Gifting a Car in New Mexico

To gift a car in New Mexico, you must take the Certificate of Title and Odometer Disclosure Statement to the MVD and pay the $5 title transfer fee.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
If you’re gifting a car in
New Mexico
, you will need to transfer the ​​Certificate of Title to the gift recipient. The giftee must then take the current title with the Assignment of Title filled out, as well as an Odometer Disclosure Statement to the MVD and pay a $5 fee.
Gifting a car is nothing to sneeze at—for most people it’s a big deal and really exciting! Whether you’re feeling extra generous and helping out a loved one or passing down a car you don’t use to your kid, the process of gifting isn’t quite as simple as handing over the keys. 
There are specific steps you must take to legally transfer ownership of the vehicle. And because regulations differ between states, it’s important to know what you need to do. Here's the lowdown on the process in New Mexico.

How to buy a car as a gift in New Mexico

Gifting a car in New Mexico is as simple as transferring the vehicle title—so long as you don't have a
car loan
on it.
To sell a car in New Mexico, there cannot be a lien attached to the title. If there is a lienholder on the vehicle title, you must get a letter from the bank stating the loan has been settled before you can legally transfer the car to a new owner.
So, if you’re looking to purchase a new vehicle to give as a gift and pay for it with a loan, your best bet is likely to involve the giftee in the financing process. That way, you can take sole responsibility for paying off the loan, but the gift recipient can also be listed on all the vehicle documents.
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 Mexico

If you can’t afford to purchase a brand new car outright but want to gift someone a vehicle and skip the loan, consider buying them a used car instead. Cars depreciate quickly, so there’s a much better chance you can afford to pay for a used vehicle in cash. You’ll have a free and clear title you could transfer the title to the recipient right away. 
Alternatively, if you’ve been saving that old classic in your garage to hand down to your firstborn (or someone else you care about), you’re good to go—so long as it’s fully paid off. Gifting the car will be as simple as transferring the existing title to the giftee. 
Whether you’re helping out a loved one by buying them a new car or gifting an older model, you’ll follow the same process as you would buying or selling a car in New Mexico. Make sure you write “$0” in the “Price” area on the vehicle title.
Next, let’s talk dollars and cents.

Negotiate the terms of the gift with your recipient

The reality of owning a vehicle is that it comes with a lot of responsibility—and a lot of expenses. You’ll want to make sure that before any titles are transferred, the recipient is aware of the costs associated with owning a vehicle. 
  • A title transfer in New Mexico is a one-time $5 fee
  • Registering the car
    will cost between $27 and $62 each year
Make sure the recipient knows the regular costs associated with car ownership. There’s maintenance,
auto insurance
, gas, and so on. Gifting a car is a great idea, but you don’t want to gift a financial burden. 
Discuss who will pay for what to avoid surprises down the road. Here are some of the costs associated with owning a car in New Mexico.
New Mexico average
Title transfer
Registration fee
$27-$62 (per year)
$1,586 (liability only), $1,642 (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 money isn’t moving hands, it’s still recommended that you have a
bill of sale
to document the transaction.
A New Mexico bill of sale isn’t required for private vehicle sales (or car gifting) but is recommended as it acts as a receipt for both the buyer and seller.
Under certain circumstances in New Mexico, a bill of sale may be required such as:
  • ​​If the vehicle purchase price or odometer statement is not included on the title
  • If the title certificate isn’t available at the time of registration
If you’re buying or selling a car in New Mexico (or even if it’s being gifted), you can download and complete the
Bill of Sale (Form MVD-10009)
form from New Mexico’s MVD website. 
Once your bill of sale is complete, you can apply to transfer the vehicle title so the new owner can claim ownership.

Transfer the vehicle title

A bill of sale is legal proof that the vehicle has been gifted but the vehicle’s title must be transferred to legally certify new ownership.
You’ll have to make sure you have the proper documentation:
  • New Mexico Certificate of Title (MVD-10030)—if you need a new title, you’ll have to complete form
    and pay $5 for a duplicate
  • Notice of Vehicle Sold/Bill of Sale (
  • Vehicle identification number (aka VIN)
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement
The title transfer is one of the most important steps when gifting a car in New Mexico. Both the gift giver and receiver must sign the back of the title where indicated. 
Once you’ve done that, the former owner is required to complete a
Notice of Vehicle Sold
and Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle or Boat (MVD-10018), remove the license plates, and submit everything to the MVD.
New Mexico license plates must be transferred within 30 days or taken to the MVD for termination.

Purchase New Mexico liability insurance—or full coverage

Before the giftee legally hits the road, the car must be insured. You can go with basic liability coverage or opt for full coverage—but you want to make sure you’re meeting the
minimum insurance requirements for New Mexico
“I just had to buy a new car, and I needed quick help to get insurance before I could get my plates. Because I work so many hours,
was the ideal choice for getting things done without long phone calls and waiting periods.”  —Rosa G.
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No—if a vehicle was legally gifted, there is no sales or excise tax due. However, when applying for a title, you must submit a notarized Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle or Boat (MVD-10018) to the New Mexico MVD.
Selling a car and making some cash can be exciting, but the New Mexico MVD has created a process that’s quick and easy to transfer a vehicle. If you don’t want to sell your vehicle or donate it to the junkyard, gifting it is a great (and easy) alternative.
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