In the state of North Carolina, vehicle ownership is indicated by the name of the vehicle title. If ownership changes, the title must be transferred from the previous owner to the new owner. This happens when a vehicle is bought or sold, but also when it is given as a gift and when it is part of an inheritance. There are some things you need to know about transferring a car title in North Carolina.
When you sell the car
For sellers, there are several steps that must be performed correctly to ensure that the title can be entered in the buyer's name. While the buyer is responsible for paying the transfer fee and taking the documentation to the DMV, it starts with you.
Fill out the back of the title and make sure both you and the buyer sign it. It must also be notarized.
Give the buyer a lien.
Make sure you fill out an odometer statement for vehicles under 10 years old.
Make sure you provide the buyer with an authorized statement of risk for registration and proof of ownership.
Make sure you fill out the damage disclosure statement.
Do not have the title notarized
When you purchase the car
Like sellers, buyers must complete certain steps in the title transfer process. You must:
Sign the title with the seller and make sure it is notarized.
Get a lien release from the seller.
Make sure the seller gives you an authorized risk statement for registration and proof of ownership, a damage disclosure statement, and an odometer disclosure statement.
Fill out the title application.
Get insurance for the car and provide proof of ownership.
Make sure you have a valid ID.
Take all of this information, as well as the $52 for the title transfer to the DMV. You will also need to pay a 3% highway tax and registration fee ($36).
Do not get a lien release
Do not notarize and sign the title
What to know about giving away and inheriting a car
In the state of North Carolina, making a gift of a car requires the same procedure as described above. However, if you are giving the vehicle to an eligible family member (spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or stepchild), you must complete the Highway Use Permit Tax Exemption form so that the vehicle does not have to pay 3% tax.
Inheriting a vehicle in North Carolina is a little more complicated than buying a car or purchasing one.
If the will is granted and the car is from a spouse, you will need a copy of the will and a deed or letter of administration.
If the estate is not probated or there is no will, you must submit a completed affidavit to the DMV. This should include information about your relationship to the deceased, a statement that there is no will, the name and date of death, information about other heirs, and personal information about the new owner.