Moving? You Might Need to Tell Your Current State… Or Else

Quick Tips - Moving? You Might Need to Tell Your Current State… Or Else

Moving? You Might Need to Tell Your Current State… Or Else

This week my wife and I found ourselves in a shocking predicament. A letter delivered to us from Bank of America revealed that the state of California had levied our account and the bank would soon release 963 of our dollars to them unless the state told them not to. After some panicked phone calls, we figured out the culprit: my wife’s car registration.

As it turns out, California not only requires you to tell them when you move within the state but also demands you inform them when you leave the state and no longer wish to register your car. Since we failed to do this — and despite the fact my wife had since registered her car in Missouri — California had continued assessing her for registration she didn’t need. Of course, they also tacked on some fees since we hadn’t been paying, hence that unsavory $963 sum. Thankfully, we were able to inform them of the date we left the state and had the total erased and count closed, but Bank of America still charged us a $125 fee for the trouble.

Consider this a PSA: if you’re planning a move, you may want to look into your current state’s rules and regulations on such matters. Of course, this is just one more item to add on to what can often be a massive checklist that goes along with moving. Additionally, even if you’re not stranger to moving, our story shows that certain state quirks can still take you by surprise (and try to take your money!)

So, while you’re making truck arrangements, finding housing, and getting your address info updated, you may want to take a minute to familiarize yourself with your current states laws before you go. In our case, had we been proactive instead of relying on our past (apparently incomparable) experiences, we could have saved a lot of time, frustration… and $125. Learn from my pain and have a happy move!


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and the founder of

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

The Lucrative Amex Offers I've Used So Far ($800+)

It’s now been about a year and a half since I took the plunge and decided to apply for the Platinum Card from American Express. Since then, I’ve been making use of plenty of the card’s perks, from the included credits to the hotel status and airport lounge access —...

Travel Tuesday: The Top International Places I Want to Visit ASAP

With last Friday marking two weeks since I received my COVID jab, I am now officially fully vaccinated! As you might imagine, this milestone has me once again getting excited about a return to travel. Granted, it doesn't seem as though international trips will be a go just yet, but...

Checking My ChexSystems Report for the First Time (and How You Can Too)

As I've shared numerous times before, part of my personal finance origin story involves me checking my credit for the first time. Since then, I've written plenty of times about ways to obtain your credit reports from the three major bureaus as well as reviewed various platforms that provide an...