Selling a Car in New Jersey

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To sell a car in New Jersey, you’ll typically sign the back of the title and fill out both a bill of sale and an odometer reading. The state Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) processes all the forms and keeps track of each car’s legal ownership status.
Selling a car by yourself may seem like a headache due to all the forms involved, but the process is quite simple once you familiarize yourself with the steps. 
Each state has a specific set of rules and regulations for transferring car ownership—and if you don’t follow yours, you may be liable for your vehicle even after it has left your possession.
Here, the car insurance comparison app and licensed broker Jerry explains the process of selling a car in New Jersey. 
What you need to sell a car in New Jersey
The first step to making a private car sale in the Garden State is to assemble the necessary documentation. You’ll need:
  • New Jersey Certificate of Title (or a replacement title if the original was lost)
  • Any documents cataloguing the car’s maintenance history
  • Bill of Sale (not legally mandated, but highly recommended)
  • Odometer Reading form (if applicable)
  • A lienholder signature (if applicable)

Getting a pre-sale inspection

It’s always a good idea to have your car officially inspected before selling it. This way, you can be transparent with your buyer about any ongoing safety or maintenance issues the car might have.  
You may be legally required to have your car fully inspected if it is over four years old. Contact your local MVD branch to review the latest inspection requirements. 

Documenting the sale

Once you have a willing buyer, the easiest way to gather the appropriate information is to complete a New Jersey Bill of Sale (although this is not a legal requirement). Fill out the bill of sale with:
  • Buyer’s name and address
  • Date of the sale
  • Selling price
  • The car’s mileage reading
The bill of sale is an official document instrumental to the selling process, but it is not the same thing as a title transfer, which officially transfers ownership of the car.
If the car’s odometer isn’t accurate, you must provide an estimated number of miles on the vehicle and complete an Odometer Disclosure Form. 
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Signing the title over

Then, the seller and buyer must sign the back of the car’s title to change its legal ownership of the vehicle. You have 10 days from the date of sale to complete the title transfer process and send it to the MVD. 
If the car has a lien on it, you must either pay the loan off completely before selling it or have the buyer assume responsibility for the loan. 
You should always talk to your lender before trying to sell a car with an outstanding loan, since the lender has a legal interest in the vehicle via the lien.

Reporting the sale

To report the sale to the MVD, the parties must bring in all the aforementioned documents. 
The seller should remove the license plate(s) from the vehicle. You can turn them in to the MVD to be scrapped or ask to place them on your next vehicle. The buyer must be prepared to pay $60 (or $85 for a car with a lien) to register the car. 
If the two of you don’t complete this process together, the seller should make sure to contact the MVD after a week or two to confirm that the title has transferred. Otherwise, you’ll be held liable for the vehicle even after it’s out of your hands. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

Selling a car takes a little time—but finding a better car insurance rate doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes, thanks to Jerry!
Sign-up only takes 45 seconds, and then Jerry will present you with your current insurance policy and dozens of competitive quotes. Choose the one you like best, and Jerry will even help cancel your old policy to get you on board. 
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Resources such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book can help you figure out what your car is worth so you can determine a fair price based on its make, model, year, and condition.

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