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New York Selling a Vehicle

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What Are The Basics?

When you sell your car in New York, you will need to provide several documents to the new owner including:
  • Proof of ownership
  • An odometer and damage disclosure statement (MV-902)
  • A statement of transaction, form DTF-802
  • Form DTF-803, which is a claim for an exemption from sales and use tax
  • The original document showing that the lien on the vehicle has been satisfied, if it is available.
You should also remove the license plates and your vehicle’s registration sticker. If you don’t do this, you could end up being liable if the other driver gets a ticket in the future. After this, surrender your license plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or transfer them without allowing your insurance to lapse

How Do I Sign the Title?

You can sign the title on the “sellers” portion on the reverse side of the title. If you cannot find where to sign, wait and sign it at the DMV. Do not sign the title until money has exchanged hands, if you are selling the vehicle.

What if I’ve Lost the Title?

You need the title to sell your vehicle. If you have lost it, then you can seek a copy of the title from the DMV by filing form MV-902. This is an Application for Duplicate Title. Usually, you can get the new title the same day if you go to the local DMV.

What Information is Included in the Bill of Sale?

You will need a bill of sale for any vehicle that was built after 1972. You will also need it for non-titled vehicles, like a boat, ATV, snowmobile or others. Your bill of sale should include information such as:
  • The vehicle’s VIN
  • The vehicle’s make and model
  • The vehicle’s year
  • The final odometer reading
  • The buyer and seller’s addresses, names and signatures
  • The sale price

Why do I need to Record the Odometer Reading?

You need to record the odometer reading to officially declare the vehicle’s mileage. This helps show if the odometer reading is accurate or not. If the odometer is not correct, estimate to the best of your ability. This must be disclosed to buyers.

Why do I Need a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale gives you and the seller all the information you need should a legal problem come up with the vehicle in the future or if there is ever a question of ownership.

May I Transfer Plates?

License plates in New York do not go with the vehicle, they stay with the license plate’s original owner. You can transfer your current license plates off the vehicle you’re selling and onto a new vehicle in your possession. If you are not getting a new vehicle, turn the plates in at the local DMV.

What if I Don’t Transfer Plates to a New Vehicle?

You have the option of returning the plates by mail here if you pay a $1 processing fee:
Department of Motor Vehicles 6 Empire State Plaza Room B240 Albany, NY 12228

You will receive an FS-6T receipt in the mail.

What if I Am Giving the Car to Someone Rather than Selling It?

You do everything the same if you are giving away the vehicle, but you should note the final sale price as $0.

How Do I, As Executor, Transfer a Car to An Heir?

To transfer a vehicle to an heir, you must use form MV-349. You should still complete the title as above, but notate that it was inherited rather than sold or bought.

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Last Verified:
Aug 26, 2022