Selling a vehicle isn’t as easy as sticking a price tag on its window. There is a lot of legal paperwork that goes on behind closed doors, and the selling processes are different in every state. A popular issue among many car sellers in Jersey City is knowing what paperwork is required.
Let’s learn about the paperwork and the other steps required to safely and legally sell a car in Jersey City. All of the required paperwork are going to be legal documents, so make sure you use legal names that are legible and written in blue or black ink. If any errors have to be corrected, the documents will probably be void, so make sure you take your time and do it correctly. If you have any questions, call NJ State Auto at (201) 200-1100.
Allow for an Inspection
Before getting to the paperwork, you should allow the potential buyer the ability to have an inspection conducted by a mechanic of their choice, who is appropriately licensed and qualified. Even though the buyer pays for this, both parties must agree on the inspection’s time and place. If issues are found, you should keep the report for your records or fix the issues to help with a potential sale. Also, you can contact a local dealership or look up the vehicle to see if there are outstanding recalls.
Gather and Organize all Required Vehicle Documentation
Start by gathering the owner’s manual, maintenance records, and other documents about the car. A complete and detailed history of maintenance and repairs will be a great asset in selling your vehicle in Jersey City as the buyer will gain confidence about your care for your vehicle.
Bill of Sale
A Bill of Sale, although not legally required, is an excellent document to fill out and should contain the following information:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
- Year, make, and model of the vehicle.
- Purchase price.
- Sale date.
- Current mileage as indicated on the odometer.
- Full legal name, address, and signature for each buyer and seller.
A Bill of Sale can help if any issues arise while transferring the title or registering the vehicle in the seller’s name.
As a best practice, many sellers will have the Bill of Sale notarized. Even if the vehicle is a gift, the Bill of Sale still needs to have a purchase price, or the value of the vehicle, listed on the Bill of Sale as “GIFT.” Odometer disclosure requirements were updated in December 2020 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which can affect private vehicle sales in Jersey City. Effective January 1, 2021, until December 31, 2030, transfer of ownership for any vehicle from the model year 2011 and newer must have the odometer mileage disclosed prior to any sale. After it expires on January 1, 2031, the rule regarding required odometer disclosure will change to apply to vehicles less than 20 years old.
In case the title has been lost or stolen, or even if you have it but it is badly damaged, you will need a replacement title from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) and pay the associated fees to get a new title. If the vehicle is owned by someone in Jersey City who has passed away, the state of New Jersey has a form titled BA-62 that provides the mechanism for transferring ownership to a surviving spouse or domestic partner. After a death, there’s a 30-day window in which a vehicle owned by the deceased can be operated before the transfer of ownership.
The MVC sets specific rules for situations where the vehicle owner passes away before implementing a last will and testament. If the vehicle has a lien, the New Jersey MVC has a procedure in which you can request a lien-free title. As mentioned above, even if it’s a gift, there still must be a purchase price listed on the back side of the title. Listing the vehicle as a gift also exempts it from sales tax.
For vehicles with more than one owner listed on the title, there are different requirements for what signatures are required. They will be listed as owner one and owner two, owner one or owner two, or owner one and/or owner two. If owners are listed as owner one and owner two, both must sign the title. If they’re listed as owner one or two, either can sign the title. Both sellers must sign if it is listed as and/or. If no connection is listed, it’s defaulted to and requires all owners to sign.
The seller or sellers must sign on the reverse side of the title. The title is then provided to the buyer along with the bill of sale. The buyer signs the buyer’s section on the back of the title and enters their driver’s license number. In addition, the New Jersey MVC recommends but does not require that all vehicle sales between private parties be made in person at a Jersey City MVC office. The State of New Jersey lists this information right on pre-owned vehicle titles.
Take Off your License Plates and Notify the MVC
License plates do not stay with the vehicle in New Jersey, so you will need to remove them at the time of the sale. Unless the license plates are to be transferred to another vehicle you own, you’ll turn them in at a local MVC office. New Jersey MVC regulations indicate that license plates cannot be transferred to a new owner. Make sure you receive a receipt when surrendering your plates as proof of doing so. Finally, cancel your insurance on the sold vehicle.
Once you’ve sold your car in Jersey City, it’s time to stop by New Jersey State Auto Used Cars to find a replacement. You can find us at 406 Sip Ave. from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, closing at 7 p.m. on Saturday. We offer a wide variety of used vehicles, provide financing, and will even take your vehicle as a trade if you don’t want to go through the hassle of selling it on your own. Call us at (201) 200-1100 or complete our secure online contact form to start today.