Paperwork When Buying a Car in Tennessee
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Your paperwork requirements when buying a car vary depending on whom you're buying the car from.
Those who go this route will find that the dealer will take care of most or all the paperwork for you, so you can just concentrate on finding the best car and the best deal.
While the forms may differ a bit according to your situation, you'll have to at least complete these forms:
The state provides many other forms online that may apply to your situation.
If you're buying a vehicle from an individual, you'll probably want to do some research. Our Vehicle History Reports section will get you started. You may also want to check out the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to find out if the vehicle you wish to purchase has been seriously damaged.
Also make sure that the individual notifies you whether the vehicle has a salvage certificate. Do a thorough inspection of the vehicle, and ask questions if you have suspicions.
Some sellers will suggest that you have the vehicle professionally inspected. Take advantage of this, and if your seller doesn't offer an inspection, suggest one yourself.
Buying or Selling Without Paperwork
When a vehicle is bought or sold, the title document must change hands.
Don't purchase a vehicle unless the seller can provide you with the title. Without it, you won't be able to transfer ownership. If the current owner cannot find their title, they will need to request a duplicate.
Though not mandatory, it's always wise to keep a bill of sale on file. It serves as your proof of purchase and protects your stance should any questions arise over your vehicle's registration rate. You can download a copy of this document within seconds from our Bill of Sale page.
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