Gifting a Car in New Hampshire

Gifting a car in New Hampshire is simple, as long as you complete a bill of sale and transfer the vehicle title to the new owner.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Gifting a car in
New Hampshire
can help save money on sales tax, but you’ll still have to complete a car title transfer and let the state know the car has been sold. 
For any driver, receiving a car as a gift is a big deal. Whether you’re feeling extra generous, have an old vehicle sitting around, or are upgrading to a newer vehicle, gifting a car isn’t as easy as wrapping it with a bow and tossing over the keys. 
There are specific steps you are required to take to ensure the ownership is properly transferred and—heads up—regulations differ by state. 
If you’re thinking about gifting a car in New Hampshire,
car insurance
comparison app and licensed broker
is here with everything you need to know. We’ll cover how to buy a car as a gift, how to gift a used car, and where you can save on fees by gifting instead of selling. 
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How to buy a car as a gift in New Hampshire

While New Hampshire makes the process relatively simple and straightforward, the easiest way to gift a new car is to bring the recipient to the dealership. That way, they can choose the car they want and be involved in setting up financing. 
In order to give a car as a gift, you have to ensure there are no liens on the vehicle. Simply put, the car must be completely paid off—there cannot be an outstanding loan (also called a
) on the vehicle. 
If there is a lienholder on the title, you are required to get a letter from the bank stating the loan has been settled. If there is no lienholder on the title, you are free to gift the car. 
If you plan to purchase a vehicle to gift but cannot pay for it in cash, the best thing to do is involve the recipient in the
loan process
. For example, you can cosign on a car loan but agree to take full responsibility for paying it off. 
That way, the recipient's name can be included on all the paperwork, including the title and registration. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to legally take ownership of the vehicle until you were done paying off the loan.
Key Takeaway If you’re gifting a car, you’ll have to ensure the vehicle is paid off and you have the title in hand—or you could instead involve the recipient in the car-buying process. 

How to gift a used car in New Hampshire

If you aren’t keen on ruining the surprise, a great alternative is to transfer the title on a vehicle you already own. Whether that’s an older model that’s still in great shape or a newer model you bought outright, they both make an exciting gift. 
If you’re helping out a family member that can’t afford to buy a car or you’re gifting a pre-loved vehicle to a newly licensed young driver, you’ll still need to follow certain steps to officially transfer ownership.
Read on to learn how to legally gift a car in New Hampshire. 

Negotiate the terms of the gift with your recipient

Getting a new (or used) car can be exciting, but once reality hits, you’ll have to talk to the recipient about owning the car. Regardless of whether it's a gift or not, transferring a vehicle title costs money and owning a car comes with a lot of expenses (maintenance, gas, insurance, etc.). 
To transfer a vehicle title in
New Hampshire
, there is a $25 fee. With title in hand, the new owner will have to
register the vehicle
(fees vary) and may be required to obtain a
VIN verification
(luckily, this is free), as well. 
Discuss who will be responsible for the above fees, as well as the regular costs of owning a car. Gifting a car is a generous action, but you don’t want to place a major financial burden on someone who can’t afford it. 
Here are some of the costs you should discuss with your giftee:
New Hampshire average
Title transfer
Registration fee
$31.20–$55.20 (state) + $3 (town/city)
$1,515 (liability only), $1,564 (full coverage) per year
$1,186 per year
$1,500–$2,500 per year
Record of the gift with a bill of sale
Even if the car is a gift and no money is being exchanged, you are still required to have a bill of sale. A New Hampshire bill of sale is essentially a receipt for the private sale of a car. It contains information about the car and identification information about both the buyer and seller. 
The bill of sale outlines the terms of your agreement with the other individual involved in the private sale to protect you against consequences down the line.
A bill of sale is required in New Hampshire only when a car is considered title exempt. New Hampshire does not title vehicles that are from 1999 or older (but there are some exceptions). However, it’s usually a good idea to fill out a bill of sale anyway, as the document acts as proof of the transaction and the date of transfer.
Both parties involved should sign the bill of sale to confirm the agreement.

Transfer the vehicle title

While a bill of sale proves a transaction occurred, it doesn’t legally transfer ownership of the car—you will need to complete a title transfer to do that. This is one of the most essential steps in gifting a vehicle because it’s what gives your giftee official ownership of the car. 
An application for a new New Hampshire title can be completed at a dealership at the time of purchase or by a town/city clerk when you visit the DMV to register the vehicle. 
For a new car, the owner will be required to fill out the title application. Once the DMV receives the title application, a new title will be sent to the owner within 40–50 calendar days. 
To transfer an existing title, here’s what you need to do:
  • Transfer ownership to the new buyer by writing the buyer's name, buyer's address, and current vehicle odometer reading on the reverse side of the current title
  • Both seller and buyer should sign the title
  • Give the title to the new buyer
To obtain a corrected title, you need to take the existing New Hampshire title to your local town/city clerk’s office, where they will create a new title application (form TDMV 23A). The completed application will be mailed directly to the DMV or submitted for you by your town or city clerks' office.
Before heading to the DMV, the new owner will need the appropriate documentation
  • Bill of sale
  • Current registration
  • Vehicle odometer reading
  • Proof of residence 
  • Valid ID 
Once the Title Bureau has received the original title, a letter will be issued to the registered owner allowing them to register. You must give the letter and blue title application to the DMV for New Hampshire registration and plates.

Purchase New Hampshire liability insurance—or full coverage

To be street-legal, the vehicle will need to be insured. The car owner can go with basic liability coverage or opt for full coverage—but the insurance policy must at least meet the
minimum insurance requirements for New Hampshire
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How to find affordable car insurance in New Hampshire

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No! If your vehicle is a gift in New Hampshire, you are not required to pay tax.
The New Hampshire DMV has created a vehicle gifting process to help residents legally transfer a car to a new owner. If you’re not planning to sell the vehicle or take it to a scrapyard, gifting it is your best bet.
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