Living in the Big Apple can be a fun experience – two of the most iconic holiday celebrations in the world happen here: the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and, of course, the grand New Year's Eve celebration that people from all over the world flock to annually.

Whether you're a New York native or you've just relocated, knowing how to transfer a title in New York will come in handy. If you're the seller, you'll need to know how to sign over your car title.

How do you transfer a car title in New York?

Transferring a vehicle title in NY requires a few steps, documents, and fees:

  1. Go to the closest New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Check out this list of locations separated by county to find the DMV closest to you.
  2. Give the clerk the title. The title should already have been filled out and signed by the person you received or purchased the vehicle from. If you're transferring your own title to New York due to a recent move, you'll find information in the next section.
  3. Provide your proofs. This includes proof of insurance and your own identification, such as your New York drivers license.
  4. Fill out the Title Application. This is known as the Form MV-82.
  5. Fill out the transaction statement. This is the Form DTF-802.
  6. Pay the required fees. This includes a $50 fee to receive the title, vehicle registration fees, and any applicable taxes.
Eye chart at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

What if you just moved to New York?

Well, congrats on your move to one of the most eclectic places in the world!

To get your car titles transferred over, first you must establish residency. This is as simple as obtaining your New York drivers license. After you've done so, you have 30 days to register and title any of the vehicles you brought with you in your move. Titling and registration can occur simultaneously, but you'll have to secure New York auto insurance beforehand.

Transferring your title to New York is different depending on if you have the previous state's document showing you're the legal owner of the vehicle.

If you've just moved to New York and you have your out-of-state title:

  1. Go to your nearest DMV office with the current title.
  2. Show the clerk your out-of-state identification and NY car insurance card (physical or digital format works). Note: the insurance from your previous state is not applicable.
  3. Fill out Form MV-82 to obtain registration and a new title. Note: If you don't want or need the registration, simply the title, use Form MV-82TON. This gets you a New York title but doesn't allow you to drive the vehicle.
  4. Complete Form DTF-803 so you don't have to pay tax on the vehicle. Vehicles purchased outside of New York are not susceptible to New York sales tax. (If you buy a car in New York, you'll have to pay the then-current sales tax on the purchase.)
  5. Pay the required fees for your new vehicle title.

For more information on the titling process in New York at the NY DMV website.

People using the crosswalk on a busy street in New York.

What if your title has a lienholder?

Say you not only just moved to New York, but that you were in the process of buying a car in your previous state – if you haven't yet paid off the car, it's likely you don't have the physical title. To apply for a title without the physical title, you'll need to contact the lienholder to obtain a certified copy of the title. Note: the title copy and its certification must be on the same sheet of paper.

Your lienholder must provide you with a statement on their letterhead with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Vehicle year
  • Vehicle make
  • Vehicle model
  • Vehicle VIN

This statement must also assert that the lienholder is holding the original copy of the title until the vehicle is paid off and that they know you are now registering said vehicle in New York state. The DMV will not provide notification of the registration to the lienholder, as that is not a provided service.

You'll need to show the DMV your current form FS-20 and provide a completed MV-82 form if you want to register and title the car. If you only want to title the vehicle, you'll need a For MV-82TON, but you can't drive the car until you've registered it with the state.

Fill out Form DTF-803, which requests tax exemption since you bought the car in a different state prior to your move. You'll have to pay off your vehicle before you can sell your car in New York.

Finally, you'll pay the requisite title fees.

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Navigate the used vehicle sale process today with PrivateAuto. Search listings to find your next vehicle and follow these steps to transfer a title the right way.