A certificate of title is a legal form that proves ownership of a car. Whether you're selling or purchasing a used car in New Hampshire, transfer of ownership is a key component of the whole car-buying process.
When selling a car privately in New Hampshire, the most important thing is to make sure that the title transfer is legal and safe. This article will tell you everything you need to know.
If you’re not in New Hampshire or want more general title transfer advice, read our title transfer guide. It links out to each state, so you can see how to successfully transfer a title in your state.
The Process of Transferring a Title In New Hampshire
A transfer of the vehicle's title establishes the buyer as the new owner. There are two phases to a New Hampshire title transfer:
- The buyer and seller meet face to face. They reach an agreement on the purchase price, and the buyer approves the vehicle. The buyer pays the seller. The title certificate must be completed and signed by both the seller and the buyer. The buyer now has legal ownership of the vehicle.
- The buyer registers the vehicle and officially transfers ownership to them with the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This includes paying used car sales tax, applying for new license plates, and dealing with other issues.
The most important step is the initial meeting between the seller and the buyer. The second step is a mandatory requirement.
- When you sign over ownership of the car to the buyer as the seller, you will formalize the entire transaction. You'll remove the license plates and be finished with the vehicle.
- In a private car sale, you become the legal owner of the vehicle when the seller transfers the title to you as the buyer. You will complete your title and registration with the New Hampshire towns clerk's office. In addition, you'll get new license plates and car insurance.
Important Information When Signing a New Hampshire Title
When completing the title certificate, keep the following details in mind:
- Any spelling errors render the document illegible.
- Use only blue or black ink; any other color will void the title.
- Never use white-out or delete anything.
- Write clearly.
- Never use nicknames.
Front of NH Title Certificate
The front of the title includes sections for the lien holders (green). Here are the steps for filling out the front of a New Hampshire title.
Congratulations! You've completed the New Hampshire title transfer.
Finalize Ownership Transfer with New Hampshire Clerk's Office
You are officially the owner once you have completed the certificate. But your work is not done. To complete the New Hampshire car title transfer, you must still take some additional steps. In addition, you must register the vehicle and obtain new license plates from a New Hampshire town or city clerk. You'll also have to pay sales tax on your newly purchased car.
The following documents must be submitted to your local town or city clerk's office:
- Properly filled out title
- Bill of sale
- Proof of New Hampshire residency
- Odometer disclosure statement
- Proof of car insurance
- Emissions test
- Payment for the registration fee
New Hampshire charges the following registration fees:
- 0-3000 lbs. $31.20
- 3001-5000 lbs. $43.20
- 5001-8000 lbs. $55.20
- 8001-73,280 lbs. $0.96 per hundred lbs. gross weight.
When you register your vehicle in New Hampshire, you will be able to select the type of license plate you want. In New Hampshire, license plates cost $15.
To avoid fines or other penalties, you should register the car as soon as you get the title.
New Hampshire Emissions Testing Requirements
In the state of New Hampshire, passing an emissions test is required for cars that fall into the following categories:
- A car that is a 1996 model or later.
- All gasoline vehicles.
- Diesel cars that weigh 8,500 pounds and less, that is model year 97’ or later.
In New Hampshire, vehicle owners are required to have their vehicles pass an emissions test 10 days before the end of the vehicle owner's birth month.
Emission Check Exemptions in New Hampshire
Only fully electric vehicles are exempt from smog inspections in New Hampshire.
The fee for performing this test will be $25 per vehicle.
New Hampshire Bill of Sale
When transferring title in New Hampshire, a bill of sale is not required. However, we recommend always completing a bill of sale in private-party vehicle transactions, as it protects both parties legally.
A bill of sale must include the following elements:
- Your full name and signature
- The other party’s full name and signature
- Price of the car
- The make, model, and year of the car
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
As part of our normal in-app transaction process, PrivateAuto gives you an official New Hampshire bill of sale. The seller and buyer will be asked to to e-sign the New Hampshire bill of sale, in the PrivateAuto app, at an appropriate time during the transaction.
When you test-drive the vehicle and decide to buy it, the entire transaction, including the completion of the bill of sale, can be completed in a matter of minutes. It is simple, quick, and convenient. You won't have to keep track of any paperwork because the electronic bill of sale will always be available in your PrivateAuto account as proof of a valid transaction.
New Hampshire Title Transfer Form
When buying a car from a private seller, the buyer will have to complete the second part of the title transfer at their local NH DMV.
To apply for a car title transfer in New Hampshire, you need:
- Completed title certificate
- A completed verification of vehicle identification (form TDMV 19A)
- Payment for the New Hampshire vehicle title transfer fee of $25
12 Simple Steps for Selling Your Vehicle through PrivateAuto
With PrivateAuto, you can sell your used car in New Hampshire quickly and easily. The process is simple:
- Gather required documents
- Create an account on PrivateAuto and get verified
- List the car
- Set your own conditions
- Evaluate incoming proposals
- Choose the buyer
- Schedule a test drive
- E-sign paperwork
- Get paid, instantaneously
- Perform the title transfer
- Take off your New Hampshire license plates
- Cancel car insurance
Considering Purchasing a Used Car in New Hampshire?
If you are looking to buy one, look through our used car options in New Hampshire. Whether you’re looking for a Toyota Tacoma or a Tesla S, you’ll be sure to find the car of your dreams.
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New Hampshire Title Transfer FAQ
How to transfer a car title when the owner is deceased?
If you are the beneficiary or joint-owner of a deceased car owner and intend to keep the vehicle, you must transfer the title to your name. The beneficiary may gift the car to a relative or sell it.
To transfer the title, you'll need to gather the following documents:
- Certificate of title
- Odometer disclosure statement
- Copy of the death certificate
- Order from the probate court to transfer the vehicle
- Transfer fee
Be sure to read our guide on transferring a car title to a family member.
How do you transfer an out-of-state title?
To transfer an out-of-state car title, you will need the following:
- The original out-of-state vehicle title
- A completed application for a certificate of ownership
- A completed New Hampshire motor vehicle registration application
- Proof of a valid New Hampshire vehicle insurance policy
- Proof of identification (real ID)
How to request a duplicate vehicle title in New Hampshire?
If your car’s title has been damaged, lost, or destroyed, you need to request a title replacement. In the state of New Hampshire, you can apply for a replacement title online or in person.
You will need to submit the following:
- Completed application for duplicate certificate of title (form TDMV 18)
- Provide the driver’s license number
- Payment for the New Hampshire vehicle title fee of $25
If you are unable to apply for a duplicate title in-person, you can mail it to the following address:
NH Department of Safety
DMV – Title Bureau
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
Should I remove my license plates when I sell a used car in NH?
In New Hampshire, the seller is required to remove the vehicle's license plates when selling a used car. The buyer must apply for new license plates with the New Hampshire city clerk's office.
Are used car prices dropping in 2023?
Used vehicle prices appear to be dropping, but the drops are not as drastic as some have predicted. However, we could be wrong. Regardless of price fluctuations, PrivateAuto will continue to be the best place to buy and sell used vehicles.
What is the safest method of payment when selling a car?
PrivateAuto Pay allows you to send large sums of money quickly and securely, without the risks and inconveniences that other payment methods entail.
Where can I go to transfer a vehicle title in New Hampshire?
There are different DMV locations where you can transfer a New Hampshire vehicle’s title.
New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (Manchester Office)
377 S Willow St
Manchester, NH 03103
New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (Epping Branch)
315 Calef Hwy
Epping, NH 03042