If you need to transfer vehicle ownership you may do so only at a motor vehicle agency this type of transaction cannot be handled through the mail. To ensure the proper transfer of documents and to avoid penalties, please follow these guidelines.
If you sold or bought a vehicle
The Seller must:
- Remove the plates and surrender them to a motor vehicle agency or full service agency, unless the plates are being transferred to another vehicle (plates can be transferred to another vehicle, but not to another owner).
- Sign in the seller's section of the reverse side of the title and give it to the buyer, along with a bill of sale including the following information:
- Buyer's name and address;
- Date of sale;
- Mileage odometer reading (see below); and
- Sale price.
The Buyer must:
Transfer of title upon death of owner
A vehicle registered in the name of a decedent may be operated for 30 days after the date of death. All documents must be brought to a motor vehicle agency or full service agency to complete the transaction.
If the title is in both the husband and wife’s name:
- Submit the old title, a copy of the death certificate and a notarized Affidavit (Form BA-62)
- The $60 title fee will apply (the existing registration can be transferred for an additional $4.50). If the vehicle was left in a will:
- Submit the old title properly assigned by the executor of the estate and a Surrogate's Short Certificate
- Pay the $60 title fee (the existing registration can be transferred to an immediate member of the family for $4.50)
To transfer ownership to the estate
- Apply for a Entity Identification Number (EIN – formerly CorpCode).
- Once received, bring the EIN, the old title, the Surrogate's Short Certificate, and your driver’s license as proof of identification to a motor vehicle agency.
- Pay the $60 title fee (or $85 for a financed vehicle title fee)
- In addition, a new registration and proof of New Jersey insurance in the estate name is necessary if the vehicle will be operated.
If the owner dies without a will
- Where there is a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner and the estate does not exceed $50,000
- Present the current title along with an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner/Civil Union Partner, which must include the raised seal of the County Surrogate, of the county where the decedent lived at the time of death. An original death certificate and a notarized MVC Affidavit (Form BA-62) are also required.
- Where there are heirs, but no surviving spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner and the estate does not exceed $20,000:
- Present the current title with an Affidavit of Next of Kin, which must include a raised seal of the County Surrogate, of the county where the decedent lived at the time of death.
- Where the estate is worth more than the amounts listed above:
- The title can be transferred to the surviving spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner, heir or buyer by presenting the old title properly assigned and executed by the Administrator of the estate, along with an Administrator’s Short Certificate, which must include the raised seal of the County Surrogate, of the county where the decedent lived at the time of death.
The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard®, check, money order or cash.
Other related information
- Odometer reading
You are required to provide an accurate odometer reading at the time of sale to show whether the vehicle has passed its mechanical limitations and is on a second or third cycle. If the actual odometer reading is inaccurate, the seller must give an estimate of what the actual reading should be. Download a copy of the Odometer Disclosure Form
Liens noted on the decedent's title shall be paid before a new title is issued unless the lien on the title is being transferred to the sole owner. Contact your lending institution for more information.
- Sales Tax
A vehicle is only exempt from sales tax if the customer indicates on the purchase price line on the reverse side of the title that it is a gift. More information on vehicle sales tax exemptions is available here.