State Regulations in New Jersey

Regulations for Buying and Selling a Car in New Jersey

There is a lot more to think about than just the type of vehicle and asking price when buying or selling a new or used car.

You'll need to think about the taxes you'll need to pay, the registration and titling fees you'll owe, the car insurance policy you'll need to buy, and any vehicle inspections you'll need to pay for.

When buying or selling a vehicle, it's also important to complete all required paperwork to transfer ownership legally. This protects both the buyer and seller, and avoids problems with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).

Selling a Vehicle in New Jersey

Unless you're transferring your license plates to another vehicle, you'll need to remove them from the sold vehicle and turn them in to a Regional Service Center, MVC agency, or inspection station.

You'll also need to sign the back of the existing title and include the sale price and odometer reading. The signed-off title goes to the buyer.

As an added protection for you as the seller, you may want to also fill out a bill of sale. This will serve as your proof of sale, since the new owner will take the title with him or her.

Additionally, you'll also likely need to cancel the car insurance on your vehicle and notify the New Jersey MVC of the sale.

For information about your specific circumstances, please contact the New Jersey MVC.

Handling After-Sale Issues

After the sale, if you receive a parking ticket on license plates that are no longer yours, you should:

  • Get a photocopy of the original ticket (not the summons) from the municipality that issued it.
  • Write a letter explaining that the plates are no longer yours, and include your new plate number and driver's license number.
  • Send the letter, a copy of the ticket, and the summons to:
    • Motor Vehicle Commission
      Customer Advocacy Office
      P.O. Box 403
      Trenton, NJ 08666

A file search of the plate number will be made, and a letter will be sent to you concerning the results of the search. This information may help you resolve the problem with the court.

Buying a Vehicle in New Jersey

When you buy a vehicle from a private seller, he or she will give you a signed-off title, which you'll also need to sign. Make sure the information on the title is correct before you sign it.

Take the title to your local New Jersey MVC agency to transfer the title and register the car in your name. You'll need to show:

  • Proof of insurance.
  • The signed-off title.
  • A sales tax form.

You'll be required to pay 6.625% sales tax, unless the vehicle is exempt. Your title transfer fee will be $60.

Find more details at our Register Car and Title Transfers pages.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle Without a Registration

It isn't necessary have the vehicle registered if you want to buy or sell it. However, the NJ MVC states that the buyer of the vehicle holds responsibility for getting the car registered after the purchase.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle Without a Title

You cannot buy or sell a vehicle without a title. In this case, the current owner must obtain a duplicate title before selling the vehicle.

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