New York Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form


A New York motor vehicle bill of sale form is considered a receipt for an automobile transaction. The document establishes ownership and verifies the buyer and seller transferred the title. It also records information such as the make and model of the car, the manufacture year, and the purchase price. Additionally, it protects both parties from potential issues arising after the sale, such as warranty claims, returns, and other disagreements.

  • Statutes: Chapter 71
  • Signing Requirements: The purchaser and the vendor must sign.

What is a New York Car Bill of Sale?

A New York motor vehicle bill of sale supplies evidence of the purchase and ownership transfer of a car, truck, or van. The form is essential for the seller and buyer for the following reasons. For the buyer, it serves as a receipt for the vehicle payment and proves that they legally obtained possession. For the seller, the document proves that they sold the automobile and no longer have legal liability for it. The bill of sale also acts as a transaction record, allowing the new owner to register and title the car with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What are the Buyer’s Tasks?

When purchasing an automobile, the buyer needs to stay vigilant and knowledgeable. Knowing the vehicle’s history, features, and safety ratings allow them to make the most suitable decision possible. Additionally, the buyer must remain aware of the current market values of the car of interest. This understanding will help them get the best deal possible and avoid scams that could cost them time and money.

The buyer should also follow the steps below when handling the car-buying process. Taking each step into consideration provides peace of mind that they have carried out the necessary tasks.

  1. Research different makes, models, and features to determine the best vehicle for your needs.
  2. Obtain financing if necessary.
  3. Negotiate with the seller (or dealer) for the best price.
  4. Perform a vehicle inspection and test drive.
  5. Read and understand the purchase agreement and all other documents related to the purchase. Be sure to obtain a signed Bill of Sale (Form MV-912) and Statement of Transaction (Form DTF-802).
  6. Finalize the transaction.
  7. Obtain insurance coverage for the vehicle.
  8. Transfer the title and registration.

Note that the DMV will only provide the buyer with a new title if they have a damage disclosure statement on the car’s Certificate of Title (Form MV-999) with their signature and that of the seller. If they do not have this document available, they can submit a completed and signed damage disclosure on the Odometer and Damage Disclosure Statement (Form MV-103).

The buyer and seller must always complete the damage disclosure statement on the title certificate (despite the vehicle’s age). However, they only need to fill out the odometer disclosure statement on the title if it has the model year of 2011 or newer that is twenty (20) model years old or newer.

What are the Seller’s Tasks?

When transferring vehicle ownership, the seller must transfer the title and registration, cancel their insurance policy, and provide the buyer with the car’s maintenance and repair records. Before handing over the keys, the seller should ensure they have not left personal items in the vehicle. Otherwise, they may have trouble reacquiring these items since they no longer own the car.

Furthermore, the seller must complete and sign the title, Bill of Sale (Form MV-912), and Statement of Transaction (Form DTF-802) with the purchaser. Both parties must keep a copy for their records. The person who sold the vehicle has a legal responsibility to notify the DMV of the ownership change. If they do not provide notice, the state can hold them liable for damages or legal issues that occur.

Sellers should also consider the following points when releasing ownership of their vehicle.

  • Prepare the Car: Clean the exterior and interior, make necessary repairs, and fill the tank with gas.
  • Set an Accurate Price: Research the car’s market value, set a competitive price, and consider special features or upgrades.
  • Advertise: Create an online listing, post flyers, or place an ad in the local newspaper.
  • Show the Car: Schedule appointments with interested buyers, provide a test drive and answer any questions they may have.
  • Negotiate: Be willing to negotiate a fair price for both parties.
  • Complete the Sale: Prepare the necessary paperwork, collect the payment, and ensure the buyer has a valid insurance policy.

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

Laws in New York require residents to complete registration within 180 days of the insurance effective date. A driver must have an active registration, displayed license plates, title, and insurance plan to operate a vehicle on New York roadways. Failure to adhere to these provisions may result in penalties and fines. Motorists must ensure that all required documents are up-to-date and correctly displayed.

Step 1 – Insurance

To register the car, the driver must have an insurance policy from a New York company licensed by the Department of Financial Services and certified through the DMV. They must have an active plan whenever the car has a current registration. In other words, non-use, registered vehicles must have insurance coverage.

Out-of-state insurance does not qualify. Moreover, the policy must be in the buyer’s name and remain this way as long as they own the vehicle. Individuals without coverage can face registration and driver’s license suspensions.

Under New York law, motorists must possess valid liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $10,000 for property damage for each incident and $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury/death per person, respectively. The plan must also include $50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury/death in accidents involving two (2) or more persons. The owner must provide proof of the insurance plan through an ID card or electric notice during registration.

Step 2 – Safety & Emissions Inspection

New York state requires vehicles to pass regular safety and emissions testing. The inspections, which occur during the same appointment, must happen every twelve (12) months.

Vehicle owners must complete this task before the expiration date or whenever ownership changes. They must request an appointment with a licensed inspection station, which must fulfill the request within eight (8) business days. Inspection stations can require a deposit to hold the time and date.

A certified motor vehicle inspector must complete the inspection and provide an official certificate if the car passes. If the vehicle does not pass, the owner must repair it and have it re-inspected.

Step 3 – Title & Registration

The registration and titling process gives residents the necessary documents for legally operating their vehicles on New York roadways. Registrars can find DMV locations and make reservations online. Additionally, the state provides a document guide, which allows motorists to look up the forms required for their specific situation.

After submitting the documents and making the payment, the applicant will receive information within one (1) to two (2) weeks. The packet includes the license plate(s), a window sticker, and the certified registration document. If the applicant purchased the vehicle through a private seller (instead of a dealer), they might also receive a ten (10) day inspection extension sticker. Similarly, the applicant will receive the new title certificate (if applicable) within ninety (90) days.

Step 4 – Renew

New York car registration renewal is required every two (2) years. Expiration dates appear on the registration documents and renewal notice.

Individuals can renew in three (3) ways: by mail, in-person, and online.

  • Mail: Renewing by mail requires the recipient to tear off the bottom half of the registration renewal notice (Form MV-3 or OP-3). They must send the paperwork and payment to the address provided in the form. Furthermore, they can only pay by personal check or money order, which they must make payable to the “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.”
  • In-Person: DMV office renewals require the resident to bring their notice (Form MV-3 or OP-3) and payment to their local office.
  • Online: Renewals via the DMV website require the plate number, the vehicle class, the last name of the person listed on the registration, and a credit or debit card. Once the owner finalizes the renewal, they must download and print the temporary registration, which expires ten (10) days after renewal.

The majority of residents can renew their car registration online. However, they cannot apply online if they qualify for a “no fee” renewal. They are also not eligible if they have a vehicle that does not qualify, has a suspended, revoked, or expired (for more than a year) registration, or has not had an inspection within the past twelve (12) months.