Buying a new car entails several legal requirements that need to be fulfilled by a prospective car owner before he or she can get back behind the wheel of his new car. These legal requirements are set out by the state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) or its equivalent. The regulation of motor vehicles, transportation and traffic fall under the legislative and executive domain of a state as opposed to the federal government, though the federal government may have certain controlling laws that ensure a certain degree of uniformity in traffic and vehicle legislation across state lines.
Buying a new car
A new car is always bought through a licensed dealer. Usually a dealer deals with a single make though having dealers selling different kinds of new cars are not unheard of. However it is generally better to get your car from an authorized dealer of a particular car make. So if you are looking for a Chevrolet, it is better to go to a Chevrolet dealer and so and so forth. A car dealer has certain legal obligations, one of which is to inform you as a buyer of any damage done to the car. Believe it or not, many new cars get damaged when being transported and the dealer is obligated by law to disclose any such information particularly if the damage sustained was greater than US $ 500.
Once you have completed the sale, a car dealer will give you a valid car title and a bill of sale. They are authorized to do this by the DMV. Both these documents are extremely important and should be demanded from the dealer if the dealer omits or fails to give you these documents.
In most states you are also required to obtain car insurance in order to drive the vehicle on the road. There are only three exceptions to this rule, Virginia, New Hampshire and Mississippi. In Virginia, non-insurance drivers have to pay a special fee while in Mississippi they have to post a cash bond. However, generally speaking, even in these states people opt for car insurance because it makes them feel safer and more secure. While buying a car does not require a valid driver’s license in most instances, getting insurance is wholly predicated on you having a driver’s license. Without a driver’s license you will not be given insurance and consequently won’t be able to drive.
Most state DMVs require a smog certification for a vehicle even if it is new. This is to ensure that emissions and pollutants are kept to a minimum. It is the responsibility of the dealer to provide you with a smog certificate for the vehicle that you have purchased. If your dealer fails to give this certificate to you, you should demand one since registration will require it.
Getting your license plates
Once you provide the requisite documentation you will be issued license plates to enable you drive your vehicle. It is against the law to drive a vehicle without duly authorized license plates. License plates are issued by the DMV in each state and also by certain Native American tribes as well. A prime example of this the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma which has its constitution and legal system and therefore also issues its own license plates to members of the Cherokee Nation, a tribe recognized by the Indian Reorganization Act.
Getting acquainted with your vehicle
A new vehicle requires some getting used to. For this purpose, new vehicles come with their own user’s manuals. These manuals should be utilized by the prospective driver, including critical information on braking, gear ratios, optimum mileage capabilities and other specifications of the vehicle.
Hitting the road
It is always useful to keep current on the DMV laws and by laws. To do this, pick up a copy of the DMV manual from your nearest DMV office. Following the manual helps save lives and allow the vehicular traffic to be regulated for the greater good of the society.
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