Paperwork When Buying a Car in New Hampshire

Paperwork Required to Buy a Car in New Hampshire

When buying a car in New Hampshire, you need to get paperwork from the seller so that you can title and register the car in your name.

It is critical that you secure the car title or a bill of sale. You'll then take the title or bill of sale to the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to register it. Once you pay the necessary fees, the car will be all yours!

More information about the paperwork you need when buying a car is provided below.

Paperwork for New Hampshire Car Buyers

When you buy a car from a car dealer in NH, they will normally take care of all of the paperwork for you.

If you buy from a private seller, you'll need to complete the paperwork, and title and register the car yourself.

No matter where you buy your car, you'll need to get proof of ownership in the form of:

  • The vehicle title.
  • A blue copy of the new title application from a NH car dealer.

If the vehicle is exempt from needing a title, you will need:

  • A bill of sale.
  • Proof of the vehicle identification number (VIN), such as:
    • A NH registration (current or expired).
    • A title (from NH or any other state).

NOTE: VIN verification is required for some vehicles, including out-of-state vehicles with no titles, vehicles from outside of the U.S., antique vehicles, and others.

Both you and the seller will need to sign the current title, the bill of sale, or the new title application.

Lost Title

Unless a car is title exempt, you should NOT purchase a car without a title. If the title has been lost, the seller should apply for a duplicate title before you buy the car.

NH Title Transfer & Registration

If you are handling the transfer and registration yourself, you will need to go in person to your New Hampshire town or city clerk's office.

For a new registration, you will need:

  • The signed title OR bill of sale with proof of the VIN.
  • Proof of your NH residency if you have never registered a car in NH.
  • Payment for the $25 title fee.
  • Payment for the registration fees:
    • New license plate: $8.
    • Additional fees and taxes: Vary by town or city.

To transfer a registration, you will need:

  • The signed title OR bill of sale with proof of the VIN.
  • The registration for the license plate you are transferring.
  • Payment for the $25 title fee.
  • Registration fees and taxes (vary by town or city).

Out-of-State Purchases

If you purchase your car from a dealer who is out of state, they will not prepare the New Hampshire title application.

Make sure you get the signed title and take it to your local New Hampshire town or city clerk to transfer the title and register the vehicle yourself.

Vehicle Inspections

You have up to 10 days after registering your car to get a safety inspection.

In addition, if your vehicle is a 1996 model year or newer, it must also have an emissions test.

Inspections have to be performed at a state-licensed inspection station.

Vehicle History Reports

A vehicle history report will tell you important information about the history of a car, such as whether or not it has been in an accident, in a flood, or stolen.

It can be impossible to tell from the outside if a car has had past problems, which can surface later and require costly repairs.

A vehicle history report is essential for providing you a complete background of the car so you can make an informed decision about your investment.

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