How To Transfer a Car Title in New York

How to Transfer Car Title in New York

In New York, transferring a car title is not only limited to the buying and selling of a car. You will need to transfer a car title in New York when a vehicle is gifted to an individual or when the vehicle is obtained as a form of inheritance.

Car title transfer proves that there is a change of ownership between the buyer and seller, giver and receiver. So, how do you transfer car titles in New York?

To transfer a car title in New York, you will need to present proof of ownership, apply and register for title transfer, provide the necessary documents, and pay the necessary fees and taxes.

There are quite a lot of factors that can influence the processes and fees required to transfer a title in New York.

Read on to find out more about car title transfer in New York.

Can You Transfer a Car Title Online in NY?

No. You cannot transfer a car title online in NYC. New York doesn’t have provisions that allow transferring car titles online.

To transfer a car title in New York, you will need to visit a DMV office near you. However, there are options for you to start the registration for a title in New York via mail.

What Forms Do I Need To Transfer a Title in NY?

Here are important documents to transfer your car title to New York.

  • Certificate of Title
  • Bill of Sale
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement
  • Statement of Transaction
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Proof of Identification

To complete your car title transfer in New York, you will need to pay the fees, which include tax and claim of sales. You must understand that while the requirements are almost the same, the process differs depending on the occasion and reason why you are transferring a car title.

Different reasons why you will need to transfer a car title in New York:

  • Purchased a vehicle from a dealer or an individual
  • Vehicle gifted or received as a gift
  • Vehicle from a deceased owner
  • Vehicles to a revocable living trust

How To Transfer Car Title in New York

Here are easy steps on how to transfer a title in New York:

1. Proof of Ownership

The first step to transferring a title in New York is to provide proof of ownership. Two documents can serve as proof of documents for a car in New York.

You must provide the original copy of the certificate of title. But if the proof of ownership is from another state, then a title document can serve as an electronic or printed copy.

2. Signing and Documentation

Upon confirmation and provision of the documents offered, the seller must record the buyer's name and sign the transfer section provided on the proof of ownership form.

Both parties must notarize the transfer section, especially if the proof of ownership is a certificate of title from Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Alaska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Wyoming.

3. Bill of Sale

To complete the transfer of title, the seller must proceed with signing the bill of sale. This is greatly dependent on the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the vehicle.

Suppose the vehicle was gotten as a gift. In that case, the seller must sign section 6 on the second page of the “Statement of Transaction-Sale or Gift of Motor Vehicle, Trailer, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Vessel (boat), or snowmobile” form.

On the form, the seller will specify the type of vehicle, the name of the new owner, and the name of the previous owner, and this classifies the sale as a gift, as there was no sales tax collected during the transaction.

4. Odometer Disclosure Statement

The seller will need to complete and submit an odometer disclosure statement. This is necessary if the vehicle was manufactured within or after 2011, with an average lifespan of 20 years or newer.

The disclosure statement must be completed at the back of the title certificate. A damage disclosure statement is necessary, and all parties involved in the signing and completion of the form must ensure that there are no alterations, erase or change.

5. Paying the necessary fees

To finalize the process of transferring your title in New York, you should pay the necessary fees. New York has a title fee of $50, but this doesn’t cover registration fees, license plates, tax, and lots more.

It is important to mention that a seller cannot transfer a title if he got it from another buyer; the seller will need to apply for a title with the “Title Certificate only” form. This will grant them access to a new title.

This process applies to vehicles with the model year 1973 or newer and the same with model 1972 or older. However, with a 1972 model car or older, you need to confirm that the registration document is clearly marked “transferable” in front.

How Do I Transfer Title on a Car in NY (Dealers)?

To transfer the title for a vehicle purchased from dealers in New York, here are easy steps that you should follow:

1. Proof of Ownership

Title transfer for vehicles purchased from licensed dealers starts with the provision of proof of ownership. The proof will vary depending on the vehicle's status, used or new vehicle.

Proof of ownership for a new vehicle from a licensed dealer in New York includes:

  • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO) and completed form MV-50 (Retail Certificate of Sale)

Proof of ownership for a used vehicle from a licensed dealer in New York includes:

  • Title certificate that the previous owner signed to transfer the ownership to the dealer
  • Retail Certificate of Sale (MV-50). The dealer will need to sign this to transfer ownership to you (out-of-state dealers will use a different bill of sale form)

If the dealer finds it difficult to provide proof of ownership, you can file a complaint with the Department of motor vehicles, New York.

This should happen after you have made several attempts to get proof of ownership from the dealer or resolve the issue amicably. Your complaint will contain proof of attempts and contacts that you’ve made with the dealer in trying to resolve the issue.

2. Application and Fees

If the dealer was able to provide proof of ownership, then you can proceed with the application. Some dealers make it easier for their customers by helping them file all applications related to registration and title. They will likely charge $175 for this.

In most situations, the application process might include the provision of the dealer’s bill of sale, which covers the contact and personal details of the dealer, contact and personal details of the buyer, vehicle identification number, model name of vehicle, year and make and the number of wheels on the car, especially if it is an All-Terrain Vehicle.

How Do I Transfer Title on a Vehicle Received as a Gift in New York?

1. Proof of Ownership

Transferring the title for a vehicle received as a gift in New York isn’t a hard process. The new owner (recipient of the gift) must ensure they get proof of ownership. This must also come with a bill of sale, which the seller and the buyer must complete.

Because the vehicle is a gift, the purchase price on the bill of sale is pegged at $0. The “Statement of Transaction- Sale or Gift of Motor Vehicle, Trailer, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), Vessel (Boat), or Snowmobile” will be completed and filled at the NY State Department of Tax and Finance will also indicate that the vehicle is a gift.

2. Bill of Sale

With the inclusion of proof of ownership, a bill of sale must be provided.

The bill of sale must include the following information:

  • Date of the sale of the Vehicle
  • Year and make of the vehicle
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Purchase price of the vehicle
  • Names and signatures of the buyer and the seller

Both parties (buyer and seller) can make copies of the bill of sale for future reference.

3. Visit a DMV office and complete the application and transfer of title

As the buyer and new vehicle owner, you will need to visit any DMV office near you with the bill of sale and proof of ownership. Finalize all payments to complete the title transfer.

How Do I Transfer Title on a Vehicle From a Deceased Owner in New York?

Transfer of title on a vehicle from a deceased owner in New York will work if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The owner of one vehicle with a value of $25,000 or less automatically has the vehicle transferred to the surviving spouse
  • The owner of one vehicle with a value of $25,000 or less automatically has the vehicle transferred to the surviving children under the age of 21 if no surviving spouse or spouses were disqualified.

In the event of a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse will have to print the decedent’s name on the seller’s name on the back of the title. This must be printed in full and the name signed in the signer’s signature section, with the words “surviving spouse” boldly written.

For surviving children below the age of 21, the spouse or the guardian of the children will sign the title certificate, indicating the relationship of a deceased owner.

The word “Spouse” must be boldly written, and “guardian of” must be written for the guardian, with the name and relationship of the child clearly stated. For instance, (“Dean Barry, Guardian of Charles Arnold, Son”).

The affidavit for transfer of motor vehicle must be completed and notarized. The spouse or guardian should give the new owner a copy of the deceased's death certificate. The DMV will accept a copy of the death certificate and the completed transfer of motor vehicle form.


Transferring a car title in New York can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Yes, there are forms to fill out, fees to pay, and rules to follow, but you can get through it with some patience and determination.

Ensure that you don’t make mistakes, don’t erase, use black or blue inks, don’t scratch out anything while signing those forms, and also understand the process attached to why you are transferring a title in New York.