Do I have pay sales tax to California when purchasing an out of state car?

I can’t seem to find a clean cut answer. I’m looking at a car from out of state and I am I live in California. I found this:

on the DMV’s website, they have a calculator for vehicles registered outside of California, making the presumption that is…

If you’re buying from a dealer, your home zip code will be all he needs to tax you accordingly. Input the zip and the software calculates the CA tax for your county. So you won’t have to pay twice.

If you’re buying from a private party, you won’t have to worry either. Since you’ll be registering it in CA and not in the state where you bought it, just go to your local DMV and pay your county tax plus reg fee.

A tax credit is this … you live in CA. you buy a car in AZ. The dealer doesn’t have to software installed to tax you at your home rate. So he taxes you by AZ rates. You take the car to your local DMV and register it in CA. You show the DMV you paid $XXX in AZ tax and fees. Your CA tax and fees is $YYY. So $YYY – $XXX = your total CA tax and fees paid to the DMV.


You may have to pay the difference in tax between what you would have paid in CA and what you paid out of state, assuming the place you purchased it had a lower rate than CA.

If you paid tax in another state, you shouldn’t have to pay it here. But you may have to get the smog checked and modified if the other state’s emissions requirements are less than California’s.

In 1985 i bought a truck in Fla. took it to Cal. and had to pay a like $600 dollars to register it

I can’t help you much, other than to say I would grab a phone book, locate the DMV, and call them to ask them the question, or direct you to someone who can. It can be tricky looking up tax info on the net. I blame the government 🙂 states sales taxes and FAQ about taxes

no you will not have to pay sales tax twice, but good ol socialist CA will find ways to rape you out of your money

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