Navigating the Maze: A Comprehensive Guide to Used Car Paperwork

paperwork process

Used car paperwork is one of the most tedious tasks of buying a second-hand car. If you’ve followed the steps that we formulated, then you should be working on the paperwork processes. The paperwork process of owning a car can be a dull subject matter. If it isn’t, then you might not have owned a car yet. But, if you have and you still feel the same, that’s great! You’re one of the few people that feel that way. Among the annoyance of having to wait in a long line at the DMV, plus possible misunderstandings, it’s best that you’re equipped.

Equipped to better gauge how fast you can finish processing the paperwork so that you can drive your newly purchased car legally. The process doesn’t take so long, but the wait in the line might prove to be frustrating. So, grab all the things you need so you can do everything in one go and use your time efficiently. Buying a car from a buy here, pay here dealership means you don’t have to worry about these things.

All you have to do is fill up some paperwork in the office, and they’ll get it done for you. However, when you go through a private seller, things are different. You and the seller will have to take care of the transfer title or transfer of ownership title, as well as the registration of the vehicle. So, if you aren’t going through a BHPH dealer, how can you do this yourself? Well, we’re here to show you some of the steps to make things easier on your end.

Ownership Transfer or Transfer Title

Having your paperwork in order before heading to the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, is one of the first steps to make sure that everything will go smoothly. You don’t want to be waiting in a long line of other people just to go there again because you forgot something. Whether you’re selling a car or buying it, it’s a requirement to go out and fix the paperwork required to sell or buy the car.

Before going on a trip to the nearest DMV, figure out how much you’re going to need to pay. The amount can range from about $20 to at least several hundreds. This is totally dependent on the state you’re living in, so give the DMV a quick call. Or, ask a friend that might know this information.

In a BHPH dealership, they’ll also be the lender. So, they’ll most likely handle all the paperwork as well as the title. Sometimes though, the title will be kept until the loan has been paid off. With a private seller, you’ll most likely need to have the seller to sign the title over to you. Therefore, you and the seller will have to communication on how to handle the costs and then signing the appropriate sections on the title.

What does the DMV Need?

Once you and the seller have signed the title at the appropriate signatory space, then you’re going to have to go to the DMV to register the transfer. What’s usually included in the things you’ll need to bring to the DMV are:

  • A bill of sale showing that you’ve purchased the car and at what price
  • Proof of the title that’s been signed over to your name
  • The Vehicle Identification Number or VIN, this information should also be on the title and bill of sale
  • Current odometer reading

Sometimes, the DMV at your state may require you to fill out a form. This is for their record of the title transfer and reissue the title under your name. So, you’ll have to go and ask if you need to fill up this form after lining up. It’ll help kill time with the long line. If the lender still has the title, then you’re going to need to have the lender’s name, contact number and address with you. This will ensure that the DMV will contact the lender, or otherwise called the lien holder, and request to register the title information to them.

Registering a New Car

When you register the title transfer, you can also register the car at the same time. Yes, the transfer title is different from the registering the car to your name. Also, if you live in a county, sometimes, you’re going to be required to buy a county registration for the car as well. There are requisite fees for this. However, unlike states with counties, you’ll go to vehicle registration offices rather than the DMV. So, you may have to do a bit of research. When registering the car, you’re going to need:

  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Proof that you’ve paid the sales tax and other fees on the car purchase
  • Certificates that show the car has passed safety and emissions inspections

While some states allow you to renew the registration via mail or the internet, you’ll still have to mail in your registration fees or provide a credit card number. Unfortunately, this is only for renewing your registration. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to make the rest of the transaction in person.

There you have it! You now have all the information you’d need to go out and process the papers for your new second hand ride. To help you celebrate owning a car, why not invite some of your friends over and go for a short drive out. If you live in a city, go a little bit out of the city, and make sure to have everyone pitch in for the gas!

If you need help on deciding what car to get within your budget, you can easily give Carfect a call. You can also send us an email! We’ll help you create a payment plan that fits your budget! If you’ve got poor credit or no credit, we’re always happy to lend a helping hand. So, visit us today!


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