How To Properly Sign Over or Transfer Your New Jersey Automobile Title

You’d think the process would be simple – just a signature and you’re on your way – but not properly signing over your title can mean extra trips to the DMV and make selling your car more complicated than it should be.

The proper term according to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is an “auto title transfer” and the NJ Department of Motor Vehicles is the office that handles all the paperwork associated with title transfers.

In this article we’ll be covering the following information you’ll need to sign over your car or truck title:

  • What kind of information about your vehicle do you need during a title transfer?
  • What does the vehicle’s seller need when transferring a title?
  • What does the vehicle’s buyer need when transferring a title?
  • What do you do with your old license plates?
  • What kind of fees are associated with auto title transfers?
  • What kind of issues might require a replacement auto title and how you can avoid an extra trip to the New Jersey DMV?

What kind of information about your vehicle do you need during a title transfer?

In the state of New Jersey, you generally need five pieces of information when selling your vehicle.  These include:

  • Your (undamaged) car title
  • The name and address of the buyer
  • The sale date of the title transfer
  • An accurate odometer reading
  • The final purchase price

Having this information accurate the first time can prevent filling out the form improperly.  Having this information (and double checking it) before you even put your pen to paper cannot be stressed enough.

The NJ DMV does not accept even the slightest sign of tape, white-out, or even erasure marks. Any sign of the above mentioned will result in paying for a replacement car title.

What does the vehicle’s Seller need when transferring a title?

Beyond the information above, the Seller should also remove his or her license plates before the sale of the vehicle and either plan to surrender them to the DMV, or transfer them to another vehicle.  

In addition, having the car’s complete certificate of title is necessary to finish a car sale in New Jersey.

What does the vehicle’s Buyer need when transferring a title?

When buying a vehicle from a third party seller, the buyer MUST complete the transfer and vehicle registration within 10 business days or you can face a $25 dollar late fee.  

To complete that transfer you’ll need the following:

The signed vehicle title with the following on the back of the document:

  • Your (accurate) signature
  • Your NJ driver’s license number
  • The information required by the seller (see above)
  • Proof of your motor vehicle insurance
  • Payment for the transfer fee
  • Payment for Sales Tax (unless the vehicle is exempt)

What kind of fees are associated with auto title transfers?

Fees for New Jersey auto title transfers (as of April 2018) are as follows:

Buying and Selling Title Transfer Fees

  • No lien on vehicle: $60
  • Lien present on vehicle: $85

New Jersey Resident Car Title Transfer Fees

  • No lien on vehicle: $60
  • Lien present on vehicle: $85
  • Leased vehicle: $85

Title Correction Fees

  • Error caused by NJ MVC: Free
  • Error caused by buyer/seller: $60

Duplicate Title Fee: $60

What kind of issues might require a replacement auto title and how you can avoid an extra trip to the New Jersey DMV?

One of the most frustrating issues for an auto title transfer are what’s called “Title Corrections”.  Needing to make corrections to an existing title generally means a $60 dollar fee and a trip to the DMV.   

These title corrections aren’t just due for something such as a changed last name, and most buyers are surprised how seriously the DMV takes the accuracy, and in some cases legibility of these documents.

Try to avoid these common mistakes that can lead to that dreaded extra trip (and payments) to the NJ DMV:

  • Inaccurate names and addresses: Having information accurate across all of the applicable documents is of the utmost importance when signing your title over.  Make sure you use your name presently on your driver’s license down to the use (or not) of your middle initial. Having the wrong address (especially mix ups in suite/apartment numbers) can also mean a correction is necessary.
  • Use of correction tape or white out: Covering up (and rewriting over) mistakes made on a car title are grounds for a replacement title.  This can be a potential sign of faulty information, or can potentially cover up important information.
  • Any erasure marks or scratch outs: Using white-out, as well as erasing or scribbling out existing information, can be a sign of altercations and must be avoided when filling out / signing your vehicle title.  If your handwriting is chicken scratch, it may be worthwhile to practice before putting that pen to paper.
  • Burns, tears, rips, stains on your car title: This excessive wear on a car title can also raise a red flag that a possible alteration has taken place.  This again is a process in place to help keep these documents legible, and reduce the potential of fraud or negligence.

Now we may make signing over your car title appear difficult, but having your information accurate and consistent throughout all of your related automobile documents can mean saving a big headache, as well as a big fee at the motor vehicle department.

If you’re looking for an easy way to sell your car in New Jersey (as well as a coach to help you through the signing process) We Buy All Cars in NJ has quickly become one of the easiest places to get a competitive quote and get rid of that car without the hassle.  You can also call our owner Jason directly at (856) 834-5558

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