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

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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. A Damage 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. $15 failure to Transfer Title Within 28 Days fee
  4. 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.
Submitted by Madiesmith95 on 27th Dec 2016

My mother gave me a car as a

My mother gave me a car as a gift she has signed the title and filled out all of the required documents so that I can transfer the title. Does my mother have to actually come to the DMV with me? She lives all the way in New York.

Submitted by oneshot on 29th Oct 2015

i have a car gave to me. she

i have a car gave to me. she lost title so i need to know what to do to get title, and she moved out of state. i have sell of bill

Submitted by for tim on 25th Oct 2015

my brother in law passed away

my brother in law passed away and his name was on title of 1992 full size chevy truck. I am purchasing the truck from my sister. this is both in nc. what do I need to have and what does she need to have before we go to dmv to transfer title to me

Submitted by on 5th Dec 2015

my brother in law passed away

my brother in law passed away and his name was on title of 1992 full size chevy truck. I am purchasing the truck from my sister. this is both in nc. what do I need to have and what does she need to have before we go to dmv to transfer title to me

Submitted by lcumbie on 25th Sep 2015

Why are separate forms

Why are separate forms required for items already verified and applied for on the back of the car title itself? Odometer verification, Damage disclosure, Insurance Policy info, Application for title are ALL on the back of the title!

Submitted by Confused on 30th Aug 2015

If I buy a used car from a

If I buy a used car from a person in SC (the car is titled in SC) and I live in NC, how do we go about the transaction of title transfer and from state to state? Also what fees are involved and who pays them, buyer or seller? And what paperwork should I bring with me to SC if I buy the car?...hope to get a answer ASAP...

Submitted by Muffin80 on 27th Aug 2015

My mother passed away and

My mother passed away and both of our names are on the registration. What do I have to do in order to have her name removed from the registration.

Submitted by ndabunka on 21st Jan 2015

So...NOBODY gets a reply from

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?

Submitted by wswrestler17 on 29th Nov 2014

I am attempting to sell my

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.

Submitted by GinaG on 20th Sep 2014

My friend bought a horse

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.

Submitted by dougfairbanks on 1st Aug 2015

Simply have your friend that

Simply have your friend that is selling to you send off the title get it back and sign it over to you. You pay for the two transfers but its the most assured way of transferring legal title.

Submitted by Death-Proof on 6th Feb 2014

My father passed away in an

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?

Submitted by churchtony36 on 17th Jan 2014

Hi, I am interested in

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?

Submitted by JanetBrown (not verified) on 10th Mar 2013

I have a 68 Firebird in

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.

Submitted by JAC1 (not verified) on 12th Jun 2012

A friend bought a bike from

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?

Submitted by kwarteng (not verified) on 16th Apr 2012

Hi I purchased a vehicle with

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

Submitted by shamwow on 6th Jun 2015

Are there any squirrels

Are there any squirrels included as part or as an ammendment to the title transfer? If so, you must fill out a SQ-1 and have this notarized as a part of the sale. If more than 10 squirrels are to be included in the sale, then an SQ-2 will need to be signed and dated as well, and a note on the condition of the squirrels will need included and verified by the NCDS (NC Department of Squirrels). Sounds like a lot of red tape, but it saves you money and time in the long run, especially if it's a bad batch of squirrels.

Submitted by leonlucas (not verified) on 29th Feb 2012

I bought a vehicle in nc with

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?

Submitted by george61 (not verified) on 1st Feb 2012

I bought a "junker"

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.

Submitted by Anonymous on 27th Apr 2011

i went to dmv to

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 15th Apr 2011

I have purchased a new car

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

Submitted by GThon (not verified) on 11th Oct 2009

Hi. We moved to Durham, NC

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