Buy or sell a vehicle (transfer ownership)

What must the seller and buyer do to transer vehicle ownership?

The seller must either

  • complete and sign the transfer ownership section of the title certificate, and
  • sign a bill of sale


The buyer must

The proofs of ownership needed to register and title a vehicle in New York are different for different types of vehicles (for example, cars, trailers, boats, snowmobiles, manufactured homes).  Find the acceptable proofs ownership for your vehicle, or learn what to do if proof of ownership is not available.

Before you buy a vehicle, make sure it is not flood damaged.

You can check the National Insurance Crime Bureau database to see if a vehicle is flood damaged. You will need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Can I change the name on a vehicle registration or title certificate to another person?

No. You cannot change the name on the vehicle registration or the title certificate to the name of another person. You must transfer the ownership of the vehicle.


Where can I find more information about buying a vehicle?

Read the DMV brochures, Let the Buyer Be Aware, and Q&A About Your Title Certificate.