Table of Contents
- What Are the Basics?
- How Do I Sign the Title?
- What If I’ve Lost the Title?
- What Information is Included in the Bill of Sale?
- Why Do I Need to Include the Odometer Reading?
- Why Do I Need A Bill of Sale?
- May I Transfer Plates?
- What If I Don’t Transfer Plates to a New Vehicle?
- What If I Am Giving The Car to Someone Rather Than Selling It?
What Are The Basics?
When you sell a car in New Mexico, you must comply with certain legal requirements to ensure the sale is properly documented and to avoid penalties. You must remove the license plates and sign the title.
How Do I Sign the Title?
You sign your name in the seller’s section of the reverse side of the title and give it to the buyer. You will also provide a copy of the lien release, if applicable. You and the buyer also will sign an Odometer Disclosure Statement, which indicates that you and the buyer agree on the odometer reading.
What if I’ve Lost the Title?
You cannot sell a vehicle without a title. If you’ve lost it, you’ll need to obtain a duplicate title from the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. The best way to do this is to make an appointment with a local office. Sometimes you can obtain a new title through the mail, but that generally requires eight to 12 weeks. The form required is MVD 10901.
What Information is Included in the Bill of Sale?
- Buyer’s name and address;
- Date of sale;
- Mileage odometer reading; and
- Sale price.
Why do I need to Record the Odometer Reading?
New Mexico laws require you to provide an accurate odometer reading at the time of sale to show whether the vehicle has passed its mechanical limitations and is on a second or third cycle. If the actual odometer reading is inaccurate, you must estimate what you believe the reading should be. You and the buyer must agree on the reading.
Why do I Need a Bill of Sale?
While a bill of sale is only required if some information is missing from the title, filling out a bill of sale may help settle disputes if they arise later. It also protects you from liability should the vehicle later be involved in an accident. The bill of sale also can settle legal disputes between you and the buyer should they arise later.
May I Transfer Plates?
License plates cannot be transferred to a new owner. However, you may transfer them to another vehicle that you own as long as the names on the registration are the same and the vehicles are in the same registration class.
What if I Don’t Transfer Plates to a New Vehicle?
You have 30 days to surrender them to the New Mexico MVD.
What if I Am Giving the Car to Someone Rather than Selling It?
If you give the car to someone, such as a relative, you still sign the title and remove the license plates. You note, however, by sales price, that the item is to be a gift. The receiver must file a gift affidavit to avoid paying excise taxes.