A North Carolina motor vehicle bill of sale is a receipt for a privately sold vehicle that is signed by the seller and the purchaser. Although the ownership of the vehicle is officially transferred when the seller signs over the vehicle title, the bill of sale is necessary as proof that the sale was completed, funds were paid, and the property changed hands. This document protects both parties from certain liabilities that may arise if there is a conflict or problem regarding the vehicle. Furthermore, a bill of sale is usually a required document when the buyer registers their new vehicle with the DMV.
North Carolina Vehicle Registration/Titling
In North Carolina, residents must register and title vehicles in their name after purchasing one in a private transaction (not from a licensed dealer). Vehicles can be driven without license plates for three (3) days from the date they were purchased if the driver has the vehicle title and proof of insurance. This window is only intended to permit the buyer to drive the vehicle from its original location to the place where it will be kept by its new owner.
To obtain new registration and title the vehicle in the buyer’s name, the steps below must be followed.
- Seller fills out and signs the assignment portion of the vehicle’s Certificate of Title in the presence of a notary public to release to ownership of the vehicle to the buyer.
- Buyer receives the Certificate of Title from the seller.
- Buyer acquires an insurance policy for the vehicle.
- Buyer completes and brings the following paperwork and ID to their local DMV office:
- Buyer pays titling and registration fees, plus applicable taxes.