Reader Questions

Can I move out of state while I’m still making car payments?

Written by Consumer

I bought a car at a used car dealere it,s a buy here pay here dealer i gave them over 4000 dollers down on the car i bought, i pay 250.00 every month on the car, i have never been late on my payments, my question to you is i will have to move to new jersey some time this year,i currently live in florida that is where i bought my car, can you tell me if i can move to new jersey and make my payments from new jersey ? will they repo my car if i move to new jersey i have to move to new jersey because i have to take care of a family member i need to know what are my rights

thank you


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  • You sure can move just notify your bank or lien holder and let them know the address you’ll be living at.  They only care about the payments and not what state they’re coming from.  Sorry about your family member.  

  • Yes, you can. I have a number of relatives who have done this exact thing. Just be sure to notify the dealer as well as the bank or finance company, along with a forwarding address and phone number if you change it. As long as you are honest about paying the bill, there should be no problem.

  • Eugene,

    The good news is that in America you can still choose to live wherever you want (unless you have a probation officer). Certainly you can move and the dealer cannot repossess your car because you moved. It would be best to simply tell the dealer that going forward you would like to send your payment by mail or electronically and set up a procedure to do so. If you read the sales agreement it will likely tell you your payment options and any limitations that might apply.

    There is one possible scenario in which I could see a problem. Some dealers do not actually sell cars; they lease them on a “rent to own” sort of model whereby the dealer keeps the title until all payments are made. If the dealer owns the car and holds the title you can still move but you can’t title the car in your new state. If you can’t title the car you may not be able to change the plates so you would soon be in violation of the local law. I hope that is not your situation and that you can can easily move.

    Good Luck!

  • Sure, just notify the lien holder of your new address. The lender likes to know where to look for you, in case you stop making payments. Don’t forget to register the car in your new state within, in most cases, 30 days.

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