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Title Transfers or obtaining a New Certificate of Title in North Carolina

A certificate of title issued by the state of North Carolina is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner. In North Carolina, a title must be transferred in 28 days from the date of purchase.


For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the North Carolina Department of Transportation's How to Title & Register a Vehicle page.


Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle

When you purchase a used vehicle, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents, and submitting them along with the appropriate fees to the DMV:

  1. The current title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you), and notarized. The title must include the federal odometer disclosure, if the vehicle is less than ten years old.
  2. If the title does not indicate the date of sale and selling price, a completed Bill of Sale, signed by both current and new owner and notarized, is required.
  3. A completed and notarized Title Application.
  4. An Odometer Disclosure Statement, if the title does not include this information and the vehicle is less than ten years old.
  5. ADamage Disclosure Statement for vehicles less than six years old.
  6. A completed Eligible Risk Statement.
  7. Proof of liability insurance.


Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following 3 fees:
  1. $40 title fee
  2. $75 instant title fee, if applicable
  3. 3% Highway Use Tax based on the Vehicle's market value or sale price
Acceptable methods of payment are cash, money order or checks (written in black or blue ink). Two types of ID will need to be presented if paying by check.

Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner

In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s). In some cases, the heirs may need to provide copies of court orders, the death certificate or the will (or a notarized statement of its contents), if there is one. For more information on title transfers following the death of a vehicle owner, refer to NCDOT DMV website, or contact your local DMV office.


Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted to the local DMV office.

Additional Information

  • Contact your local DMV office if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
  • If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title.
  • A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate license and registration information.

Reviews of Title Transfers or obtaining a New Certificate of Title in North Carolina

So...NOBODY gets a reply from ANY of these posts listed here? Seems to be pointless to provide this section if no one (officially) replies to inquiries.

In the off chance that I missed something, here is our question... We had a title transferred to us from a parent in Hospice prior to entering stages of disability. Due to everything happening at the time, we did not take it directly to DMV. It's been more than 28 days since the title was signed & correctly notorized. A nephew has now expressed interest. The original owner/parent has passed. Can we simply "sign over" the present title (in hand) directly to the nephew so that we do not have to incur double taxation on the transfer?

I am attempting to sell my motorcycle. I have a clean South Carolina title for the bike, but I live in North Carolina. As the seller what must I do to achieve this. Thanks.

My friend bought a horse trailer, the seller and my friend both signed the title with a notary. My friend then decided a week later that he did not want the trailer, but did not send off the title yet. He sold it to me instead. How can I get the title in my name. My friend still has the title.

My father passed away in an industrial accident a few months ago and I was the next of kin and took ownership of his truck, i have the legal virginia title and paperwork, what else do i need to get the title transferred to my name here in NC?

Hi, I am interested in purchasing a salvaged titled sportbike with minor damages and would like to know how hard it would be to retitle it for the highway costs and how to go about the retitling and registering the bike after its repaired? Also Anything i need to do besides buy the bike keep all paper work and repair list,receipts, photos?

I have a 68 Firebird in pieces I obtained from my brother. He bought it on Ebay from a guy that had a notarized, but never registered title from the previous owner. I don't have the notarized title nor the Bill of sale. Is it possible to get this vehicle titled as rebuilt or custom without those documents. I don't want to invest the money to finish this project if I can't get legal ownership.

A friend bought a bike from the original owner, which had a lein on it the bike is now paided off, and the title is being sent to him. I'm going to purchase the motorcycle from him can I sign on the back of the title before I submit it to the DMV,for transfer of title?

Hi I purchased a vehicle with a rent to own agreement and the owner of the vehicle told me ,I will get the title after he pays the money he owes on the car because the car has a lein on the title. Is there something I could do to ensure that I will get the title after the lein is paid off? What is a VR4 form? Thanks..Kim

I bought a vehicle in nc with a duplicate title in which it is signed over to me and i live in sc so i need to know how i can obtain a nc title in order to resale the vehicle?

I bought a "junker" motorcycle to learn how to rip apart and build back a motorcycle. I have a bill of sale but no title. I have rebuilt the engine and need to know If I can retitle the frame of the motorcycle or should I simply buy another used frame with a title.

i went to dmv to registration my 2002 astro sented for a title it has been 3 months no title what is wrong

I have purchased a new car in my name. I wish to give my husband my older car which I have the title and registration in my name only. The car is now insured in his name. I believe that he would need to apply for a new title and registration in his name only. Should this be completed in person at the DMV or is completetion online a possibility? Donna

Hi. We moved to Durham, NC in 2008. We registered our 1998 Toyota Sienna in October 2008. We had a clear title from TN which we turned over to NC DMV in Durham for a new NC title. We have not recieved it. We moved to Gibsonville on December 15, 2008. The title may have been lost in the mail. How can I check on receiving the clear NC Title on our van.

Thank you.

Greg Thon


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