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New Hampshire Buying a Vehicle

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The Basics of Buying a Vehicle in New Hampshire

Purchasing a vehicle, either from a private party or from a vehicle dealership, is something that is likely to happen at some point in the lives of most drivers in the state of New Hampshire. As you probably know, getting the vehicle title is one of the first steps of buying a vehicle in the state as it is in all states. However, in some cases, you do not even need a vehicle title in order to buy a vehicle. This is the case for all of the vehicles that are title exempt. Despite this, you will need a vehicle title to buy a vehicle most of the time. If you are buying a vehicle from a New Hampshire dealership, the dealership will typically handle the title application and pay for the title fee as well. You will not have to worry about all of that yourself in this instance.

Signing Over the Vehicle Title

As previously mentioned, obtaining the vehicle title is an important part of the process of buying a vehicle in New Hampshire most of the time. Signing over the vehicle title is fairly straightforward. The seller of the vehicle will have to sign the vehicle title and you will also have to sign the vehicle title since you are purchasing the vehicle. You should make sure that you and the buyer sign the vehicle title in the appropriate areas so the transaction can be completed properly. You may also want to get a Bill of Sale, as well. This is not required but it does provide further proof of the vehicle’s sale.

What If the Seller Misplaced the Vehicle Title?

The majority of vehicles in the state of New Hampshire are not title exempt. This means that you need to have the seller sign over the vehicle title to you in order to transfer legal ownership of the vehicle to you. As a result, it can certainly be a problem if the seller lost or misplaced the vehicle title for the vehicle you are purchasing. If the seller misplaced the vehicle title, then they will have to apply for a duplicate title. The seller will have to fill out and submit an Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title in addition to payment for the duplicate title fee. The duplicate title fee is $25 and the seller can pay for it via check or money order. The seller can either bring the Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title along with payment for the duplicate title fee to a New Hampshire DMV office or mail it to the following address:
NH Dept. of SafetyDMV – Title
23 Hazen Drive
Concord NH 03305
The seller will also have to complete and submit a Lien Release if necessary.

Title Exempt Vehicles

In the state of New Hampshire, some vehicles are title exempt and therefore are not required to be titled at all. In terms of motor vehicles, New Hampshire does not title the vast majority of vehicles that have the model year of 1999 or older. New Hampshire also does not require titles for other kinds of vehicles such as boats, mopeds, mobile homes, snowmobiles, vehicles moved solely by animal power, and more. The only kinds of motor vehicles with the model year of 1999 or older that must be titled are heavy trucks that have three axles or more or truck tractors with a gross vehicle weight that exceeds 18,000 pounds. Aside from that, vehicles that are more than 25 years old only get a title if the owner specifically requests a title.

VIN Verification

In some instances, VIN verification is required in order for you to buy a vehicle. This is typically the case when you are dealing with title exempt vehicles and you are trying to buy a title-exempt vehicle. However, VIN verification is required in other circumstances, as well.

If you are trying to buy a vehicle from another country like Canada, VIN verification is a required part of the process. In the event that you are attempting to purchase a vehicle that comes from a state that only requires a title for vehicles 10 years and newer, you will have to get VIN verification for that vehicle, too. If the vehicle you want to buy is an antique vehicle, you will need to get VIN verification for it.

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Last Verified:
Aug 25, 2022