Gifting a Car in New York

You can only gift a car in New York if you own the vehicle outright or if your recipient is involved in the buying and financing process.
Written by Sarah Gray
Edited by Pat Roache
gift a car
New York
, you and your recipient must write a bill of sale and transfer the car title for a fee of $50 at your giftee’s local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • To gift a new or used car in the state of New York, the vehicle must be free of all liens.
  • The bill of sale must include basic vehicle information, like the vehicle identification number, odometer reading, and sale price of $0.
  • The gifted vehicle’s new owner may not have to pay sales taxes, but they will be required to purchase New York car insurance and complete a vehicle registration.

How to gift a car in New York

To gift a new car in the Empire State, you must own it outright. That means if you’ll be getting a
car loan
, you should include the car’s recipient in the financing process to avoid any issues with transferring ownership.
Gifting a financed car: If there is still a
car lien
listed on the certificate of title of the vehicle you plan to gift, you’ll need to provide the new owner with the original
lien release
you received, printed on the lienholder’s letterhead. 
You’ll also need to bring this with you when transferring the title at the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV).
If you already own a car outright and you want to gift it to someone else, you’re all set. You just need to complete the steps for gifting a vehicle as outlined by the New York DMV.

Negotiate the terms of the gift with your recipient

  • There’s a $50 title fee for New York title transfers.
  • Talk about who will handle the ongoing costs of ownership, like maintenance,
    car insurance
    , registration fees, and fuel

Record the gift with a bill of sale

  • You’ll still need a
    bill of sale
    to gift a vehicle in New York.
  • Use a
    Statement of Transaction
    (Form DTF-802) to satisfy this requirement.
  • Mark “Gift of motor vehicle” in Section 4: Transaction Information.
  • Record $0 for the “purchase price” in Section 5: Purchase Information.
  • Fill out Section 6: Affidavit of Sale or Gift. Include any special terms you and the gift recipient may have included in the exchange.
  • Both you and the recipient need to sign the bill of sale as legal proof that everyone agreed to the terms of the gift.

Transfer the vehicle title

  • The transfer of title is also the transfer of ownership—this is what officially shifts ownership of the car to the gift recipient.
  • Confirm whether you need a vehicle inspection or to
    pass emissions testing
  • Head to a
    NY DMV office
    within 10 days of gifting the vehicle. 
You need the following required documents to transfer the vehicle title:
  • Original title or other acceptable proof of ownership, such as the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) for a new vehicle
  • If presenting the title, the back of the title should be signed with a completed
    odometer disclosure statement
    and damage disclosure statement
  • Valid, unexpired
    driver’s licenses
    for both you and the recipient
  • Completed Statement of Transaction (Form DTF-802)
  • Completed Claim Sales and Use Tax Exemption (Form DTF-803) if you purchased the car out-of-state. This will relieve your recipient of any taxes
  • Payment for the $50 title transfer fee 
  • Payment for taxes, if applicable
Keep your license plates if you’re gifting a car you’ve been driving. The new vehicle owner will be required to complete their own vehicle registration, and they’ll receive new license plates and registration stickers for the car.

Purchase New York car insurance

Finally, the gifted car will need to be covered with an insurance policy that meets or exceeds the minimums required by New York car insurance laws. Here’s what the state requires:
card icon
  • $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 of property damage liability
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $50,000 of personal injury protection per person
  • $50,000 of wrongful death coverage per person
  • $100,000 of wrongful death coverage per accident
Once the car’s insurance is up to snuff, your friend or family member is free to cruise through those rolling hills of upstate New York or drive through the bustling streets of Queens.
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You do not have to pay taxes on a gifted car if you are a family member of the person gifting it! 
You can also get a tax exemption if you paid out-of-state sales tax or if you were not a resident of New York when you got the car.
It’s best to gift your car using the New York DMV’s gifting process for free vehicles. 
Selling the car for $1 will be well below the fair market value of the car, so your sales contract might not hold up as legal proof.
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