When buying a car in North Carolina, you must obtain certain documents from the seller in order to register and apply for a title in your name. The documents that you need include the bill of sale and vehicle title. You will use these documents to register and title the car you have purchased with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you buy a car from a vehicle dealer, they will handle the required paperwork for vehicle registration and titling for you. However, if you buy from a private seller, you will need to obtain certain paperwork from the seller in order to register the vehicle in your name. Continue reading this article to get more information about the paperwork required when buying a car in North Carolina.

Paperwork for North Carolina Car Buyers

To register and title your newly purchased car in North Carolina, you must obtain certain documents from the seller. The documents you need include:

  • A signed and notarized vehicle title, which must include name and address, sale date, seller’s name and signature.
  • A completed Form MVR-180 (Odometer Disclosure Statement) for cars under 10 years old.
  • A completed Form MVR-181 (Damage Disclosure Statement).
  • A bill of sale (required for vehicles purchased from a dealer but optional for vehicles purchased from a private seller).

If the safety or emission inspection sticker has expired, you also need to take your car for inspection before registering it.

Missing Paperwork

You shouldn’t purchase vehicles without a title. If the title is missing, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy and assign it to you. Vehicle registration papers are not required during vehicle titling or registration. However, if you bought the vehicle from outside North Carolina, vehicle registration papers are required. If you had purchased a car without a title and you intend to title it in your name, you need to fill and sign an indemnity bond. Otherwise contact the NC DMV customer representative for the paperwork needed. You can reach them online or through phone at (919) 715-7000. If the owner of the car is deceased, there is no state administrator or you are the heir to the car, then to register and title the car in your name, you have to fill out and submit an Affidavit of Authority to Assign Titles.

North Carolina Title Transfer and Vehicle Registration

To register and title your newly purchased vehicle in your name, you will need to go in person to a nearest North Carolina DMV office. Be sure to take with you:

  • Paperwork from the seller which include: A signed and notarized vehicle title. A completed Form MVR-180 (Odometer Disclosure Statement) for cars under 10 years old. A completed Form MVR-181 (Damage Disclosure Statement). A bill of sale (required for vehicles purchased from a dealer but optional for vehicles purchased from a private seller). Lien release, if applicable. Current registration (for vehicles purchased from another state).
  • Your own documents which include: A valid North Carolina driver’s license. Proof of car insurance. Title Application (Form MVR-1). Form MVR-615 (Eligible Risk Statement for Certificate of Title and Registration).
  • Applicable fees and taxes (cash, money order, personal check): $40 title fee. $28 for new registration and license plates. Highway use tax, which is normally 3% of purchase price.

Transferring a Registration and Plate

You can transfer registration and license plate of your old vehicle to your newly purchased vehicle if your old vehicle was registered in the same name as the one you have bought. You will pay $15 registration transfer fee instead of the $28 new registration fee.

Vehicle History Reports

A Vehicle History Report is not needed when registering or titling the car. However, this report is needed to verify and confirm the status and history of the car that you are purchasing. By requesting a vehicle history report, you will not only avoid car problems, but also avoid a number of vehicle frauds. Make sure you have this document at hand when negotiating with the seller.