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Title Transfers in New Mexico

How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in New Mexico:

Have the seller assign the title to you and provide their signature.

  1. Obtain an odometer disclosure from the seller.
  2. Get the car inspected for emissions, if applicable.
  3. Gather proof of identity, residency, and car insurance.
  4. Bring all paperwork, with payment for your applicable fees, to your local MVD office.

Please continue reading for more details about New Mexico title transfers.

New to New Mexico

Upon establishing residency in New Mexico, you have 30 days to title and register* your out-of-state car with the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).

Go to your local MVD office and:

  • Provide your out-of-state title.
    • If your title is currently being held by your lienholder, inform the MVD that they need to submit a Request for Lien Holder Title (Form MVD-10234). You'll keep pink copy to serve as a temporary permit.
  • Have your car undergo a VIN inspection.
    • This can be done either:
      • At the MVD—call your local office for hours and scheduling requirements for VIN inspections.
        OR
      • By a certified VIN inspector—you can find a list on the MVD website.
  • Submit proof of New Mexico car insurance.
  • Provide:
    • Proof of identity.
    • 2 documents proving NM residency.
    • Proof of passed emissions inspection, if moving to Bernalillo County.
  • Payment for the titling fee which includes a $2 admin fee and a $3 transaction fee plus 3% excise tax.

*NOTE: Titling and registration is typically done at the same time. If you meet certain qualifications and wish to only obtain a Certificate of Title, please see Title-Only Applications below.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle

If you buy or sell a car in New Mexico, you'll have to complete a transfer of ownership for that vehicle.* The process will differ based on whether you are the buyer or the seller.

* Typically, titling and registration take place at the same time. If you wish to apply for a title only, see Title-Only Applications below.

Buying from a Dealer

If you purchase a new vehicle from a New Mexico dealership, you'll need to visit your local MVD office with:

Buying from a Private Seller

When buying a car from another private party, you'll first need to have the seller of the vehicle:

NOTE: A Bill of Sale is required for titling if there is no Assignment of Title section on the title certificate.

Once you've obtained the correct paperwork from the seller, visit your local Motor Vehicle Division branch office and:

Selling a Vehicle in New Mexico

As the seller of a vehicle, you will be responsible for signing the title over to the buyer and ensuring they have what they need to complete the title transfer with the MVD.

You'll need to:

The rest of the titling process rests with the buyer.

Title-Only Applications

In certain circumstances, you can apply for a New Mexico title WITHOUT registering the car at the same time. To be eligible, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Your vehicle will be non-operational.
  • You received a vehicle as a gift and you intend to trade it in.
  • Your vehicle is not insured.

In these cases, you may apply for a title certificate by providing the MVD with:

  • The current vehicle title.
    • The “Assignment of Title" and “Odometer Disclosure" sections must be completed.
  • Proof of identity.
  • 2 documents proving New Mexico residency.
  • Payment for your titling fee $2 admin fee, $3 transaction fee and 3% excise tax.

You will receive a title, but NO license plates or registration, meaning your vehicle cannot be driven on New Mexico roads.

Gifting, Donating or Inheriting a Vehicle

Gifted or Donated Vehicles

For vehicles being donated, or given or received as gifts, the process for changing ownership closely mirrors that to buying a vehicle from a private seller.

Additionally, the recipient of the vehicle must submit a notarized Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle or Boat (Form MVD-10018), signed by both the recipient and the gifter/donator. Make sure to indicate a sale price of $0 on the title application or Bill of Sale.

Don't Miss Out on a Tax Credit!

If you're donating your vehicle to a charitable organization, you may be eligible for a tax credit. Visit our page on Car Donations for details.

Inherited Vehicles

The process for vehicles inherited upon death of the owner differs based on the status of the deceased's estate.

Probated Estate, With or Without Will

In the case that there is a named or court-appointed administrator or personal representative of the deceased's estate, that individual may transfer the title into his or her name.

In addition to the process laid out in Buying or Selling above, the administrator will also need to present to the DMV an Order Appointing Personal Representative and Acceptance of Appointment of Personal Representative, issued by the court.

Non-Probated Estate or No Will

In the event that there is no will, or the will has not been probated, the deceased's legal spouse, heir, or claiming successor can apply for a transfer without probate, as long as there is no pending application to appoint a personal representative or administrator of the estate.

In addition to the steps listed in Buying or Selling above, you must also:

Lien Releases in New Mexico

Once you have paid off the loan on your car, your lender needs to send you the title indicating that it's clear from all liens against it.

Contact your lienholder and ask them to do one of the following:

  • Send you a notarized release of lien on their company letterhead.
  • Sign the “Release of Lien" section provided on your vehicle title.
  • Complete and sign a Release of Lien (Form MVD-10041).

Bring the applicable document to the Motor Vehicle Division, along with payment for titling fees.

Duplicate NM Titles

If your New Mexico vehicle title has been lost or damaged, you can apply for a replacement by visiting your local MVD office with:

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