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After selling your vehicle you might, depending on where you live, be required to notify your town or motor vehicle office of the change of ownership. In legal speak, this is often referred to as release of liability.
The majority of states mandate some form of notification within a certain amount of days after the date of your vehicle being sold. Usually this requires either surrendering your license plates and/or submitting a release of liability form, which some states call a sold notice.
Even if you reside in a state not requiring post-sale notification, it’s always wise to still take the time to either notify your motor vehicle office or town clerk. This will protect you from any possible traffic infractions incurred by the new owner while the vehicle, according to state records, is still registered under your name.
Also, if you reside in a state requiring release of liability, be sure to complete this task before canceling the sold vehicle’s insurance. Otherwise you risk possible legal hassles.
First you'll want to check whether the release of liability is a state requirement. Downloadable forms are maintained by your local motor vehicle office if in fact your state requires the completion of this form. For more info, you can also consult our section on required paperwork.