What Are the Taxes and Fees When Buying Used Car New Jersey?

by Robert Moore

When you purchase a pre-owned car in New Jersey, you are responsible for paying the title transfer and registration fees when you transfer ownership from the previous owner to yourself. The amount of these fees, however, varies depending on your vehicle and how you paid for it. Don’t expect to get away without paying taxes either -- you know the state would not miss a chance to charge you sales tax on a purchase.

Title Transfer Fee

Your new-to-you vehicle is not officially yours until you request a title transfer at the Motor Vehicle Commission. At the time of publication, the fee for a standard title transfer is $60. If your vehicle has a lien placed on it, you’ll be asked to pay $85 for the title transfer. If you have two liens to include on the title, you’ll be asked to pay $110 for the title transfer. You only have 10 days to transfer ownership of the vehicle. After 10 days, the state will impose an additional late fee of $25.

Registration Fee

Registration fees, unlike titling fees, are due every year and include the cost of a license plate. The amount you’ll be asked to pay depends on what weight class your vehicle falls into and how old it is. Most vehicles fall into weight class No. 7 -- weighing under 3,500 pounds – or weight class No. 8, which is for vehicles over 3,500 pounds. The standard fee for weight class No. 7 at the time of publication is $46.50 and $71.50 for weight class No. 8. If your vehicle is less than two years old, the registration fees are increased to $59 and $84 respectively. Visit New Jersey’s MVC website for a complete list of weight classes and relevant fees.


When you register your vehicle, you are required to provide proof of New Jersey auto insurance.

Sales Tax

At the time of ownership transfer, you are also responsible for paying the 7 percent sales tax on the price you paid for your vehicle. For instance, if the purchase price of your vehicle was $7,500, multiply that price by 0.07 to obtain a tax rate of $575 that must be paid at the time of titling and registration. Add the tax rate of $575 to your weight class fee to determine exactly what you'll be asked to pay when you visit the MVC. If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer but decided to title the vehicle yourself, you may have already paid the sales tax. If so, the dealer should have supplied you with proof of the tax paid. Present your purchase documents at the time of titling to prevent paying sales tax again. At the time of publication, there are no county or city fees imposed when you title or register your vehicle.

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