Paperwork When Buying a Car in Connecticut

Paperwork Required to Buy a Car in Connecticut

When buying a car in Connecticut, you'll need to make sure you get paperwork from the seller so that you can title and register the car with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Read below for more information about the paperwork you need when you buy a car in Connecticut.

Paperwork for Connecticut Car Buyers

When you buy a car, you must get several documents from the seller so that you can transfer ownership of the vehicle as well as register it in your name.

If you're buying from a car dealer, they'll have everything ready for you and will usually process all of the paperwork on your behalf.

If you're buying from a private seller, make sure you know what you need from them.

Documents from the Seller

The seller should give you:

  • The certificate of title, signed by the former owner.
  • A bill of sale. You can use either a generic bill of sale OR the CT Bill of Sale (Form H-31). The form MUST include:
    • Your name and address.
    • The seller's name and address.
    • The sale price.
    • The date of the sale.
    • The seller's signature.
    • The car's make, model, year, color, and vehicle identification number (VIN).

NOTE: If the title is missing, the seller must apply for a duplicate title prior to selling you the car.

Additional Documents

In addition to the documents you get from the seller, you will need to get:

  • Proof of car insurance.
  • Identification, such as your Connecticut driver's license or ID.
  • Proof that the car passed an emissions test IF the car:
    • Is more than 4 years old.
  • VIN verification IF:
    • Vehicle is exempt from emissions test.

Once you have all of the required paperwork, you can transfer the title and register the car in your name.

Title Transfer & Car Registration in CT

To transfer the title and register the vehicle, go in person to your local CT DMV office with:

  • Title transfer fee: $25.
  • Registration fee: Varies by vehicle type and weight. See the CT DMV fee chart.
  • Sales tax: 6.35% of the purchase price or NADA value (whichever is more). Vehicles over $50,000 are taxed at 7.75%.
  • Municipality processing fee (if applicable): Up to $8.

Transferring Connecticut License Plates

You can transfer the license plates from your old car. Be sure to bring:

  • The license plates you want to transfer.
  • Payment for the $21 transfer fee.

Vehicle History Reports

A vehicle history report offers you key insights into the current state of a car you are considering purchasing by letting you know if it has ever been involved in any accidents, floods, or theft.

This information can help you avoid potential problems later on if the car has internal damage that you cannot see from the outside.

Without a vehicle history report, it can be easy to be misled about a car's past and its current condition.

Used Vehicle Warranties in CT

The state of Connecticut requires all vehicles that are 6 years old and under AND cost at least $3,000 to be covered by a warranty when purchased from a dealership. Cars that do not meet these criteria can be sold “as is," in which case there is no protection if the car needs repairs.

The minimum warranty periods are:

  • 30 days or 1,500 miles (whichever comes first) for cars costing $3,000 to $5,000.
  • 60 days or 3,000 miles (whichever comes first) for cars costing over $5,000.

During the warranty period:

  • The dealer is responsible for all repairs at no cost.
  • The warranty is extended for each day the car is in the shop.

Be sure to get a copy of the warranty paperwork for your records.

NOTE: There is no warranty for cars from private sellers.


Bill of Sale
Use this bill of sale as proof of purchase when you sell a vehicle or vessel in Connecticut.
Application for Registration and Certificate of Title
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles' application for vehicle title and registration.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review