Title Transfers in North Carolina

How to Complete an Auto Title Transfer in North Carolina
  • The seller must give the buyer the notarized title and disclosure forms.
  • The buyer will take the title, disclosure forms, title application, ID, and proof of insurance to apply for a DMV title transfer.
  • The buyer will also have to pay a title transfer fee and taxes.
  • Continue reading for details about NC auto title transfers.

NC Car Title Transfers

When ownership of a vehicle changes, the title must be transferred from seller to buyer with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Private Sale Car Title Transfers

Buying or selling a vehicle privately requires both the buyer and seller to be responsible for correctly completing the car title transfer.

Buying a Vehicle

After buying a vehicle, you must complete the auto title transfer within 28 days of notarizing the title or receiving the vehicle, whichever occurs later. Otherwise, you'll pay a $20 late fee.

You'll need to take the following to a NC DMV title office to complete the auto title transfer:

  • All of the documents provided by the seller. See below for requirements.
  • A Title Application (Form MVR-1), signed and notarized by all owners.
  • Proof of car insurance:
    • Your insurance card (must have your name, policy number, and expiration date).
    • Your insurance policy or binder.
    • A Form FS-1 from your car insurance agent.
  • A form of ID for all owners:
    • NC residents must provide a NC driver's license or ID.
    • Non-residents must provide a driver's license or ID PLUS additional documentation of your presence in NC.
  • Payment for title transfer fees. The NC DMV accepts cash, money orders, checks, debit or credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card):

You'll also register your vehicle when you apply for a DMV title transfer. See our Car Registration page for additional requirements and fees.

Don't Get Stuck With a Lemon

Get all the information you need before buying a car! Order a Vehicle History Report to learn about past accidents, repairs, and mileage.

Selling a Vehicle

After selling your vehicle in a private sale, you must provide the buyer with:

  • The completed vehicle title.
    • BOTH you and the buyer(s) should sign the title and have it notarized.
  • A Damage Disclosure Statement (Form MVR-181).
  • A lien release IF any liens are listed on the title.
  • An Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form MVR-180) IF the vehicle is under 10 years old.

NOTE: If you don't have the motor vehicle title, you can request a duplicate and complete the DMV title transfer simultaneously.

Buying from a Dealer

If you buy a car from a dealership, they will usually handle the DMV title transfer and vehicle registration paperwork for you.

If you transfer the title yourself, you'll need to take the following to a NC DMV title office:

  • All of the documents required for a private sale auto title transfer (listed above).
  • A bill of sale that shows the vehicle purchase price.

You'll also register your vehicle when you transfer your title. See our Car Registrations in North Carolina page for registration requirements and fees.

New to North Carolina?

When you move to NC, you must complete an out-of-state car title transfer with the DMV.

You'll apply for a vehicle title transfer AND complete your vehicle registration at the same time. Visit our Car Registration page for details about registering your vehicle.

BEFORE you title and register the vehicle, you must get:

NEXT, you'll take the following to a North Carolina DMV title office:

  • Proof of ownership:
    • The notarized title with ALL owners' signatures notarized.
    • Your out-of-state registration card IF the title is held by a lienholder.
    NOTE: Include an odometer reading if the vehicle is under 10 years old.
  • A Title Application (Form MVR-1).
  • Proof of identity:
    • Your NC driver's license.
    • Your out-of-state license AND your NC Temporary Driving Certificate.
  • Documentation for EVERY listed owner:
    • A photocopy of their driver's license or ID.
    • A Power of Attorney document.
  • Proof of NC auto insurance, such as:
    • Your insurance card.
    • Your insurance policy.
  • Payment for fees:

NC DMV title offices accept the following forms of payment for motor vehicle fees:

  • Cash.
  • Check or money order.
  • Debit card.
  • Credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card.

Gifted & Donated Car Title Transfers

Gifting or donating a vehicle requires the same car title transfer process as selling a car privately. See NC Car Title Transfers for complete details.

You DO NOT have to pay the 3% Highway Use Tax IF you're transferring the vehicle title between:

  • Spouses.
  • Parents to or from children.
  • Step-parents to or from step-children.

Complete the Highway Use Tax Exemption Certification (Form MVR-613) if you're transferring the vehicle as a gift to one of family members listed above.

Learn more about donating a vehicle on our Car Donation page.

Inherited Vehicle Title Transfers

If you inherit a vehicle from your spouse AND the will goes through probate, you'll need to provide the NC DMV with:

  • A certified copy of the will.
  • Letter of administration OR court certificate.

If there is no will OR the will does not go through probate, you'll need to present an affidavit that includes:

  • The name and date of death of the deceased owner.
  • A statement that the person died without leaving a will OR that the will is not going through probate.
  • A statement that the debts of the deceased person have been paid or will be paid with money from the sale of the vehicle.
  • The name, age, and relationship of heirs in the will, if applicable.
  • The name and address of the new vehicle owner.

In addition to the above, you will most likely need all other documents required for a DMV title transfer when selling a vehicle.

Contact the NC DMV at (919) 715-7000 for complete details, fees, and other requirements.

NC Title Transfer Fees

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) charges the following fees for car title transfers and related transactions:

  • Vehicle title fee: $56.
  • Instant title fee: $105.75 PLUS title fee.
  • Highway Use Tax (HUT): 3%.
    • Certain vehicles, already titled within North Carolina, may be exempt from HUT. Complete the Highway Use Tax Exemption Certification (Form MVR-613) if applicable (exemptions are listed on the form).
  • Late fee: $20.
    • The late fee is charged if you apply for a NC car title transfer more than 28 days after you buy or receive your vehicle (whichever happens later).
  • Corrected title (names changes or errors): $21.50.
  • Lien removal: $21.50.
  • Duplicate title: $21.50.

NOTE: Most of the time, you'll title and register a vehicle at the same time, so you'll need to pay car registration fees in addition to applicable title fees.

Accepted Forms of Payment

NC DMV title agents accept the following forms of payment:

  • Cash.
  • Check.
  • Money order.
  • Debit card.
  • Credit cards:
    • VISA.
    • MasterCard.
    • Discover.

Instant North Carolina Titles

An instant title is issued while you wait. It is available ONLY at the NC state DMV offices in Raleigh and Charlotte.

You'll pay a $105.75 fee for an instant title IN ADDITION to other title fees.

Instant titles ARE NOT available when requesting a duplicate title.

Change or Correct Your Vehicle Title

You can get a replacement North Carolina vehicle title to change your name or lien information. If there's an error on your title, you can get a correction.

Removing a Lien from a NC Title

If you pay off a lien on your vehicle, you can request that the lien be removed from your title by applying for a duplicate title.

Name Changes & Errors on Car Titles

If your name changes because of a marriage, divorce, court order, or naturalization, you can change the name on your North Carolina car title.

You can also request a corrected title if your title has an error on it.

BEFORE you apply for a new title, you must FIRST change the name on your driver's license if you're requesting a name change.

To get an updated or corrected motor vehicle title, submit the following:

  • The Corrected or Substitute Title Application (Form MVR-5).
    • Must be notarized.
  • The vehicle title.
    • Include an odometer reading if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
    • Have all owners signatures on the title notarized.
  • For name changes:
    • Your driver's license with your new name.
    • A copy of your court order or your naturalization papers IF one of these is the reason your name changed.
  • For lienholder errors: A lien release document from the lienholder.
  • Corrected title fee: $21.50.

Apply in person at a NC DMV title office.

Address Change

If you move within North Carolina, you may be able to change the address on your vehicle title.

Contact the DMV at (919) 715-7000 for more information.

See our Address Change page to learn about updating your driver's license and registration.

Replace Your NC Vehicle Title

The NC DMV can issue a duplicate title if yours is lost OR if you want to remove a lien from the title.

To apply for a duplicate North Carolina car title, you'll need:

  • The Application for Duplicate Title (Form MVR-4).
  • A lien release from your lienholder for any liens on the vehicle.
  • Proof of ID, such as your driver's license.
    • Include a photocopy if applying by mail.
  • Payment for the $21.50 duplicate title fee.
    • If applying by mail, include a check or money order.
    • If applying in person, you can pay with cash, check, money order, debit or credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card).

Submit your documents:

All duplicate title applications have a waiting period of 15 days from the day the DMV receives your application.

Visit our page Replacing a Lost Title for more details.


Title Application
Submit this form to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles to apply for a new vehicle title.
Odometer Disclosure Statement
Complete this form to disclose the number of miles on a vehicle you are transferring ownership of in North Carolina.
Highway Use Tax Exemption Certification
Use this form if you have grounds to request partial OR full exemption from the NC highway use tax.
Damage Disclosure Statement
Use this form to disclose any damages on a vehicle you plan to sell in North Carolina.
Corrected or Substituted Title Application
Use this form to correct OR change information on your NC car title.
Application for a Duplicate Title
Request a duplicate certificate of title from the North Carolina DMV.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review