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How to Transfer a Car Title in New York

If you’re planning to buy or sell a car in New York, it’s essential to understand the process of transferring the car title. The title transfer officially establishes the change of ownership. In New York, the steps for transferring a car title differ based on the vehicle’s model year. In this guide, we’ll focus on cars manufactured in 1973 and newer. Let’s explore the process step by step.

Step 1: Gather the Required Documents

To initiate the title transfer, ensure you have the necessary documents ready. You’ll need to provide one of the following documents:

  • The original New York title certificate
  • The original title certificate from another state

Step 2: Seller’s Responsibilities

As the seller, you have specific obligations during the title transfer process. You must record the name of the buyer and sign the title transfer section on the back of the title certificate. However, if the out-of-state title certificate is from Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wyoming, or Puerto Rico, the seller’s signature must be notarized.

Additionally, the seller should sign the Vehicle Bill of Sale (MV-912). If the vehicle is a gift, the seller must complete section 6 on page 2 of the Statement of Transaction – Sale or Gift of Motor Vehicle, Trailer, All-Terrain Vehicle, Vessel, or Snowmobile (DTF-802). It’s crucial to note that the seller must transfer the title into their name before signing it over to the new buyer. Title jumping, where the seller doesn’t transfer the title assigned to them and assigns it to someone else, is a federal crime.

For vehicles with a model year of 20 years old or newer, the seller must complete the Odometer Disclosure Statement on the back of the title. Regardless of the vehicle’s age, a Damage Disclosure Statement on the back of the title certificate is required for all vehicle transfers.

Step 3: Buyer’s Responsibilities

As the buyer, your primary responsibility is to ensure that the seller completes the necessary steps mentioned above. Verify that the title transfer section is signed by the seller and, if required, notarized.

Step 4: Visit the DMV Office

To complete the title transfer, visit a local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. Bring all the required documents, including the signed title certificate, completed Vehicle Bill of Sale, and other relevant forms. It’s advisable to make an appointment beforehand to save time.

Step 5: Pay the Applicable Fees

During the title transfer process, you’ll need to pay the necessary fees. These fees typically include a title fee, registration fee, sales tax, and any other relevant charges. The DMV accepts various payment methods such as cash, check, or credit card. Confirm the accepted payment options at your specific DMV office.

Step 6: Receive the New Title

After completing the title transfer process and paying the fees, the DMV will provide you with a new title certificate in the buyer’s name. The new title will be mailed to the address provided on the application form.

Transferring Titles for 1972 or Older Vehicles

If you’re dealing with a vehicle manufactured in 1972 or older, New York does not issue title certificates. Instead, the DMV issues a NY State Transferable Registration. To transfer ownership, use the transferable registration and a bill of sale. Ensure that the registration document is labeled “transferable” on the front. The seller, whose name appears on the front, must sign the back of the registration document.

It’s important to remember that the information provided in this blog serves as a general guide, and specific requirements and procedures may vary. It’s always advisable to consult the official New York DMV website or contact your local DMV office for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding car title transfers.

By following the proper procedures and fulfilling the necessary obligations, both buyers and sellers can ensure a seamless transfer of a car title in New York, providing legal protection and peace of mind for all parties involved.

For more information about title transfers from the New York DMV, visit their website here.

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