How to Sell a Car in New York

by Brooke Pierce

When selling your car in New York, follow several steps to ensure that you stick to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles guidelines. The guidelines include rules for the purchase, sale, titling and registration of the car. Follow all of the proper procedures to ensure that you fulfill your legal obligations.

Find a buyer.

Ensure that your car has been assessed, serviced and is in good condition. Post an ad online on websites like Craigslist and eBay, in the local newspapers or put up fliers and posters in your neighborhood. Highlight key features of your car, for example, the warranty, low mileage and safety features. Post photos of your car alongside the features.

Gather the paperwork.

You will require proof of ownership, which is the title of your car. If you have misplaced your title, apply for a replacement using form MV-82TON. New York requires you to present the buyer with your car’s damage and an odometer disclosure statement, Form MV-103, if this information is not indicated on the back of your title. Also, a proof of gift or purchase price is required, which is the statement of transaction, Form DTF-802.

Sales tax applies to all car sales in New York. You have to fill out form DTF-802. If your car was built during or after 1972, present a bill of sale. As the New York DMV does not offer a bill of sale form, draw one up yourself or use a generic form. Indicate your car's make and year, vehicle identification number, the date of sale, the price, your full name and signature as well as that of the buyer. Make a copy and leave the buyer with the original. If a lien was at any time placed on the car, you are required to have proof that the lien was satisfied.


Failure to present the damage and odometer disclosure statement, Form MV-103, or indicating false information can lead to your imprisonment or payment of a huge fine.

Remove the registration sticker and license plates.

The buyer is responsible for acquiring new plates, registration and title at his nearest New York DMV office. Remove the license plates and also your registration sticker from your car’s windshield. Present them to the nearest DMV office, or you can transfer them to another car before they lapse. Failure to do this will lead to a suspension of your driver's license.


Be a responsible seller and remind the buyer to register the car you sold him with the NY DMV and to pay all required fees -- registration, plate, registration transfer and title certificate fees.

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