Selling Car in New York State

Buying a car can be an exciting job in New York, even if driving in some cities here may be quite a task. To protect both the buyers and sellers, the state has made laws regulating both the buying and selling of cars.  
If you are selling a car in New York, you must provide the new owner with the following:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of purchase price
  • Information on any lien on the car or proof of its payment

Then, a buyer needs to obtain a title certificate. A title certificate is basically a proof of ownership that has to be submitted to the New York DMV. It must be completed carefully as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not accept a proof of ownership like a title certificate where information is missing or was changed in some way. Buyers also need to fill out the odometer and damage disclosure statements which are given at the back of the title certificate.

Form-DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax) must be provided to the new owner (the buyer) as well. This establishes the purchase price of a car. The seller completes the second page (affidavit page) of the form and the buyer needs to complete the first page of the form, before submitting it to the DMV office. The DMV office, if required, will collect the sales tax from the new owner.

If there is a lien listed on your car’s title certificate, you must provide the new owner with an original document from the lienholder showing that the lien was satisfied. The original document must also be given to the new owner since he/she will have to give it to the DMV office for them to remove the lien at the time that they issue the new title certificate.

At the time of the sale, a seller also needs to remove the inspection sticker, windshield registration sticker and vehicle plates from the car. The new owner must not use these; otherwise he/she may be penalized. Once the plates have been removed, they need to be surrendered to a DMV office. You also have the option to transfer them to another car of yours.

Choose Your State

Q:While searching on how to sell a car in New York State I came across the requirements associated with vehicle plates. Can you tell me more about them?

A:Sellers have two options with regards to the vehicle plates. They can either be transferred to a new vehicle that will be registered in your name or they can be surrendered to any local DMV office. You will be given FS-6T receipt when you submit the plates. If you plan to turn them in then you must do so before cancelling the liability insurance on your car.

Q:My search on New York selling car privately paperwork led to the mention of various documents. Can you name the ones that I will need?

A:You will have to provide the buyer with a proof of ownership (title) and the Bill of Sale for cars built in 1973 or newer. You must also furnish an odometer and damage disclosure statement and a proof of purchase price. A documents proving the satisfaction of liens is required if applicable.