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Paperwork When Buying a Car in New Mexico

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To properly transfer ownership after buying a car in New Mexico, you'll need certain documents from the seller.

Use this guide to learn more about the paperwork required by the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) to title and register a vehicle following a purchase.

Paperwork for NM Car Buyers

The paperwork you'll want to gather after you've purchased a vehicle in New Mexico will differ based on whether you bought that vehicle from:

  • A New Mexico dealership.
    OR
  • A private seller.

Dealership Purchases

When you purchase a vehicle at a dealership, the dealership typically provides the MVD with all of the paperwork required for titling and registration.

If for some reason this isn't true for your particular transaction, you'll want to make sure you MINIMALLY receive the:

  • Dealer's invoice.
  • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, for brand new vehicles.
  • Previous title, for used or certified pre-owned vehicles.

Private Sales

If you buy a car from a private seller, you'll need to receive certain documents from the seller so you can transfer ownership yourself with the Motor Vehicle Division.

Here's what you'll need:

  • The vehicle title completely filled out (odometer statement, signatures, etc.).
    • Never agree to purchase a vehicle without having the title in hand. If the seller does not have a title or it is in unusable condition, it is their responsibility to apply for a new one by completing a Duplicate Certificate of Title Application (Form MVD10901).
  • A current emissions certificate, if applicable.
  • A Bill of Sale (Form MVD10009).
    • Only required if the Assignment of Title is NOT on the back of the current title, though MVD recommends it for all sales.
    • Have the seller include the following information when possible:
      • The purchase price.
      • The sale date.
      • The vehicle identification number.
      • A description of the vehicle.

NM Vehicle Registration Paperwork

To title and register your vehicle with the New Mexico MVD, provide the following paperwork:

You'll also need to show proper proof of identity and residency along with the vehicle paperwork above. Check out our guide to Car Registration in New Mexico for a full run-down of the process.

Registering Out-of-State Vehicles

In addition to the documents above, you may also need the following paperwork when registering a vehicle previously titled in a state other than New Mexico:

Vehicle History Reports

When buying a car, you may find it helpful to confirm what a seller tells you or look into a vehicle's complete history.

A vehicle history report provides detailed information about a car's past, such as accidents, damage, and a mileage estimate.

This information allows you to avoid problem cars, such as flood damaged vehicles or those involved in multiple accidents, which can continue to have problems even if they've been repaired.

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