Buying a Car in New Hampshire From Out of State

Buying a car in New Hampshire from out of state may seem complicated, but the registration process for out-of-state vehicles is pretty straightforward.
Written by Jaya Anandjit
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
If you purchase a vehicle from a car dealership or private party out of state and want to register it in New Hampshire, you must provide proof of residency, register the vehicle, and submit the certificate of origin and/or title to the town/city clerk.
Buying a new-to-you car can be exciting, but the administrative side isn’t always easy—especially if you’re purchasing from out of state. 
Whether you’re a New Hampshire resident looking to purchase a vehicle from a different state or you’re trying to transfer a title through your town or city clerk, trusted
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broker app
is here with a guide on how to buy a car in New Hampshire from out of state. We’ll even share tips on how to save on
New Hampshire car insurance costs
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How to buy a car out of state as a New Hampshire resident

If you’re a New Hampshire resident who just bought a car in another state, you’ll need to register your vehicle and apply for a new title at your local town/city Clerk’s Office
When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership or private party, they will provide you with either the certificate of origin or the title. New Hampshire buyers cannot use new titles made by out-of-state dealers, so you will need to bring these documents with you to the clerk’s office to apply for a new title.
To transfer the title of an out-of-state vehicle, you will need to bring the following:
  • Bill of sale
  • Original copy of the out-of-state vehicle title
  • Completed application for a certificate of ownership signed by buyer and seller
  • Completed New Hampshire registration application 
  • Proof of valid New Hampshire car insurance
  • Proof of identification
  • Lease agreement (if applicable)
You will also need to provide two forms of proof of New Hampshire residency to begin the registration process. 
Once you have provided proof of residency and transferred the title in New Hampshire, you can process the state transaction. If your Town/City Clerk is a municipal agent, they should be able to complete this part of the registration process. 
The state transaction includes the following fees:
  • $10 vehicle transfer fee, plus local fees
  • $31.20 vehicle registration fee
  • $8 new license plate fee
  • $25 New Hampshire title fee
  • Motor vehicle permit fee (based on vehicle weight)
  • State registration fee (based on vehicle weight)
New Hampshire does not have a car sales tax
, so you will not be required to pay additional fees to register your vehicle from out of state. 
Once you have completed these first steps of the registration process, you will receive your
New Hampshire license plates
. Next, the Clerk’s Office will forward the completed title application to your local DMV for processing, which should take approximately 40 to 50 days. 
If you are financing a car from out of state, you will need to bring your registration to the Clerk’s Office along with the following:
  • Lienholder’s name and address
  • Name and address of vehicle purchase site 
  • Date of purchase
  • Odometer reading 
The Clerk will create an application and send it to the New Hampshire Title Bureau, where they will request your out-of-state title from your lienholder. You cannot complete your vehicle registration until your lienholder provides the title.
Once your documents are submitted, and your new title is confirmed and issued, you will receive your New Hampshire license plates. 

How to buy a car in New Hampshire if you live out of state

Suppose you are buying a car in New Hampshire but live in a different state. The process for registering a New Hampshire vehicle in another state is fairly similar, but it varies based on your state of residence. Here is a basis for what you’ll need to bring to your local DMV:
  • Bill of sale
    (some states require a notary stamp)
  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of valid car insurance
  • Odometer reading
  • Completed vehicle registration for your state of residency 
Unlike New Hampshire, many states have a sales fee for vehicle purchases, so you may need to pay a local sales tax. 

What if I don’t have a physical title?

In New Hampshire, all vehicles manufactured after 2000 must be registered alongside a vehicle title. The title must be an original paper copy—digital copies are not accepted. You can contact your local New Hampshire DMV for an original paper copy of your vehicle’s title.
If you’ve purchased a vehicle that was made before 1999, you are not required to submit a vehicle title as part of the registration process. Instead, you will need to provide a bill of sale that includes the following information:
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a properly completed VIN verification form
  • Year, make, model
  • Engine size
  • Number of doors
  • Passenger capacity 
MORE: New Hampshire replacement title
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Tips for buying a vehicle out of state

Buying a car from another state can be a great way to snag a lower sales price or find a vehicle that isn’t available in your area. If you’re considering buying a car from out of state, here are a few tips to help you along the way:
  • Know your home state’s vehicle sales tax. Keep in mind that when you buy a car out of state, you are required to pay the sales taxes from your home state.
  • Schedule a vehicle inspection in your home state. In order to operate your vehicle, it must meet state inspection requirements for your home state. You can learn more about
    New Hampshire’s inspection requirements
  • Get an emissions test. In New Hampshire, gas-powered vehicles, models made after 1996, and vehicles that weigh less than 8,500 pounds made after 1996 must pass a vehicle emissions test.
  • Check the vehicle history report. Whether you’re buying from a dealership or a private party, you should check your car’s history for any accidents or issues.
    and other services can help you get a vehicle history report.

How to save on car insurance in New Hampshire

car insurance is not required by New Hampshire law
, purchasing insurance coverage is the best way to keep yourself financially protected in the event of an accident. But if you’re handling an out-of-state vehicle purchase, you might not have the time to shop around for the best policy. With premiums varying from company to company, you’ll want to see your options before you sign on at a rate that drains your wallet. 
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