New Mexico Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form


A New Mexico motor vehicle bill of sale form provides a written agreement of the details of an automobile transaction. The document includes relevant information to ensure a secure and legitimate sale of the car, including the make, model, year, VIN, and odometer reading, the names, addresses, and signatures of the seller and the buyer, and the purchase price. It binds the agreement between both parties, making it essential when transferring ownership. The state requires the bill of sale when the vehicle has an incomplete title or does not have one.

What is a New Mexico Car Bill of Sale?

A New Mexico car bill of sale protects both parties when reassigning vehicle ownership. The buyer and seller must provide accurate and complete information to safeguard their interests effectively. They acknowledge and finalize the agreement by placing their inscriptions on the signature lines. Through these actions, everyone confirms the proper representation of their rights and responsibilities. As a result, either person can use the bill of sale to support their claims in a legal situation.

What are the Buyer’s Tasks?

Buyers should conduct proper research before purchasing a car privately or through a dealer. Taking these steps guarantees the individual receives a fair deal and obtains a vehicle in good condition. Generally, they should confirm the authenticity of the person or company selling the automobile and review the car facts for accident and damage history.

Both parties must complete and sign the title during the transaction, including the purchase date, selling price, and mileage. Filling out a bill of sale form is a secondary option if the title does not include this information or a previous title does not exist. Transfers occurring through a dealer may require additional paperwork related to financing and warranties.

The buyer must ensure the seller removes their plates before giving them ownership, as they cannot legally use or keep them. To title and register the car, they must bring the necessary paperwork to a Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office, such as the title, bill of sale, and payment. In addition, the individual must show proof of visual inspection for vehicles purchased in another state or without a title. This process must happen within thirty (30) days of the sale date, or the state charges statutory fees for failure by purchase.

What are the Seller’s Tasks?

New Mexico assigns license plates to owners rather than vehicles. Therefore, the seller must remove the license plates before transferring them to the buyer. The individual has thirty (30) days to register the plate with another car or return it to an MVD office.

Upon transferring the vehicle, the seller should make a copy of all sales documents relating to the transaction. These forms allow the previous owner to verify the exchange and keep the buyer’s information if needed. Most importantly, they should keep a copy of the title, bill of sale, and their previous registration.

To prevent fraud, merchants should also collect the money or trade their vehicle upon signing the title and/or bill of sale. Simultaneously performing this action ensures that the buyer only obtains rights to the car after paying.

How to Register a Car in New Mexico (4 Steps)

Motor vehicle registration and titling must occur within thirty (30) days of the sale. New Mexico extends the deadline to ninety (90) days for cars purchased out-of-state.

MVD offices handle registration and titling matters. First-time registration must occur in person at the owner’s nearest location.

Step 1 – Insurance

Local law requires that vehicles operating on New Mexico roadways have a current insurance policy that aligns with the state’s requirements. Upon registration, the owner must present proof of the plan through an insurance card, policy copy, or company letter.

Coverage must include the following:

  • $25,000 for the bodily injury or death of one (1) person;
  • $50,000 for the bodily injury or death of two (2) or more persons; and
  • $10,000 of property damage per incident.

Step 2 – Emissions Testing

Bernalillo County residents and commuters (i.e., frequent the county more than sixty (60) days per year) must undergo regular emissions testing. Cars that qualify include those with the model year 1987 or newer and weigh up to 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW). Official air care stations handle emissions testing.

All vehicles need an emissions test upon the initial purchase (new cars) or ownership transfer (used cars). Newly purchased automobiles require another test four (4) years after the first registration or from the manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO) date. Used vehicles need an evaluation every two (2) years. Electric and diesel cars do not require emissions testing as the state considers them “exempt.”

Step 3 – Title & Registration

The initial title and registration process generally happen together. Without this information, drivers cannot operate the vehicle legally. Residents who fail to title within ninety (90) days of acquiring possession must pay the penalty. Drivers using cars without a title or registration can receive additional fines from law enforcement. Buyers planning to resell the auto must title before reassigning ownership.

Regardless of the transaction type, the owner must bring the following documents to their title and registration appointment:

  • Odometer Mileage Statement. The registrar can prove the odometer reading by providing the MCO or submitting a completed odometer disclosure statement (MVD Form 10187) or application (MVD Form 10002).
  • Proof of Insurance.
  • Payment.

Sometimes, the owner may need to present the documents below to the registering office. For example, new vehicles also require the MCO and purchaser’s agreement or dealer’s invoice; however, in most cases, the dealership takes care of this process for the customer. Similarly, when handling used car transactions, the buyer must bring the completed certificate of title to the registering office.

Other potentially necessary paperwork includes the Bill of Sale, VIN inspection, emissions certification, proof of trade-in vehicle, Affidavit of Gift (MVD Form 10018), Release of Lien (MVD Form 10041), and Power of Attorney.

Step 4 – Renew

New Mexico car tags expire after one (1) or two (2) years, depending on the length selected during the previous registration. Individuals can find the expiration date on the license plate sticker and registration certificate. The MVD imposes fees for registrations that occur after the deadline. Residents between one (1) and thirty (30) days late must pay a $10 penalty, whereas those who are thirty-one (31) or more days late owe an additional 75% of the registration fee.

The MVD sends a reminder notice to residents about two (2) months before they need to renew. They can reapply online if they have their control number (found on the postcard), license plate number, VIN’s last six (6) characters, and payment via credit card.

Alternatively, individuals can renew through the mail. They must complete and return the notice provided by the New Mexico MVD. In addition, they must include a check that covers registration for one (1) or two (2) years. The state does not accept cash or card payments via mail.

The resident can renew in person by making an appointment with their nearby MVD office as a third option. They must prepare for the meeting by bringing the required registration information and payment (cash or check only).

Bernalillo County residents and commuters do not need to provide their emissions certification. Instead, the state receives this information via an online database.

Mailing Address:
Registration Renewal Section
Motor Vehicle Division
PO Box 25129
Sante Fe, NM 87504