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  • Title Transfers in New Jersey

    What is a Title Transfer?

    Your title serves as your legal proof of vehicle ownership. When your vehicle changes hands, you must transfer the title within 10 business days from the day of sale. Failure to do so will result in a $25 penalty. Common situations for title transfers include:

    • Selling or buying a vehicle
    • Death in a family
    • Inheriting a vehicle
    • Donating a vehicle
    • Changing a name

    Selling a Vehicle

    When selling a vehicle, you do not want results of a vehicle history report to contradict what you tell a potential buyer and damage your credibility. Ordering a vehicle history report will ease the selling process by guiding you toward a reasonable asking price and keeping your expectations in check.

    After agreeing to sell, follow these steps:

    1. Remove the plates and turn them in to any Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Agency or Regional Service Center, unless the plates are being transferred to another vehicle.
    2. Sign the backside of the title, inserting the buyer's name and address, date of sale, odometer reading, and sale price. Then give the title to the buyer.

    NOTE: For confirmation purposes, it's always wise to include a bill of sale in all transactions.

    Buying a Vehicle

    New Cars

    The dealer will handle the title transfer paperwork.

    If you have yet to begin searching for a new car, you can save gas and time by shopping online.

    Used Cars

    Many factors come into play when you're in the market for a used car, with affordability, in most cases, being the top benchmark. Given the magnitude of the purchase, you should consider all available auto finance options, before settling on a plan. The next step will be to focus on insurance. If you're unsure of how to proceed, you can compare rates at our Insurance Center.

    And finally, before signing your name to anything, be sure to order a Vehicle History Report on the car you're considering.

    After signing, you'll need to:

    1. Sign the back of the title and include your driver license number.
    2. Visit your local MVC Agency with the signed title, proof of insurance and sales tax payment.
    3. Complete an Application for a Certificate of Ownership (Form OS/SS-7).
    4. Pay $60 fee ($85 for a financed vehicle).

    Removing a Lien

    Here's what to do:

    1. Get a notarized statement on your lending institution's letterhead declaring that you paid off your loan. Make sure the letter is dated, signed by an authorized lending officer and includes your name, car make, model and vehicle identification number. In most instances, this will be sent to you without prodding on your behalf.
    2. Mail the statement and your certificate of title to:

    Motor Vehicle Commission
    Title Records Unit
    P.O. Box 155
    225 E. State Street
    Trenton, NJ 08666

    NOTE: Make sure your lienholder dates, signs and stamps the face of your title with "lien satisfied."

    Transferring to Family

    Family transfer applies to:

    • Spouse
    • Child
    • Parent
    • Domestic partner
    • Sister or brother
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild
    • Cousin
    • Aunt or uncle

    Following a decedent's death, you must go to any MVC Agency within 30 days to transfer the title. There are several scenarios that require different transfer procedures.

    If the Title Is in Both the Husband and Wife's Name

    1. The surviving spouse should provide the old title, a copy of the death certificate, and a notarized Affidavit of Surviving Spouse (Form BA-62).
    2. Submit a $60 payment for the new title. To also register the car in the surviving spouse's name, pay an additional $4.50.

    Transfer Ownership to the Estate

    1. Apply for a corporation code.
    2. Bring your corp cod number, the old title, a Surrogate's Short Certificate, and your driver's license to a NJ MVC office.
    3. Submit a $60 payment for the new title ($85 if the vehicle is financed).
    4. You must register with the MVC if you want to operate the vehicle.

    If the Owner Dies Without a Will With an Estate of $20,000 or Less

    1. The surviving spouse must submit the old title.
    2. The surviving spouse must also submit an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse (Form BA-62) that has a seal of the issuing office from the county where the decedent lived.

    NOTE: These steps also apply if there is no surviving spouse and the estate is $10,000 or less.

    If the Owner Dies Without a Will With an Estate More Than $20,000

    1. The title is issued to the surviving spouse, heir or buyer by having the old title assigned and executed by the administrator of the estate and a Surrogate's Short Certificate.

    NOTE: This applies if there is no surviving spouse and the estate is more than $10,000.

    Gifting a Vehicle

    As a bonus, all gift vehicles are exempt from sales tax. Make sure, however, before taking the title in for transfer, that the word "GIFT" is written where the sales tax would normally go.

    To make the transfer official, here's what to do:

    1. Sign the back of the title and include your driver license number.
    2. Visit your local MVC Agency with the signed title and proof of insurance.
    3. Complete an Application for a Certificate of Ownership.
    4. Pay $60 fee ($85 for a financed vehicle).

    Donating a Vehicle

    You can find full details at our Donate Car page.

    To receive a full tax credit on your donated car, you may want seek advice from a tax attorney.

    Inheriting a Vehicle

    Because of the sometimes complicated nature of these situations, consulting a probate attorney is always a wise choice. You will be given a 30 days, following the date of death, to transfer the title in your name at any MVC location.

    For the transfer to take place:

    1. The executor of the estate will need to provide the old title and a Surrogate's Short Certificate.
    2. The executor will pay the $60 title fee. If you want to transfer the registration to an immediate family member at that time, the MVC will charge $4.50 to do so.

    Don't forget you'll also need insurance for the car. If you don't have a carrier, you can compare rates at our Insurance Center.

    Making Name Corrections

    Changing a Name

    Visit your local MVC Agency and bring:

    1. Your old title.
    2. Identification that complies with the "ID Verification Program" 6 points.
    3. A marriage certificate, or a divorce decree, or a court order verifying your name change.

    To curb any potential identification confusion when attempting to change your name on your driver's license, for example, consider ordering a vital record. For more information, visit our section on Changing Your Name.

    Deleting a Name

    Both persons must visit an MVC Agency and bring:

    1. The existing title.
    2. Enough identification to satisfy the "6 Point ID Verification Program."

    Adding a Name

    Both parties must visit an MVC Agency and bring:

    1. The current title.
    2. Identification as dictated by the "6 Point ID Verification Program."