Buy or sell a vehicle (transfer ownership)

To transfer ownership

The seller must either

  • complete and sign the transfer ownership section of the title certificate, and
  • sign a bill of sale (even if it is a gift)

or

The buyer must

 

Proof of ownership

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). 


To register the vehicle

See information for how to a vehicle you bought (or received as a gift). 

 

Additional information

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.

 

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.