Mac's Moving!... and he needs your help ;(

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by macmaster05, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Question -
    I've talked to a student who also came out-of-state and says she never changed her state residency since she plans to return home after school, and therefore she has her out-of-state drivers' license and has her out-of-state plates. She says she's never had a problem. It seems like by doing this, you're completely under the radar.

    So, if I ship my car to another state, can I do like she does or is there some sort of inspection to go through that will force me to change residency/drivers license/registration. How's it any different than driving into the state and not telling anybody about your car?
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    In general, I believe that out-of-state students can continue to use their home state driver's license, vehicle license plates etc., but since you are a scientist and probably like to deal with facts instead of opinion, I suggest you research the Pennsylvania motor vehicles dept website.

    I've spent some time this winter in Pittsburgh on business travel and would find it hard to live there for an extended period without a vehicle. However if you are a graduate student and your world is primarily limited to your apartment and the campus, then maybe you could rely upon mass transit etc.

    Should you decide to bring your car, as California annual vehicle license fees are relatively high, then if you have the opportunity to pay lower fees in another state it might be reasonable to do so.

    I don't believe that there is any difference from a licensing perspective, between driving your car vs. shipping it. Driving it might be better as you can more easily transport your belongings (vs traveling by air.)
     
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  3. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Plus, it could make for some quality father/son time.

    Or, they could drive each other nuts....:p
     
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  4. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    The law is that you must register your vehicle within 60 days of changing your permanent address to PA. But the 4th-year student I talked to seems to say that I'll be an "out-of-state" student, therefore my residency won't change. And how can I change my license, registration without changing my address? I don't think it's possible, fortunately for me. Here is exactly what she wrote me:

    I appreciate the input. I asked her about living there without a car too, and she says it's very walkable with many well served bus lines. In fact many, if not most students, don't have cars. The only potential problem she and I foresee is shopping. Now I can also rely on new friends (hopefully) or Zipcar, but I just looked up Zipcar and it's like $8-10/hour!

    I'm not sure what you mean here. If I paid the lower PA fees, wouldn't that mean I'd have registered my car in PA, changed residency status, etc?

    So when they ship your car, they just ship it to your apartment? Or does it go through the DMV or government channels before you get it? I guess that would determine if I get "caught" with my window tints or not.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Nice well I am from Pittsburgh I can recommend it highly.
    Sorry but I did not explore window tinting while living there.
    When I got my Prius it was an oddity when I drove home, but a few more on the road now. I was from southern side, we had trolleys (street cars - mass EV) to get everywhere. When I was in college I used to commute on the trolley donton (as we call it) to the Gateway Clipper tour boats (was the ticket seller). Don't recall if the trolleys go out your way anymore, they still do go by my Mom's house. Go Steelers!
     
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  6. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

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    keep it! have your parents fire it up and cruise it around and by the time you're done with your education, you'll still have a car that's "ready, willing and able"

    cheers and goodluck with your future!
     
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  7. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    That's awesome! In your experience, do you truly believe I could get around w/o a car? I plan to live in Shadyside. That's where everyone recommends. I am a dumb CA kid so I'll do whatever they say. A lot of apartments listings in Shadyside say within walking distance to campus. Sorry but 2.5 miles to/from campus is NOT walkable on a daily basis...I'll be taking the bus.

    BTW, Mom really wants to keep my Prius at home. She says I can buy a cheap, old car in a couple years if I realize I need it. Does a Lexus IS 300 count as a cheap, old car? :D
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I assume you will be at Carnegie-Mellon, an excellent choice. It sounds like you are still unsure about whether you are going to bring your Prius.

    If you should do so, it is certainly possible for you to register your vehicle with a PA license plate without actually becoming a PA resident. Many people own second (and more) homes with vehicles at each location, and the cars can be licensed wherever the owner has an address.

    If you use a truck to move your car, the truck will just drop off the car wherever you want. (Nobody is going to inspect it.)

    Pennsylvania will welcome your licensing the car there. California won't care since the car is not physically in CA.

    Regarding your window tint, if you get stopped by the local police, they'll probably issue a "fix-it" ticket so you'll have to have the tint peeled off. Not the end of the world. If your tint is deemed acceptable in CA then it probably isn't too bad.

    It's not clear to me what is the benefit to you of remaining a California resident while you are a student unless you at some point in the future hope to attend a Univ of California campus under resident tuition status, or if you wish to file absentee voter ballots in CA elections, or you are aware of some other resident preference which hasn't occurred to me.
     
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  9. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Unfort apparently the light rail (trolley) is only in the South Hills now. When they say "Hills" they're not kidding. Also lots of rivers, bridges, tunnels. All of this makes Pittsburgh a little harder to navigate than the average town. Pittsburgh was (is?) also known to have among the most courteous drivers, although this may be wearing off a bit. Still, when you least expect it, someone is yielding to let you onto the road. Depends on your personality, if you are like me, I am somewhat intimidated by driving in strange towns and would opt for public transit if available at least until I got acclimated. Others love the driving. I will try to ask some colleagues at work who may have graduated from there. My father got his Masters in ME where I think you are going, but I went to PSU so did not hang out there.
     
  10. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    How about a bicycle for part of the year ?
     
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  11. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Finally! I wondered how long it would take someone to suggest that. I've been biting my tongue for about three pages now....:p

    (btw, 2.5 miles only seems like too far to walk because you're not used to it. Work up to it slowly, just like you should with any exercise program, and it won't be a problem. But in a place that gets Winter, I'd take the bus then, too.)
     
  12. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I drove our Prius between our Montana and CA homes many times. You don't have to go do the CA auto registration until, and only if, you plan to make CA your permanent residence. Same rules for driver's license goes for registration.

    Window tint? Plenty of folks go darker than legal in CA ... but it's only the driver's and front passenger's windows that can't be tinted. I got popped a couple years ago for dark front tint. No biggy ... a portable steamer ... and 30 minutes later they were legal again.

    ;)

    .
     
  13. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    I don't know where you're from but Pittsburgh has real mountains (although those from the Rocky Mountain states may disagree) and real winter weather. It's not fun waiting at the bus stop in subfreezing temps and those inclines will be a bugger to navigate when covered with snow & ice.

    By not having your Prius you will miss the joy of having a full battery as you coast down the mountain. I haven't done a lot of big city driving but in general I have not noticed much in the way of police presence. This isn't Midtown Manhattan where police seem to be on every block & a squad car passes every couple of minutes.

    Like everywhere, there are good & bad sections but generally western PA is a nice place, certainly a different world. Remember, the first day of buck season is a holiday.
     
  14. That_Prius_Car

    That_Prius_Car Austin Kinser

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    What's scary though is (god forbid) something bad happen at home and you need to leave immediately. You won't have your own car... but then again, having the luxury of having a reliable, efficient car on hand comes at a price. If you can afford it, and you believe you'll have plenty of living money for food, appliances, etc, then I'd take it.

    But you know your financial status better than we do, and you also know your needs and what not better than us. It is a tough decision.
     
  15. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    What are you talking about? There aren't any mountains East of the Rockies. Not much in the way of scenery, either. :D
     
  16. That_Prius_Car

    That_Prius_Car Austin Kinser

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    Both of you are wrong. I'm down here in Logan WV where the HILLS ARE HUGE! I still somehow manage to get 50mpg with just driving it normally though, but as soon as I pull onto the freeway to get to Wal-Mart, you're climbing a hill. Need to go somewhere else? Need to get over that mountain over there.

    Wanna go get gas, sure, it's just over that mountain to the east. lol. It doesn't drain my battery though, my battery is always in the green (7 bars) or blue (5-6 bars) there is this one hill though that's a 5% grade for 6 miles! I have to climb it when I come back from Beckly, WV. My battery gets down to one bar sometimes. :3
     
  17. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    I know you're still young, and not yet well-travelled, but just so you've got some reference points...the first two shots are called scenery, and the last one is called a mountain. :p
     

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  18. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Mac- IMPORTANT: get yourself one of these Pittsburghese language posters for your wall and study in between classes.

    Pittsburghese Poster By Ron Magnes

    I am advised a car is nice, but you can live without.
    Parking on campus is a problem so you probably won't use it for classes.
    There are grocery stores and shops you can walk to easily, in all liklihood.

    And remember, if someone tells you Kennywood's Open, you have a problem.
     
  19. Michgal007

    Michgal007 Senior Member

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    As a person who has gone through a science PhD in recent times, I must tell you the truth about grad school. :p You will not be able to focus on science alone because of other crap that will be thrown at you. These include an advisor who looks at you like a brain with a stick (and not as a human being who needs sleep, food, a social life etc.), lab mates who don't get along with you, administrative assistants who won't process your documents on time, 100 emails a week from undergrads students you have to teach... I strongly suggest reading Ph.D. comics if you already haven't started reading it. ;)

    If your car is paid for, why not take it? I don't know what registration fees are for PA, but for MI and OH it is about $60 a year (if you don't have personalized plates) and a one time inspection (~$25 or so if I remember correctly). Insurance is probably waaay cheaper than in CA (I pay $55/month). You will have your sweet little ride when you want to get away from all (Trust me, you WILL), and you can haul your clothes/books/essentials when you get there. That will save you hundreds of dollars in buying new stuff. Don't think 'I'll live minimally like a student', because you will be there for a good 5-6 years, so if you don't have a place to come and wind down at the end of the day (what's that, like 11 pm?), you will feel depressed pretty soon.

    Ok, done with the lecture. :p
     
  20. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    i have no argument either way as to whether or not you'll need a car where you're going. but there are several pieces of information to consider.

    it's not that complicated, if you're a student, to maintain your home state residency (maintain domicile, plan to return, etc), and continue to register your car in your home state while you're away at school. i'll caveat my experience by saying that since i was at a private university, in-state vs out-of-state tuition was not an issue. it was vastly cheaper for me to do this when i was in graduate school for a number of reasons- not the least of which was an annual property tax on vehicles in the state where i attended school. also, if there is a state sales tax, you are likely on the hook for paying that when you register in the new state, which can be expensive.

    regarding tint laws, i never had an issue with illegal tint, but i also have a medical exemption to back me up. the big question is whether they will pull over an out-of-state vehicle for a violation.

    but i want to say that michgal is right... you can only live minimally and focus solely on the science to a certain extent. we had to maintain a fairly extreme minimalism throughout, financially (because i also sent my spouse back to school while i was in grad school, among other reasons) and it was hard to keep up such severe cheapassness after a while. yeah, you're going to spend less if you have no free time and make it home late exhausted all the time, but there are happy hours and other small comforts you are going to want to enjoy after flogging yourself for another 90-hour week in the lab. graduate school is not something that's done and over with quickly. i think this reality/exhaustion with reality only sets in after a year or 2, but be warned early.

    finally: our non-prius is an 02 IS300. lots of fun to drive, not in the same area code as "cheap"
     
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