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.
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:
Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following 3 fees:
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.
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.
Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted to the local DMV office.