If you’re selling a car in New York, you’ll need to sign the title, document a bill of sale, and complete an odometer certification statement before the buyer can take ownership of the car.
It can seem like a complicated process to sell your car privately, but it’s fairly straightforward once you understand the steps.
Every state sets its own requirements and rules for legal transfers of ownership. Failure to comply with the laws could leave you liable for the car, even if it has left your possession.
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Jerry has put together everything you need to know about selling a car in New York
What you need to sell a car in New York
To sell your car privately in New York, you will need the appropriate forms. Documentation required by the DMV includes:
New York Certificate of Title (or, if you don’t have one, a duplicate title form)
Signature of any lienholder(s)
Proofs of ownership or transfer of ownership
Odometer certification statement, unless the vehicle is more than 20 years old
Getting a pre-sale inspection
New York dealerships are required to complete pre-sale vehicle inspections before selling a car—even if it’s brand new. The inspection must be done within 30 days from the date of sale.
However, this requirement does not apply to private sellers, and they are not mandated to follow the same regulations as a dealership.
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Documenting the sale
After you have secured a buyer, you’ll need to complete a New York bill of sale to document your agreement. This will contain basic information about the vehicle, the buyer, and the seller, including:
Year and make of the vehicle
Seller name, address, and signature
Buyer name, address, and signature
It’s a good idea to make a copy of the bill of sale for your records. The new owner must provide a bill of sale to the DMV, but a bill of sale is not acceptable proof of ownership on its own.
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Signing the title over
To transfer ownership of the vehicle, you must sign the title over to the buyer. There is a spot on the backside of the title for you to sign and endorse the title. The buyer also is required to sign the title.
If the vehicle is newer than model year 2011, you also must complete the odometer disclosure section on the back of the title.
The seller also needs to complete the damage disclosure statement on the back of the title. The DMV in New York will not give the buyer a new title for a car 8 years old or newer unless this is filled out.
New York also allows you to sell a car with an outstanding lien. Check with your lender to see if they have specific instructions.
Reporting the sale
After the sale is completed, the new owner must take the bill of sale and title to the DMV to get a new title for the vehicle.
Finding affordable car insurance
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FAQs about selling a car