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Paperwork When Buying a Car in New York

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Use this guide to learn more information about the paperwork required by New York's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to title and register your vehicle following a purchase.

Paperwork for New York Car Buyers

To transfer ownership after you buy a car in New York, you'll need to receive certain documents from the seller. That documentation varies depending on whether you buy from a dealership or a private seller.

Dealership Purchases

When you buy a car at a dealership, the dealer typically provides the DMV with all the necessary paperwork.

If you end up needing to transfer ownership of the vehicle yourself, make sure you obtain the following from the sales rep:

  • The Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO), if the vehicle is brand new/has never been titled in NY.
  • The current title, if the vehicle is used/pre-owned and has been titled before.
  • A dealer's invoice, to function as proof of sale and fees paid.

Private Vehicle Purchases

When you purchase a car through a private seller, you'll need to obtain certain documents from the seller so you can title and register the vehicle yourself. These include:

  • A signed and completed vehicle title, to include:
    • An odometer disclosure, if the vehicle is at least 10 years old.
    • A damage disclosure, if the vehicle is at least 8 years old.
  • A signed Bill of Sale (Form MV-912) listing the vehicle's:
    • Make and model year.
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • Sale date.
    • Purchase price.
  • A completed Statement of Transaction (Form DTF-802).
    • Though the completion of this form is a requirement for the buyer in order to pay sales tax to the DMV, it must be signed by the seller.

If the seller lost the title or if it is in unusable condition, they'll need to apply for a new one BEFORE THE SALE, either on the NY DMV's website or by completing an Application for Duplicate Title (Form MV-902).

NY Vehicle Registration Paperwork

Once you've received the appropriate paperwork from the seller, bring all documents to your local DMV office and submit them, along with the following:

  • A completed:
  • Proof of NY car insurance.
  • Lease or lienholder paperwork, if applicable.
  • Payment for the fees due, including:
    • Title fee: $50.
    • Plate fees: $25.
    • Registration fees: Vary according to vehicle weight.

For full details on registering your new car in New York, visit our guide to car registration.

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