A New Jersey title for car ownership is a necessary legal document that must be obtained within 10 days of taking possession of a new or used vehicle. Car title applications are processed by the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) at their network of agencies. Getting car title documentation promptly can protect you from the state issuing a late penalty fee.

Drivers can usually obtain a new car title in New Jersey quickly, as long as they have the proper documentation and payment for titling fees. Find out how to get car title documents and learn more about the differences between DMV car title applications and car registration certificates when you continue reading the information organized below.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in New Jersey

Obtain a New Jersey car title by appearing in person at any MVC agency during normal business hours. NJ car titles are not currently available online or obtainable through the mail at this time.

On the other hand, you may expedite service by calling ahead to your MVC agency to ask if they accept appointments for title applications. Most NJ MVC agencies accept car title fee payments in the form of cash, check, money order, American Express, MasterCard or Visa.

The New Jersey Auto Title Application

Your NJ auto title application expert at the MVC office will walk you through the steps necessary to complete your titling process. In most cases, vehicle title applicants will complete the NJ MVC Application for Certificate of Ownership. Information needed to complete this DMV car title application includes the vehicle’s make, model, color and year of manufacture, as well as the exact purchase price and any applicable financing or lienholder details.

If the vehicle is a gift, the seller must enter “gift” as the sale price on the title. Each certificate of title owner or co-owner must provide their NJ driver license number, date of birth, eye color, gender and current address. By signing the motor vehicle title application, each owner signifies that he or she verifies that the vehicle identification number on the form matches the one on the car.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in New Jersey

When applying for a new or used car title in NJ, several supporting documents are required for most transactions, but each case is unique. Generally, to get car title approval, applicants should come prepared with the following:

  • Valid NJ driver license or state-issued photo ID card.
  • Proof of auto insurance that meets NJ minimum coverage standards.
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) displaying a tax-satisfied stamp.
  • Corporation code (corpcode) and address of any lien holder.
  • The current vehicle title, if transferring vehicle ownership.
  • Odometer reading at the time of sale.

Some vehicles getting car title documents must meet emission testing requirements. Light passenger cars and trucks weighing less than 8,500 lbs and dated model year 2009 or later are required to meet California Low Emission Vehicle Program standards. Therefore, applicants seeking a pink slip for these vehicles must also provide an approval letter from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) stating that it meets low emission standards.

What is a New Jersey car registration?

Every new or used vehicle must obtain a car registration before being driven in New Jersey. A vehicle registration simply provides proof that your car meets all regulations required for safe operation on the state roadways. NJ new car registration applicants must abide by the MVC’s Four-Year Accelerated Registration Program by paying for four years of registration fees at the time of the initial registration.

A first-time used motor vehicle registration is good for a period of one year and must be renewed on or before the year expires. License plates are provided as part of auto registration and can be transferred to another vehicle but never to another owner.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in New Jersey?

Despite sounding similar, a New Jersey car registration and a vehicle title are not the same thing. A DMV car registration provides proof that a car has met all state requirements to be driven safely on roadways and highways, while a car title basically provides proof of ownership. A car title also shows the owner history attached to the vehicle, while a car registration simply names the current owner. Moreover, a car title is only issued to you once, at the time that you take ownership of the vehicle, but car registrations must be renewed on a regular basis.

Every time you get car registration renewed, you must pay the associated taxes and fees, but a car title will incur no additional expense unless you need to add or remove an owner from the document later. Drivers must carry a copy of car registration in NJ inside the vehicle and be ready to show it to a law enforcement officer upon request. However, it is never recommended to carry your car title inside your vehicle. Store it in a safe location with your other important legal documents.

Car Title Costs in New Jersey

The standard title fees in New Jersey are as follows:

  • Standard vehicle: $60
  • Financed vehicle with one lien: $85
  • Financed vehicle with two liens: $110

Note that these fees do not include any registration fees

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.