Paperwork When Buying a Car in Vermont

Paperwork Required to Buy a Car in Vermont

When you buy a car in Vermont, you'll have some paperwork to do. If buying from a dealer, that paperwork will most likely be handled for you. If you buy from a private seller, it's up to you and the seller to take care of it.

Make sure you secure the title, the bill of sale, and other necessary documents so that you can title and register the car in your name with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Keep reading for more information about the paperwork you need when buying a car in Vermont.

Paperwork for Vermont Car Buyers

When you buy a new car in Vermont, the seller must give you ownership documents. Generally, you will need:

See our Title Transfers in Vermont page for more details.

Buying a Car Without a Title

The state doesn't require titles for vehicles more than 15 years old. If you are attempting to buy such a vehicle, make sure that the bill of sale includes:

  • The vehicle's make and year.
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • The purchase price and sale date.
  • The odometer reading.
  • The seller's signature.

If the car is coming from a different state where it did not need a title, you will ALSO need:

  • An original or certified copy of the last registration.
  • Past bills of sale to provide enough information to identify the car.

If you are buying a vehicle that doesn't have a required title, you will need the original or certified copy of the vehicle's last registration certificate, as well as a bill of sale. Alternatively, the seller can request a duplicate title.

Required Inspections

The car will need a safety inspection IF:

  • It does not have a current, valid inspection certificate.
  • It is coming from outside of Vermont.
    • Out-of-state vehicles must be inspected within 15 days of registration.

Any vehicle up to 15 years old needs a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification IF:

  • It's from outside of the state or country.
  • It has a salvage title.
  • It is titled under bond.

VIN verifications can be conducted by designated law enforcement officers and DMV employees.

VT Title & Registration Paperwork

To title and register the car in your name, you'll need to take the sale paperwork to your local DMV branch. Be sure to take:

Transferring a Registration

Vermont allows registration transfers, so you can move your license plates from one car to another if you wish. The transfer fee is $23, in place of the new registration fee.

Vehicle History Reports

A vehicle history report will tell you everything you need to know about a car's past, such as whether or not it was ever in an accident, flood, or was stolen.

This knowledge can help you make a more informed decision about a fair price for the car and whether or not the car is one you would like to buy.

Without the report, it is easy to miss potential problems that can cost you in repairs down the road.

For more information, see our Vehicle History Reports in Vermont page.

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