State Regulations in Mississippi
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Before you buy a car, do your homework. Determine what kind of car you need to fit your budget and your lifestyle. Be sure to check with insurance companies on the cost of insurance for particular cars that interest you; the costs can vary greatly depending on make, model, or year of car.
When you purchase a car in Mississippi, you will need certain documents to register and title the car in your name. Be sure to get:
- The original title signed over to you from the seller. If you are buying a new car, you'll need the manufacturer's certificate of origin.
- An Odometer Disclosure, stating the mileage on the car when you buy it.
After purchasing a car, you have seven days to register it with the state. Take the above documentation to your local tax collector's office and pay the appropriate fees.
In Mississippi, you'll pay registration fees of $14, a privilege tax, ad valorem taxes, and sales taxes. The tax amounts will be determined by the value of your car and the county in which you live.
The state gives you several options for car tags. Special fees for these tags range from no additional cost to $51 per year.
If you are buying a used vehicle that wasn't previously titled, you'll have to submit an Application for Certificate of Title (form 78-002), available at the tax collector's office, as well as an official copy of the current bill of sale and a certified copy of the previous bill of sale or certified copies of two years of tag and tax receipts from the previous owner.
- Do homework before you buy. Determine the kind of car you want and can afford. Read consumer reports and compare prices.
- Test drive each car. You need to know if you are comfortable behind the wheel and if the car performs to your expectations.
- Arrange for a mechanic to look over the car. A professional can spot problems quickly and can answer questions you may have about its reliability or maintenance costs.
- Once you've decided on a car, get a vehicle history report on it. This report provides a title search, accident report, lemon report, odometer check, and registration details. You just need to provide the vehicle identification number (VIN).
- Negotiate the price and don't pay more than you should. Know the value of the car you are buying.
Selling a car in Mississippi is relatively easy. Before you do so, be sure to make copies of all the documents belonging to your vehicle to keep for your own records. When you sell the car, you may consider accepting only a certified check for payment; this protects you from a bouncing check and guarantees your money.
When the buyer takes possession of your car, you will want to provide the maintenance logs and any other paperwork associated with that vehicle.
You are not required to submit a registration certificate to the buyer. But if you've let your registration slide, or if you've never registered your vehicle, you'll need to check with your tax collector's office to be sure you don't have any outstanding fees or fines. While the vehicle is titled in your name, you're still responsible for keeping it legal. Once you sell your vehicle, you'll turn in your tags and the new owner will register the vehicle with the tax collector's office.
- Clean your car. A detailed cleaning may pay for itself by allowing you to up the price slightly.
- Research the market value of your car before putting a price on it. Kelley Blue Book can give you values for your car; print these out for potential buyers.
- Advertise your car. You can place classified ads online, in newspapers and auto trading magazines.
- Make needed repairs. Buyers prefer cars that have been maintained regularly.
- When you sell the car, remove the tag. You'll need to surrender it to the State Tax Commission because it is no longer valid. The buyer will need to purchase a new tag.
- Provide a Bill of Sale to the new buyer. Along with your own information, you'll need to include the buyer's full name and address, and an odometer reading.
- The buyer may provide one, but it would be wise to have an Odometer Disclosure on hand; the current mileage is required to transfer the title.
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