How to Sell a Car in NJ

by Scott Krohn

In New Jersey, doing the paperwork for a direct vehicle sale between private parties requires the completion of requested information on the certificate of title by the buyer and the seller. Additional documentation will be required if a lien must be vacated and the lienholder removed from the title prior to the sale of the vehicle.

Responsibilities of the Seller

The information and signature required from the seller to release ownership is provided on the title in the Odometer Disclosure Statement and Statement of Seller. Located on the back of the title, the information required includes mileage on the vehicle, information on the buyer, the transaction and the selling price. After completing the transfer of ownership, the seller can transfer the license plates to a vehicle titled in the same name as the car that was sold, or take the plates back to a New Jersey MVC office. License plates cannot be transferred to a vehicle titled in a different name.

Requirements of the Buyer

The buyer of the vehicle signs where indicated in the Statement of Buyer section and inputs his driver's license number in the Odometer Disclosure Statement and Statement of Seller section. The buyer then can take the completed title, proof of insurance and applicable fees to an MVC office to transfer ownership, register the car and apply for license plates. All required documentation related to the transaction must be submitted to an MVC office within 10 days of the sale date to avoid late fees.

Removing a Lienholder

A lienholder, such as a bank that provided financing for the vehicle purchase, must be removed from a certificate of title before ownership of a vehicle can be transferred. This process starts with payment in full of principal, interest and any fees attached to the loan. Upon receipt of the final payment, the lien can be released with a statement written on the lender’s letterhead. Information required in the statement to remove the lienholder from the title includes the VIN, make and model of the car, as well as the notarized signature of an authorized bank official. The certificate of title also needs to be stamped by the lienholder as paid in full. The vehicle owner can mail the stamped title and lien release statement to the MVC to have the lienholder removed from the title.

MVC Locations and Information Sources

Documentation to transfer ownership after a vehicle sale can be submitted to MVC Agencies located across the state. Additional information on private vehicle sales in the state can be found at the MVC website or by calling (888) 486 3339.

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