Transfer Car Title in New York

What Is a Title Transfer?Transfer-Title

The title is a legal document indicating ownership of a vehicle. Reasons for title transfers include:

* Selling a vehicle
* Buying a vehicle
* Paying off a loan
* Transferring to a family member
* Giving a vehicle as a gift
* Inheriting a vehicle
* Making name changes

Selling a VehicleTransfer-Title

When selling a vehicle, consider ordering a vehicle history report to help potential buyers feel confident in your car.

Once you’ve sold the car, transfer the title:

* Make copies of all documents
* Find the title. Fill out the milage and damage report on the back. If your name is already on the title because you bought it from someone else, you’ll need to get a new title from the DMV.
* Sign and date the title
* If there’s a lien on the title, contact the lienholder. Provide the buyer with proof of the lien removal.
* Remove the license plates and registration sticker from the vehicle. Turn them into the DMV or transfer them to another vehicle.
* Fill out a Bill of Sale as proof of the transaction
* Complete form DTF-802 with the buyer. This will calculate the sales tax.
* Give the title over to the buyer, who will go to the DMV to complete the title process, register the car, and pay the fees.

Buying a VehicleTransfer-Title

New Cars: If you bought the vehicle from a dealership, the title transfer should be taken car of by the dealer.

Used Cars: Do your homework before you decide to buy. Start by comparing cars online to learn about what’s on the market. Then look at your financing and insurance options. Finally, order a vehicle history report on the cars you’re interested in in order to learn more about their background.

Once you’ve made a purchase, take care of the title transfer:
* Seller signs and dates title, fills out odometer/damage report on the back
* Verify odometer reading
* Sign and date the title
* Get a Bill of Sate and Form DTF 802
* Go to the DMV with the paperwork and fee payment

You’ll also want to register your vehicle at the same time, so bring in identification, proof of insurance, and fees for that as well.

Removing a LienTransfer-Title

When you’ve paid off your loan, you have the option of removing the lienholder’s name from the title. You can also simply attach the proof of lien release to your title.

The lienholder will either mail you Form MV-901 (Notice of a Recorded Lien), or you can get a letter from the lienholder that indicates you have been released from the lien. Send the letter or form, along with the old title (with the lien still listed) plus $20 to:

Lien Release
NYSDMV Title Services
Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228-0331

Expect your new title in the mail in 60 to 90 days. You can also get the lien removed from your title in person, but even then, the new title will be sent to you in the mail.

Transferring to FamilyTransfer-Title

A "family transfer" is giving your vehicle to your spouse, child, step-child, parent, or step-parent.

* Fill out a sales tax form. There is space to say it’s a gift.
* Owner fills out and signs the back of the title, recording the odometer reading and damage disclosure portion
* New owner goes to the DMV and completes an Application for Title form
* New owner pays $50 fee for the new title

Gifting a VehicleTransfer-Title

You may still have to pay taxes on the current market value of of a vehicle that was given to you as a gift.

* Fill out the odometer/damage disclosure portion on the back of the title
* Get a bill or sale to prove ownership. The giver should indicate the purchase price is $0 and that it is a gift.
* Fill out a sales tax form, which has a formula to help you calculate the fees
* Bring this paperwork to a DMV
* Complete an Application for Title form
* Pay $50 titling fee
* Register the vehicle in y our name. Remember you need to show proof of identification and insurance.

Donating a VehicleTransfer-Title

There are several things to consider when donating your vehicle to a charity, so do your homework first. If you donate your vehicle, you may want to check with a tax attorney to be sure to maximize your tax deduction.

Inheriting a VehicleTransfer-Title

After a family member passes away, immediate family members may use the car until its registration or insurance expires. You can also claim the vehicle before that. Processes vary, and can get complicated if the vehicle is worth more than $15,000, so it might be a good idea to consult a probate attorney.

Surviving Spouse of Immediate Family Transfer
* If the vehicle is worth $15,000 or less, it automatically goes to the surviving spouse or child under age 21 (in which case, the guardian will complete the next steps)
* Complete Application for Title form
* Sign the title over to yourself, writing "spouse" under the signature, or "guardian" in the case of a child
* Pay $50 titling fee
* You get a credit for the remaining time on the registration, and you keep the current plates.

If you’re the spouse and wish the transfer the title to someone else:

* Get the Affidavit for Transfer of Motor Vehicle notarized
* Give the new owner a copy of the death certificate
* New owner brings the notarized form and copy of the death certificate for the DMV, applies for a new title, and pays $50 fee
* New owner registers the car

Estate Administrator Transfer
If there is more than one vehicle or if the vehicle is worth more than $15,000, the vehicle becomes part of the estate, in which case the estate’s administrator or executor has the responsibility of transferring the title.

* Apply for Letters of Testamentary and either Letters of Administration of a Voluntary Administrator’s Affidavit for your county’s surrogate court
* The executor or administrator should sign the title over to you. Write "Executor" or "Administrator" under the signature.
* Complete a Vehicle Registration/Title Application
* Provide proof of insurance
* Pay applicable fees and taxes
* Register the vehicle according to the standard process

Making Name CorrectionsTransfer-Title

Changing a Name

* Fill out a Vehicle Registration/Title Application Form
* Go to a DMV with the application and marriage certificate, divorce document, or other court order verifying the name change (you can order a vital record if you have none of these)
* There are no fees
* Expect your new title in the mail

Deleting a Name

*The person leaving the title must sign the title over to the other person
* Bring the title to the DMV with your ID and payment for the $50 fee

Adding a Name

* Both people to be listed must apply in person at the DMV
* Fill out the Application for Title together
* Bring proper ID and payment for the $50 fee