Many times, the vehicles you purchase don’t necessarily come from car dealerships. Rather, they might have been sold or given to you by individuals, whether they be online sellers, neighbors, close friends, or family members. When you make a purchase this way, you are simply transferring the ownership of the vehicle from one private individual to another. In this case, most states require that the title of the vehicle (and all financial responsibility for it, such as insurance) also be transferred, and North Carolina is no exception. This article will explain the process of having a title transfer done, as well as the vehicle transfer requirements, in North Carolina.
The process of transferring a title
The process of the transfer must take place between not only the purchaser of the vehicle, but the seller as well. The buyer’s portion of the transfer process must take place within four weeks (28 days) of the transfer of ownership, or the buyer will have to pay a late fee of $20. You can complete this process at your local NC DMV. In order to transfer vehicle titles, you’ll both need to complete a Form MVR-1, which is a Title Application form. Additionally, you’ll need to prove that the vehicle is insured with a copy of your insurance policy, card, and a form from your insurance aged called a Form DL-123, and you’ll need IDs for both yourself and the seller. If the original title of the vehicle is in the names of more than one person, you’ll need IDs for all people whose names appear on the title. If the seller is not a resident of North Carolina, they’ll need to provide both their ID and an additional document that indicates that the seller has a presence in the state. This document needs to contain either a proof of active duty in the military in NC, that the sale of a vehicle in the state has been court-ordered or that co-ownership of a vehicle in the state exists, that the seller is storing a vehicle in the state for at least six months out of the year, that the seller has enrolled in a North Carolina-based college, or that the seller has a well-documented medical condition. A $52 title transfer fee will need to be paid, along with a 3% Highway Use Tax (HUT). If you want an instant title, the initial fee is $98.
If you are selling a vehicle
As mentioned above, the title transfer takes place between both the buyer and the seller. As such, there are several documents that the seller must provide the buyer. These include a signed, notarized title (the buyer will also sign this title), a Form MVR-181 (Damage Disclosure Statement, or DDS), and, if the vehicle is 10 years old or newer, a Form MVR-180 (Odometer Disclosure statement, or ODS). If the title of the vehicle contains any liens, the seller will also need to provide a lien release.
Buying from a dealership
Typically, if you are buying from a dealership, that dealership will be responsible for taking care of the title transfer. In the event that the dealership fails to do this, or if you’d rather take care of the transfer yourself, you’ll need to take all of the aforementioned documentation to the DMV, along with an authorized Bill of Sale that indicates the final purchase price of the vehicle.