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    Buying or selling a vehicle is not quite as simple as finding the right car or buyer; both transactions involve paperwork. The paperwork isn't just busy work, however―it can protect both the buyer and seller, and it will be required in your dealings with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    Selling a Vehicle

    First of all, if you sell more than 3 vehicles in a year, you're technically considered a dealer and will need to be licensed by the NV DMV to do business.

    Private-Party Sales

    You should give the buyer a properly signed-off title. You'll need to request a duplicate if you don't have one. Apply to the state that issued the existing title.

    The only time you won't need to obtain a duplicate title is if the vehicle was titled in Nevada, is older than 9 years, and has no liens. In that case, the buyer can submit an Application for Duplicate Nevada Certificate of Title (Form VP 012) and a Bill of Sale (Form VP 104) to obtain the title on his or her own.

    When signing over the title, all owners must sign the document if the names are listed with the word "and." If they're listed with "or," only a single own needs to sign.

    You should also fill out a bill of sale and keep it for your records. If the buyer needs one to register the vehicle, complete an extra copy so you each have an original.

    Keep the license plates and transfer them to another vehicle, or surrender them to the DMV within 30 days if you're not replacing the vehicle.

    The buyer will be responsible for emissions testing, if necessary, and also for a current insurance policy.

    Dealer Trade-Ins

    An auto dealer is required to satisfy any outstanding liens on your trade-in within no more than 30 days. In cases where there is no vehicle title, a dealer may require you to sign power-of-attorney paperwork to finalize the sale.

    After trading in your vehicle, the dealer must hold onto the trade-in vehicle until after financing has processed. Your dealer is legally required to return your trade-in vehicle if he or she unable to make arrangements for financing.

    Buying a Vehicle From a Private Party

    When you buy a vehicle from a private party, be sure to get a signed-off title. You won't be able to register the vehicle without one.

    In most cases, the existing owner of record will need to apply for a duplicate if the original is not in his or her possession. However, you may apply for the duplicate if the car is titled in Nevada, is older than 9 years, and has no liens.

    Simply fill out the Application for Duplicate Nevada Certificate of Title (Form VP 012) and a Bill of Sale (Form VP 104) and bring it in to your local full-service DMV office.

    To complete the bill of sale, both the seller and the buyer should sign off in the appropriate section. If you need to keep a copy (because there is no title), complete a couple copies so you each have an original. The seller should also remove the license plates from the car and keep them.

    Salvage titles: Do not purchase a vehicle that has an orange salvage title. It's illegal to sell salvage vehicles to private purchasers.

    Private payment arrangements: If the seller wishes to remain on the title as part of a personal payment arrangement, he or she will need to complete the lienholder section of the title. The new title will be sent to the existing lienholder, who must sign off on the vehicle and release the lien before the vehicle can be sold again in the future.

    Commercial financing: If you've arranged financing with a bank or other financial institution, that business will usually handle the title transfer with the DMV, and will be in possession of the new title until the lien is satisfied. In this case, you will be allowed to register the vehicle with the financial institution's security agreement forms instead of the actual title.

    As the buyer, you'll be responsible for obtaining insurance and a movement permit for the vehicle. Since the seller will keep the plates, you'll need to apply at the NV DMV for a permit to operate the vehicle on public roads until your registration documents come through. You'll receive the movement permit when you bring your title or security agreement in to your local full-service Nevada DMV office to register the car.

    Sales tax should NOT be collected on vehicles sold by a private party.

    Buying a Vehicle From a Nevada Dealer

    When you buy a car from a dealer in the state, you should receive the following documents:

    • Copies of contract, lease agreement, and warranty.
    • Temporary movement placard with an expiration date 30 days from the sale date.
    • Emissions certification, if required.
    • Drive train inspection report on used vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.
    • Dealers Report of Sale (DRS), sometimes called the green slip.

    If financing has not yet been arranged, the dealer may hold onto the DRS until arrangements are completed. This can take up to 15 days.

    Registration for the vehicle must be completed by the expiration date on the temporary placard, even if the DRS wasn't obtained until later.

    The dealer is responsible for handling all title transfer documents, and must submit the paperwork within 30 days of the sale date. The new title will then be sent to the lienholder, if there is one, or to you as the owner.

    Buyer beware: Nevada has no return policy or grace period on vehicle sales, so be sure to read the contracts and agreements carefully before signing. Do not sign a contract or document with blank spaces on it.

    Buying a Vehicle From an Out-of-State Dealer

    You should ask the dealer about title transfer procedures and temporary movement permits before you make your purchase, because each state handles these things a little differently. Make sure you know your responsibilities and what the dealer will handle for you before it's a done deal.

    To register the vehicle in Nevada, you'll need to provide:

    • Invoice or Bill of Sale.
    • Any of the following: title, Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, security agreement, lease agreement, or purchase order.
    • Nevada emissions certification, if needed.
    • VIN inspection.

    Registration Issues

    The seller must provide a title to the buyer, but the vehicle registration doesn't have to be shown at the time of the sale. However, if the vehicle has never been titled or registered in Nevada, the buyer will need to have a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. You may do so at a DMV office. Alternatively, you can have a police officer conduct the inspection and then complete the Vehicle Inspection Certificate (Form VP 015).

    Although the seller doesn't need to show the registration, producing it may facilitate the sale. Seeing the registration may allow the buyer to verify that the tags are legitimate, and that the vehicle has passed recent emissions testing. It might give the buyer some extra peace of mind.

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