Insurance lapses on sold vehicles

I sold a vehicle, and then I received a letter from the DMV about a lapse of insurance on the vehicle. What can I do? 

Bring the letter you received and proof that you sold the vehicle to a local DMV office. Proof that you sold the vehicle can be 

  • a bill of sale 1
  • a statement on letterhead from the organization that received the vehicle as a donation
  • trade in documentation


The bill of sale or the documentation must include

  • the date of the sale
  • the name and address of the seller 
  • the name and address of the buyer
  • a description of the vehicle that includes the year, the make and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

If you don't want to come to an office, you can mail the proofs and the bottom part of the letter you received from the DMV to

NYS DMV Financial Security Bureau
P.O. Box 2725 ESP
Albany, NY 12220-0725 

If you mail a notarized statement, it must be the original statement. Other proofs can be originals or legible copies. To prevent a problem when you sell a vehicle, remove the vehicle plates and the windshield registration sticker. Surrender the vehicle plates to the DMV or immediately transfer them to another vehicle.

  • 1. Only the person whose name appears on the title has authority to sell a vehicle. If there are two individuals listed on the title, either person can sell the vehicle. If the vehicle is titled to a business, the vehicle can be sold by a member of the business.