First, congratulations and welcome! There are several things to be aware of when you move to our state and prepare to join us on the road:
It is illegal to drive in Oregon without insurance. The police of the State of Oregon do not care that you are visiting our fine state. If you are driving on our streets and highways without insurance, you will be treated just like any other resident of this state. YOU WILL GET YOUR CAR IMPOUNDED AND TOWED! You just might be leaving our beautiful state on a train or in a bus and decide that Oregon isn't for you. But, if you decide to stay, read on:
Minimum insurance limits may be higher in Oregon than in the state you lived in before - that means your insurance will probably cost more.
Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets.
You have 30 days to transfer your license to an Oregon license.
Oregon wants you to register your vehicle within 30 days.
Your car must pass our clean air standards by taking your car to a DEQ air quality check station.
Auto insurance buyers are shocked at how much car insurance costs here in Oregon. If you are moving to Oregon, you may find that this state has higher minimum insurance laws. You must have $25,000 per person ($50,000 per accident) for Bodily Injury, $20,000 for Property Damage, $15,000 Personal Injury Protection PIP, and $25,000 per person ($50,000 per accident) Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection. Many states have lower limits and don't require uninsured motorist or PIP so therefore have generally lower insurance rates. When you call around for the first time for an auto insurance quote, you might be in for a bit of sticker shock. It is possible that the rates also reflect that there are more crashes, higher litigation costs, and differences in the cost of repairs than the state you came from.
The law in Oregon requires you to transfer your license to this state within 30 days. You will need to locate the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and make an appointment to take a computerized test for Oregon. Yes, a test. If you have a valid license from another state and that state has a reciprocal agreement with Oregon, you will not need to take a physical driving test. If there is no agreement, you will have to prove your driving skills too. You will need to bring documentation proving your Oregon address, your social security card, original birth certificate or valid passport with an unexpired visa, and your fees. Starting February 4, 2008, you must prove that you are a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident or some other status that demonstrates that you are living here legally. If not, you will be denied even an ID card.
The Oregon DMV also states that you have 30 days to license and register your car. To do that, you will need to be able to prove your address (bring a piece of mail that has been sent to you at your new address), have your social security card or passport with an unexpired Visa, proof of insurance with valid limits in the state of Oregon, Certificate of Compliance from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) stating that your car has passed certain tests for clean air, and your fees. Please see our Locate DMV section or visit their website for current requirements.
Oregon law states that all road approved motorcycles require everyone on the motorcycle to wear helmets. This applies as soon as you hit our freeways or back roads. You've got to have a helmet on and you must have valid insurance.
In this State of Oregon, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is centralized and run by the State. You will handle all of your licensing and registering of your car in one place. Please see this link for the DMV nearest to you.
A certificate with a passing score from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) must be turned in when you register your car. This test measures the limits of pollutants your vehicle emits to the environment, and must also be completed at each renewal.
We hope that this helps answer some of your concerns about moving to Oregon. Welcome!