Power of Attorney for Vehicle Transactions

About Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a document that authorizes a person, partnership or corporation (the agent) to make business transactions in the name of another person, partnership or corporation (the principal). A power of attorney for DMV transactions normally authorizes the agent to do the following transactions for the principal

  • buy, sell or register a vehicle
  • record liens
  • apply for a duplicate title certificate

The DMV does not provide a power of attorney form.

You do not need a POA to register a vehicle for someone else if you can show the proof of identity and date of birth of the applicant at a DMV office. 

Specific Power of Attorney and General Power of Attorney

A power of attorney can describe the specific transactions that the agent can do for the principal. The agent can do only the transactions described in the POA. If the POA does not indicate the specific transactions, then the POA is a general power of attorney.

A general power of attorney normally states that the agent can do several transactions or all transactions for the principal. For example, a general POA can indicate that the agent is authorized to do "any and all transactions" of the principal.

A general POA is acceptable for motor vehicle transactions at DMV offices if the POA refers to transactions for all of the "chattels and goods" of the principal.

The DMV will accept a general POA to transfer a vehicle title certificate only if

  • the applicant provides the original title certificate
  • the person who transfers the title certificate and the person who receives the title certificate are not the same person

An automobile dealer or employee of any automobile dealer cannot use a general POA to transfer a vehicle.

Secure Power of Attorney

A secure power of attorney is printed with security features and used for mileage disclosure purposes in the transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle. A seller can use a secure POA to authorize the buyer to complete the odometer disclosure statement on the title certificate when

  • the original title certificate is lost
  • a lienholder has the original title certificate

The NY State DMV will accept a Secure Power of Attorney issued by another state. The out of state Secure Power of Attorney can only be used to transfer the out of state title, or to obtain a duplicate title in the state in which the Secure Power of Attorney was issued in. 

An out of state Secure Power of Attorney CANNOT be used to transfer a NY State title, or obtain a duplicate NY State title.

NY State DMV issues Secure Power of Attorney for NY State dealers ONLY. 

The Requirements for a Power of Attorney

The NY State DMV will accept a power of attorney only if it meets all of the following requirements

  • the POA must contain
    • the date the POA was issued
    • the name and address of the agent
    • the name, address and signature of the principal
  • the POA must be notarized (an embossed seal is not required)
  • the agent must write "P.O.A." next to their signature on all forms and documents that require a signature

If you plan to use the POA for more than one transaction, inform the DMV representative. The representative will return the POA after the transaction is completed.

If the POA is a secure Power of Attorney or the customer will use the POA for only one transaction, the DMV will keep the POA and attach the POA to the application.