering your question...location...location...location is everything. In my opinion sticking close to the shore is the best in my opinion. Especially if you like the slower and upper middle class economy. OR move to west haven and try some delicious slice of heaven living off the high way and barely make it by. It's your choice. OR move to a place like OXFORD and literally be in the middle of no where...where all the rich people live.


rabbitholerandy t1_jeex80v wrote

How long to do plan on being in ct? I’d avoid switching license and all that if it’s just for a year or 2. That’s just me personally.


joeaguy t1_jeftaob wrote

A word of warning. The state can be pretty lax about registering an out of state car, but the towns are a different matter. Many of them ride around with license plate scanners. If they notice the same out of state plates around for long enough, they might start to threaten you with tax bills. If you park anywhere outdoors, be especially careful of this. People have had trouble for visiting out of state family for a couple weeks. It is all very "guilty until proven innocent", so for people who really haven't moved, it can be a nighmare.


Due_Community888 t1_jed5slk wrote

I moved from LA to CT almost 2 years ago, still driving with my California Plates and I haven't get pull over or any issues whatsoever, most of my family still in Cali so I renewed my tags online and they send me the sticker on the mail, so you would have plenty of time to figure things out.


Masty1985 t1_jedt75g wrote

You're screwing over the town you live in. Community first bro.


LordConnecticut t1_jefv5rx wrote

Just a note on this, the bigger concern is insurance. If you need to file a claim, they’ll consider this fraud and deny coverage. You’re basically uninsured right now. Rear-ended? You’re paying that out of pocket.


remkox t1_jee4ual wrote

You will feel like at home with our government….


Special_North1535 t1_jed4qml wrote

You’re best bet is to take it, spin it, and shove it up your butt 😝


satansdebtcollector t1_jedqk40 wrote

Who the hell moves from CA to CT? You need to see a doctor ASAP! 🤯😱🥴


mkt853 t1_jeencld wrote

What if they got tired of all the natural disasters?


[deleted] t1_jebcoo9 wrote



craftycamilla t1_jebe3zh wrote

literally shut the fuck up


[deleted] t1_jebejxm wrote



craftycamilla t1_jebf63y wrote

literally WHAT are u talking about. goes to show you obviously know nothing about other states


craftycamilla t1_jebf7j0 wrote

literally WHAT are u talking about. goes to show you obviously know nothing about other states