If you want to own or sell a vehicle in New Mexico, you must go through the legal process of buying and selling a vehicle. Whether you are buying a new or used vehicle, you will need to go through some important processes and handle some paperwork for vehicle registration and titling. Don’t worry if you fall a victim of a defective vehicle. The state of New Mexico has a lemon law that protects buyers from defective vehicles. If you suspect that you have purchased a lemon, you can request the manufacturer to give you a replacement vehicle or your refund.

Buying From a Dealer

When you purchase a vehicle from a licensed dealer, the dealer normally handles all the required paperwork for vehicle registration and titling on your behalf. If you have license plates from a previous vehicle that you sold, you can put those plates on your new vehicle that you have purchased from the dealer. If you have never owned a vehicle before, the dealer may give you the “Registration applied for” card to use it on your vehicle until your new license plates are processed. However, when you purchase a vehicle from a private party, you will need to handle the paperwork yourself. You need to obtain the vehicle title and a bill of sale from the seller.

What a New Mexico Dealer Can Legally Add to the Cost

  • Excise taxes (around 3% of the vehicle sale price).
  • Title fees.
  • License fees.
  • Transfer fee.

Fees That Require Your Approval

  • Extended warranties.
  • Preparation fees.
  • Credit life insurance.
  • Handling fees.
  • Inventory adjustments.
  • Security systems.
  • Credit disability insurance.

If you notice any other additional fee other than the one approved by you, raise a red flag. You are fully protected by the New Mexico’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. You can therefore contact your attorney should you notice any irregularities on the fees charged.

Savvy Buying Tips

  • Do plenty of research. There are thousands of magazines available for comparing prices, reliability and safety of vehicles. You have to read these magazines if you want the best deal.
  • Then there is the reliability of Internet. The internet is the best tool that can help you compare vehicle prices from different shops.
  • Apply various negotiation strategies to get the best deal. You can learn these strategies from the internet when you are doing your research.
  • If you fail to get the vehicle you want from the local dealers, you can import one from other countries. Don’t be pressured into buying any vehicle that you don’t want.
  • Compare various financing partners. It may save you tons of cash if you do your homework well.
  • If you get the best deal, analyze the contract closely to make sure all terms have been documented.
  • Order the vehicle history report of the car you are purchasing. This report contains detailed information about the vehicle accident history, damage and repair history, odometer readings and VIN.
  • Make sure you are aware of the value of the vehicle you are planning to purchase. There are several resources that you can use such as the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) and the Kelley Blue Book website.
  • Get the necessary paperwork for vehicle registration and titling from the seller. You will need these documents to transfer the vehicle’s ownership to your name.

Buying From an Individual

Buying a vehicle from an individual requires one to take great caution. As a buyer, you will need to inquire about the cost of insurance for the vehicle you are purchasing. You will also need to test drive the vehicle to determine its roadworthiness. Also, look for a qualified mechanic to inspect the vehicle before purchase. You must also check the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the vehicle and the title to verify whether they do match.

Requirements for Seller and Buyer

  • Form MVD10009 (Bill of Sale). The seller will need to prepare the bill of sale and sign it over to the buyer. The bill of sale acts as a proof of vehicle sale and can be used as a sales receipt. You need to give the buyer the original bill of sale and remain with a copy. This document must be signed by you and the buyer.

Requirements for the Seller

  • As a seller, you will need to remove the license plates from the vehicle that you have sold. You can then use them on your new vehicle that you own or return them to the DMV. You will also need to notify the New Mexico DMV and insurance company of the sale that you have made. After notifying your insurance provider, they will cancel your insurance policy.
  • You should also provide Form MVD10187 (Odometer Disclosure Statement), if necessary.

Requirements for the Buyer

  • Take the title certificate and Form MVD10009 (Bill of Sale) to a New Mexico MVD office to complete registration and title transfer.
  • Complete Form MVD 10002 (Application for Vehicle Title and Registration).
  • For out-of-state vehicles, a vehicle identification number inspection is required.

Buying or Selling Without Paperwork

Registration papers are not needed at the time of sale. However, providing buyers with these papers will facilitate the sale quickly. When selling or buying a vehicle, the title must exchange hands. If you are a buyer, don’t purchase a vehicle without a title. If the title is missing, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy and sign it over to you. Without this vital document, you won’t be able to transfer ownership into your name. For more information about selling or purchasing a vehicle without paperwork, contact the DMV customer representative at (888) 683-4636.