Paperwork When Buying a Car in North Dakota

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When you buy a car in North Dakota, you must complete the necessary paperwork to title and register the vehicle in your name.

A vehicle dealer will usually handle this paperwork for you, but if you buy a car from a private seller, you'll be responsible for getting the required documents and filing the correct applications for titling and registration.

Keep reading for more information about the paperwork you need when you buy a car in North Dakota.

Buyer Paperwork in ND

  • Make sure you secure the title and registration receipt from the seller. If you are purchasing a new car, the dealership will submit all of this information to the Department of Transportation's (NDDOT) Motor Vehicle office.
  • The vehicle's title must be signed by all registered owners, and all signatures must be notarized.
  • Record an odometer reading either on the title or on a separate document.
  • Submit a bill of sale.
  • Make sure there are no active liens on the vehicle and that all have been released.
  • Double-check that the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the title matches the number etched into the vehicle. If the numbers do not match, immediately halt the purchase until the legal owner is verified. This is one of those seemingly minor procedures that should not be overlooked or you could face a long-term legal hassle.
  • Vehicles less than 9 years old must have the Damage/Salvage Disclosure Statement (Form SFN 18609) filled out by the seller, even if there is no damage.
  • You will be allowed to drive this vehicle for 5 days without registering it provided you carry proof of ownership, such as:
  • You will have 30 days to submit a Purchaser's Certification and Application (Form SFN 2475) to NDDOT.

Missing ND Vehicle Title

If the seller cannot provide an existing title, you must apply for a new one by completing an Application for Certificate of Title & Registration of a Vehicle (Form SFN 2872). Include as much pertinent information as possible supporting your ownership claim, along with an explanation of the existing title. You will then be issued a new title if NDDOT finds your information to be sufficient.

North Dakota Bill of Sale

Although not mandatory, a bill of sale should be kept on file. It's one of those documents that you'll probably never need, but if you do you'll be glad you had the common sense to keep in your records. You can easily download a blank copy from our Bill of Sale page.

Vehicle History Report

While it isn't required paperwork, a Vehicle History Report is an important document for car buyers. A report gives you details about a car's past, including accidents, damages, and odometer information.

These details can help you confirm the information a seller gives you or provide information that the seller may not be aware of. The report can also help you avoid problem cars, odometer fraud, and other issues that can arise when buying a car.

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