Tag Archives: STS

New Hampshire: Buying Car Out-of-State & Transporting It Back.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


tempplate12123Related posts:
>> NH car registration fee …

++++ Search on ‘train’, ‘plane’, ‘cars’ & ‘automobile’ for other related posts >>>>


As far as I can see, and I have spoken at length with DMV folks at Concord, N.H. and our (always extremely helpful) Tax collection ladies at Alton Town Hall here are the only valid LEGAL options for purchasing a car out-of-state and bringing it back to New Hampshire.

1. Have it transported to N.H. via a transport service.

2. Trailer it yourself using a flatbed trailer.

3. Go buy the car, out-of-state, bring the title, bill-of-sale and odometer statement back to N.H., get PERMANENT plates, go back, out-of-state, PUT the plates on and drive back.

4. Get valid ‘Transit Plates‘ in the state of purchase and use those to drive the car back.

5. Convince the seller to drive to N.H., with the plates they have, go to a DMV or to your town, complete the purchase and then get plates.


Things that will not work and those that are NOT legal.

** Contrary to what the seller might tell you, you CAN NOT just take N.H. plates from an existing car and use them on the out-of-state car, temporarily, to bring it back. That can land you in some very hot water. A number of sellers that I have spoken to have told me to do this BUT I am not that stupid — contrary to what I may look and act. DMV and others have confirmed that this falls under misuse of plates and is considered a serious crime — as it should be.

** Massachusetts State Troopers (depending on their whim) will refuse to recognize N.H. 20-day Temporary Plates and ticket you! This came as a surprise to me. I know that during my last 30 years in N.H. I have been to MA in cars that had temp plates. I wasn’t stopped BUT it appears that this happens. Check it out.

** N.H. Towns, like Alton, cannot issue 20-day temp. plates. Only DMV locations can do so and you have to have registration, bill of sales etc. in order to get one.


I have been finding all of these to my costs because I have been looking at buying a car out-of-state.

Over the years I have bought a few cars in MA, a Jeep Cherokee in 1989 in Lowell, a red Camaro Z28 in 1987 in Lowell and a Cadillac. I bought a black, fully-loaded Cadillac STS from ‘Cadillac of Norwood‘, in MA, on Thanksgiving eve in 1996. I had done the whole deal over the telephone. Drove down in a Green Firebird that I was trading in and drove back in my black ‘Rocket Ship‘ STS. Can’t remember how the plate situation worked. This was a long time ago and I bought all of these from large dealers. I guess they put some kind of dealer plates. Never had any problems.

But now I was looking at private out-of-state sales.

Transportation is not as bad as it sounds. You can get a car from the East Coast for between $250 and $500. If you have AAA you can get it trailered relatively inexpensively.

Going out-of-state buying the car coming back with the paperwork, getting the plates and going back only really works if the distance is not that great. Once you get to around 100 miles it becomes impractical because you are talking two full round-trips.

The seller driving up to N.H. works but as you can imagine many will not be motivated to do so UNLESS they start getting desparate. I did have a seller who was willing to drive up from Plymouth, MA — but only after he realized that I had ruled him out.

Thought that this might help you. 


Serendipity – The Story Of Its Origin.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge



The more observant among you may have noticed that there is a countdown clock for the ‘NH Highland Games at Loon‘ on the right-hand side sidebar (>>>>). The Highland Games is the highlight of my year. Today’s post was going to be about the Highland Games being roughly a month away. Yes, I think you can still get discounted tickets. I don’t bother with that anymore since we don’t go for the whole, entire weekend. I was going to start the post by saying that I stumbled upon the Highland Games, in 1997, serendipitously. It was classic, text-book Serendipity. I had no idea that NH had Highland Games (though as an adopted Scot I was obviously very au fait with what they were). I was living in Meredith, NH. My son who was five at the time wanted to go for a drive (in the black, rocket-ship, Cadillac STS I had at the time). We decided to go to Loon, may favorite ski destination in NH. We are driving along the Kangamangus and we could see that something exciting was taking place in Loon. Cars (as was permitted then, but not now) were parked on the side of the road. It was Sunday afternoon. So there were empty spots. We pulled in and parked. We walked to the bridge.

We found the Games. Classic serendipity.

To me Serendipity involves three things: chance, luck and delight.

I am cool with ‘happy accident’ or ‘pleasant surprise’. Wikipedia has this example, and I like it too: ‘to look for a needle in a haystack and get out of it with the farmer’s daughter‘.


I am eminently qualified to talk about Serendipity. I was born in Serendipity. I grew up in Serendipity. The gold wedding bands that Deanna and I wear have the word ‘SERENDIPITY’ engraved on the inside. So, Serendipity is very much a part of my life.

Serendib‘ which morphed to ‘Serendip‘ is the Persian and Urdu (spoken in India and Pakistan) word fro Ceylon, (now) Sri Lanka — the country in which I was born in 1953.

There was an ancient Persian folk tale about ‘The Three Princes of Serendip‘; a hallmark of these three Persian Princes being their knack to stumble upon lucky discoveries.

This story had been translated and published in Italian, in Venice, in 1557, by a Michele Tramezzino, as Peregrinaggio di tre giovani figliuoli del re di Serendippo.

Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1717 – 1797), a man of significance in Britain, coined the term ‘Serendipity’ from the Persian tale to connote lucky, chance discoveries as made by the three Princess. All of this is well known among the right circles and copiously documented all over the Web. [Note that we have an ‘Orford’ in NH with a rather delightful diner.]

I think there is more to this story than just that — though I am making this up as I go along because I only thought of it this morning and haven’t had time to research it or ask my father, a font of knowledge on all things Sri Lankan.

In a country as old as Ceylon, with a written historic record going back to 3,000 BCE, you are bound to find various stories as to how the people came to be — in particular the Sinhalese, 75% of the population. Yes, I am Sinhalese.  ‘Sinhala’ basically translates ‘lion people’. I always think that that is cool, given that I love BIG cats. (I could at this point make a lot of feline jokes but I will refrain because I will get told off by Deanna). The dominant feature of the rather spectacular Ceylon flag is the Rampant Lion. So far, so good. All makes sense. Right? Wrong. Serendib, Serendipity, Taprobane, Ceylon now Sri Lanka does NOT have lions (or tigers) and never have! We only have leopards. Yep. All true.

My mother’s family is ‘Jayasinghe‘ — again the ‘Singhe’, lion, victorious lion in this instance.

The story that we were told was of Prince Vijaya, exiled by his father, in three ships, with 700 followers — who, when supplies were getting rather low, luckily, stumbled upon the resplendent island. Serendipity. I like Vijaya. He was a player. Most Sri Lankans, especially the males in my family from my mother’s side, take after him. That is why Vijaya was kicked out to sea by his father. Vijaya, as far as we can tell, came from far Northern India. Hence all this with lions. The Sinhalese, based on our language, are classed as being ‘Indo-ARYANs’. That part has always amused me. I always joke about having to explain to a German that we, brown and black all over, are indeed Aryans.

But, back to Serendipity and ‘The Three Princes of Serendip‘. Isn’t it serendipitous that the Vijaya story sounds so much like the Three Princes story. Given that there were 701 and one of them, I am sure I could find two more Princes amongst that band. They sure lucked out when they found Serendipity by chance. It all fits together nicely.