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    Transferring a Vehicle Title in New York State

    A vehicle title proves ownership of a vehicle. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV) combines the titling and registration of vehicles into one process if you want to do both at the same time.

    If you are purchasing a new or used vehicle, receiving the vehicle as a gift or inheritance, or you have just moved to New York, you will need to get your vehicle titled and registered to legally drive on New York roadways.

    It is also possible to just title the vehicle if you do not plan to drive it right away. For details on registering a vehicle, please visit our guide on Vehicle Registration in New York.

    New to New York?

    Once you establish residency in New York, you will need to change over your vehicle title and get the vehicle registered within 30 days. You can title and register your vehicle at the same time, but you will need New York car insurance prior to doing so.

    The titling process differs based on whether or not you have your out-of-state title.

    Out-of-State Application with Title

    To title and register your car, go to your local NYS DMV office and:

    Out-of-State Application Without Title

    If a lienholder has your vehicle title because you still owe on your vehicle loan, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will require notification in order to get the vehicle registered and/or titled. You will need to visit the NYS DMV and submit:

    • A certified copy of your vehicle title from the lienholder.
      • The copy of the vehicle title and the certification of the title must be on the same piece of paper.
    • A statement from the lienholder on company letterhead that lists the following:
      • Identifies the owner.
      • Lists the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN).
      • Shows that the lienholder has the original title and knows that the owner of the vehicle is registering the vehicle in New York.
        • The lienholder statement cannot request notification of registration from the NYS DMV, as they will not provide that service.
    • A New York State Insurance Identification Card (Form FS-20). New York does not accept out-of-state insurance.
    • A completed Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82).
      • Use the Application for Title (Form MV-82TON) if you only want the title and not the registration. Note that you cannot drive a vehicle without a NY registration.
    • Fill out the Claim for Sales and Use Tax Exemption - Title/Registration (Form DTF-803) for a tax exemption showing that you purchased the vehicle prior to moving to New York.
    • Pay the applicable titling fees (see “Vehicle Titling Fees” below).
      • Registration fees will also apply if you’re registering your vehicle at the same time. Our NY Vehicle Registration page has more info about registering your car

    Buying or Selling a Vehicle in NY

    Whenever ownership of a vehicle changes, the title must be transferred to the new owner. The process is different depending on whether the seller of the vehicle is a car dealership or a private individual.

    Buying & Titling a Vehicle

    Buying a Vehicle from a Car Dealership

    Most dealerships can file all titling paperwork for you, and issue temporary registration and license plates. Be aware that car dealerships can charge a fee to file the paperwork for you, so you will want to check how much the fees will cost you.

    If you decide to file the paperwork for yourself, go to a NYS Department of Motor Vehicles office and submit:

    • All paperwork received from dealership at time of purchase, which could include but is not limited to:
      • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin.
      • Dealer’s bill of sale.
      • Proof of payment of sales tax. You will need to pay the taxes at the NYS DMV office if you did not pay them at the dealership.
    • A completed Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82).
    • A New York State Insurance Identification Card (Form FS-20).
    • Proof of identification and birthdate.
    • Payment for all titling fees and taxes required. If you’re registering your vehicle as well, you’ll pay your registration fees at this time.
      • See “Vehicle Titling Fees” below.

    Buying a Vehicle from a Private Party

    When purchasing from a private party, you will also be required to have your vehicle inspected. When you submit all of your paperwork, you will be given an extension sticker that allows you to get the vehicle inspected within 10 days of titling. If you register your vehicle at the same time, the registration will not be valid if you go past the extension.

    Go to a NYS DMV office and submit:


    Selling a Vehicle in NY

    When you sell your vehicle to someone else, you must complete the following:

    • Fill out the vehicle title certificate, including:
      • Odometer disclosure statement.
      • Damage disclosure statement.
      • Signature.
    • Fill out the Statement of Transaction - Sale or Gift of Motor Vehicle, Trailer, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Vessel (Boat), or Snowmobile (Form DTF-802) with the buyer.
      • The NYS DMV will collect sales tax from the buyer.
    • Provide a bill of sale.
      • The NYS DMV does not provide a bill of sale. You will need to make one out yourself and list:
        • Vehicle year and make.
        • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
        • Date of sale.
        • Sale price of the vehicle.
        • Printed names of both buyer and seller.
        • Signatures of both buyer and seller.
      • Make a copy of the bill of sale for your records. The buyer must have the original.
    • Remove the license plates from the vehicle.
      • You will need to transfer the plates to a new vehicle or surrender them to the NYS DMV.

    Removing a Lien on a NY Title

    Once you pay off a loan on your vehicle, you will need to remove the lien and lienholder’s name form the title.

    Contact your lienholder and have them send you a notice for the NYS DMV stating that you have satisfied your loan and no longer owe anything. The lienholder can do this in one of two ways:

    • Notice of Recorded Lien (Form MV-900): An official of the lienholder can fill out this form and send it to you to give to the NYS DMV. You will need to contact the NYS DMV office about getting this form.
    • Official Letter: The lienholder can send a letter notifying the DMV that the loan has been paid off. To be accepted by the NYS DMV, it must:
      • Be written on official letterhead of the lienholder.
      • An official of the company must sign the letter. The signature must be notarized if the official is not a loan officer.
      • Have all of the vehicle information.

    After you get one of these documents, you will need to send the following to the lien release office:

    • The original title certificate.
    • Lien release document.
    • A check or money order for $20 payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

    Send everything to:

    Lien Release
    NYSDMV Title Services
    Department of Motor Vehicles
    6 Empire State Plaza
    Albany, NY 12228

    You will receive the new title in about 90 days after sending all the paperwork.

    Donated and Gifted NY Vehicles

    Vehicles may be transferred without an exchange of money if they are gifted or donated, or in the unfortunate event of the owner’s death.

    Donating or Gifting a Vehicle

    If you choose to give your vehicle to a friend, family member, or charity as a gift or donation, give the new owner the following documents:

    Receiving a Vehicle as a Gift

    When a vehicle is gifted or transferred to you, bring in the paperwork mentioned above that was given to you by the previous owner. Follow the steps listed above in “Buying a Vehicle” to complete the transfer.

    NOTE: You may need to fill out the Claim for Sales and Use Tax Exemption - Title/Registration (Form DTF-803) if you are claiming an exemption other than a gifted vehicle (i.e. you are a nonresident, the vehicle wasn’t purchased in New York, etc.). Applicable reasons are listed on the form.

    Inheriting a Vehicle in New York

    New York law states that immediate family members may drive a deceased owner’s vehicle until the expiration date of the registration or insurance, whichever comes first. At that time, the vehicle must be transferred to a new owner.

    Transfer of Vehicle to Family

    A single vehicle valued at $25,000 or less will be transferred to the owner’s spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the vehicle will be given to any children of the deceased under 21 years old.

    • The spouse or child will need to sign the title and list the relationship to the deceased (spouse or child).
      • A legal guardian of a child, if applicable, must sign the title with their name and indicate they are the “guardian of” the name of the deceased’s child.
    • The new owner (spouse, child, or guardian of child) will need to pay a title fee.

    You may be required to present a copy of the death certificate and/or complete other titling and registration forms as determined by the NYS DMV. Additional fees may also apply.

    The spouse is allowed to keep and use the license plates that are on the vehicle.

    Transfer from Family to Another Person

    The spouse, guardian, or child who signed the title in the steps listed above may transfer the vehicle to another individual with an Affidavit for Transfer of Motor Vehicle (Form MV-349.1).

    The new owner should take these documents to their local NYS Department of Motor Vehicles branch, along with all the other documents needed for a normal transfer of title listed above in the “Buying a Vehicle from a Private Party” section.

    Transfer of Vehicle to the Estate

    If there are multiple vehicles, or a vehicle valued at more than $25,000, the vehicle(s) will be transferred to the estate, to be handled by the executor or administrator of the estate.

    If no family member remains, the executor/administrator of the estate will need to sign the title as the executor (or administrator) of the estate.

    Transfer from the Estate to Family

    Vehicles valued at more than $25,000 must go through the estate before going to a spouse or child. The executor/administrator of the estate and the family member will need to contact the Surrogate Court in the county where the family member lives.

    The transaction will be completed with Letters Testamentary, Letters of Administration, or a Voluntary Administrator’s Affidavit.

    Transfer from the Estate to Another Person

    The executor/administrator must give the new owner of the vehicle:

    • Title with executor/administrator signature.
    • Letters Testamentary, Letters of Administration, or Voluntary Administrator’s Affidavit.

    The new owner will need to take these documents, along with all the other documents listed above in “Buying a Vehicle from a Private Party,” to their local NYS DMV office.

    Transfer on Death Without Title

    If the deceased does not have a vehicle title, the executor/administrator of the estate will need to contact the DMV call center Title Services Bureau at (518) 486-4714.

    The call center is open all weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Wednesdays and state holidays.

    Purchase a Vehicle from an Estate

    If you purchase a vehicle from an estate, you will need:

    You will need to take these documents, along with all the other documents needed for a normal transfer of title, to your local DMV office. These documents are listed above in the “Buying a Vehicle from a Private Party” section.

    Transfer to Next of Kin

    The next of kin will sign the title and handle the transfer if there is no spouse, children under 21 years old, estate, or will. The next of kin will need:

    You may be required to fill out other titling and registration documents and pay any fees as determined by the NYS DMV. See “Buying a Vehicle from a Private Party” above.

    Military Members & NY Vehicle Titles

    There are different rules for members of the military who want to title their vehicles depending on whether the soldier is from New York or not, stationed in New York, or stationed somewhere else.

    NY Military Residents Stationed In State

    Members of the military serving in your home state of New York may follow the steps outlined above for your specific scenario, just as civilian citizens would.

    NY Military Residents Stationed Out of State

    If you are a NYS resident and you’ve purchased a vehicle while stationed out of state, simply follow the steps above in “New to New York?” to transfer your out-of-state title to a New York Title.

    If you’ve purchased a vehicle overseas, it must first clear Customs and Border Protection and have an emissions test to certify that it meets NYS emissions standards. You’ll need to present one of the following CBP forms with your title application:

    • Collection Receipt or Informal Entry.
    • Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles.
    • Entry Summary.
    • Entry and Manifest of Merchandise Free of Duty, Carrier's Certificate of Release.
    • Declaration for Free Entry of Returned American Products.
    • Customs Declaration.

    For more information about documents to bring for foreign vehicles, please visit the NYS DMV’s imported vehicles guide.

    Non-Resident Military Stationed in New York

    If you are an out-of-state resident serving in New York State, you do not have to title your vehicle with the NYS DMV. You must maintain proper registration and insurance in your home state to legally drive the vehicle in New York.

    If you decide to title and register your vehicle in New York, you can do so by following the process shown above in the “New to New York?” section.

    Vehicle Titling Fees in New York

    A NY vehicle title costs $50. However, there will be other fees to pay when you title the vehicle, including sales taxes, license plate fees, registration fees, and vehicle use taxes in some counties.

    Your local NYS DMV office will calculate all the fees for you and give you the total you will need to pay.

    Go to the NYS DMV fees page to estimate a general figure for what it might cost to title and register your vehicle.

    Change Your NY Title Information

    Changing Your Name on Your Title

    Changing the name on any NYS DMV documents must be done in person at a NYS DMV office. If you are changing the name on the title certificate, you will also need to change the name on your registration if the car is registered. Changing your name on your title will require:

    • A New York DMV driver’s license or picture ID that shows your original name.
    • Documents showing the name change (marriage certificate, divorce documents, court paperwork, etc.).
    • A completed Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82).
    • The original registration and/or title with your previous name on it.

    Changing Your Address on Your Title

    New York requires that you notify the DMV when you change your address so they have the current information. You do not need to change the address on the actual title of your vehicle(s). The vehicle title will still be valid with your old address on it.

    If you wish to get another copy of your title with your new address listed, follow the in-person process listed below in “Obtain a Duplicate NYS Title.”

    Obtain a Duplicate NYS Title

    There are a few ways to apply for a duplicate title. Your name must be on the title unless the owner has died or you have power of attorney.

    Online

    You will not be able to order a duplicate title online if you are removing a lien, your address has changed, you have a power of attorney, or the owner is deceased.

    Go to the online Replace a Title Certificate service and follow the instructions to apply for a duplicate title.

    In Person

    If you need to change your name or address, it is best to visit the NYS DMV office in person. Go to the NYS DMV office and submit:

    • Application for Duplicate Title (Form MV-902). Download and complete the form before going to the DMV office to save time.
    • NY driver’s license or photo identification.
      • If your name or address has changed, you will need to follow the instructions listed above and have the extra documents needed.
    • Payment for the $20 duplicate title fee.

    By Mail

    If you cannot order the duplicate title online, and you do not have to change any information, you can apply for a duplicate title by mail. You must send the following:

    Send everything to the address on the form, or by express mail to:

    Duplicate Title Certificates
    NYS DMV
    6 Empire State Plaza
    Albany, NY 12228

    Your duplicate title will be mailed to you.

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