Title Transfer New Mexico

As long as you have a certificate of title and a few other key documents, you can complete a title transfer in New Mexico online through the DMV Virtual Office.
Written by JoAnna Wahlund
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
If you’re transferring ownership of a vehicle in New Mexico, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. You can do this at your local DMV or through a third-party privatized DMV location.
Buying or selling a vehicle isn’t as simple as just handing over the keys. To make the sale official, you must transfer the title to the new owner. This usually involves some basic paperwork, a visit to the DMV, and a small fee.
Nevertheless, it can be a bit of a tedious process—and you need to get it right to be compliant with the state DMV and the law. Here, the
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is breaking down everything you need to know about title transfer in New Mexico.

What is a title transfer?

A car title determines who owns a vehicle—so if you’re transferring the title, it means you’re transferring ownership of the car. This process includes steps for both the seller and the buyer. 
  • The seller must sign the title to release ownership of the vehicle 
  • The buyer must take the signed title to the DMV to get a new title and complete vehicle registration
Each state has a unique process for title transfers. In some cases, you might require a bill of sale or transfer of ownership form. Many states require you to disclose the vehicle sales price and provide a current odometer reading, too.

Who does the title transfer?

Responsibility for completing the title transfer varies depending on where you’re buying or selling your car.
For private purchases, the buyer and seller must do the title transfer. If you’re going through a car dealership, they will take care of the paperwork and the buyer will receive the vehicle title from the DMV by mail.

Reasons for a title transfer

The most common reasons for doing a title transfer are a change of residency or buying or selling a car. But there are other reasons you might need to transfer vehicle ownership:
  • Donating a vehicle
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a vehicle
  • Paying off a vehicle loan
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Car title transfer in New Mexico

New Mexico
, the vehicle buyer can complete a title transfer online through the DMV Virtual Office. It must be done within 30 days of the change of ownership if you buy in-state or 90 days if you buy out-of-state.
Here’s what you need:
  • The original or certified copy of the bill of sale or dealer’s invoice
  • A valid New Mexico driver’s license or state-issued ID—if you don’t have a NM license or your license address isn’t updated, you’ll need two proofs of New Mexico residency
  • Proof of insurance
  • Lienholder information
  • Proof of passed emissions inspection, if moving to Bernalillo County
  • Payment for the titling fee
  • Your vehicle, if registering an out-of-state vehicle
Note that you cannot bring highlighted documents as they will not be accepted.

Registering a car in New Mexico

After a title transfer, you’ll need to register the vehicle. Registration is proof that you can legally drive on the streets and is done annually. 
In New Mexico, Registration fees for passenger vehicles are based on the weight and model year of the vehicle, ranging from $27.00 to $62.00 for one year or $54.00 to $124.00 for two years.
Other fees may apply based on the type of vehicle, license plate type, county of residence, or driving record. 

Finding insurance for your vehicle

Title transfer or not, before you can get behind the wheel of your new (or new-to-you) vehicle, you’ll need car insurance. 
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A title transfer is more challenging if the vehicle is still financed. You’ll need to call your lender and ask how to sell a car that has a loan and how the transaction should be handled.
The title will have a line that says “seller’s signature.” If two people are on the title, then both will need to sign on the same line. There is a separate line for the buyer’s signature.
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