Live in New Jersey or thinking of moving there? If you’re considering buying a car, selling a car, or moving to the state, you’ll need to do a New Jersey title transfer. Doing so can make sure your documents are up-to-date and officially change ownership of the vehicle. Whatever your situation may be, we go over how to transfer a car title in New Jersey.
What do you need for a New Jersey title transfer?
When a vehicle changes hands or if you move to a new state, you need an updated title. To do a New Jersey title transfer, you’ll need:
- The original title, signed by the buyer and seller
- A bill of sale (that includes mileage, date of sale, and price)
- If buying a vehicle, you must submit a Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49) and go to your local New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) office.
Does New Jersey require a vehicle inspection for emissions?
In general, the state of New Jersey requires that vehicles get an inspection for emissions every two years. New vehicles get a bit more time and need an inspection after five years. Some notable exceptions are electric vehicles, motorcycles, gas-powered cars from 1995 and before that are 8,500 pounds or less, and more. Find a list of exceptions here. You can find out where to get an inspection and more info at NJInspections.com. New Jersey is a CARB state that has adopted stricter emission requirements.
How to transfer a car title in New Jersey
If a vehicle goes from one owner to another, there is a change in ownership, and the vehicle title needs to be transferred. Depending on where you’re in that equation, the process can be different. Here’s how to transfer a car title in New Jersey in various situations.
Purchasing a vehicle from a dealer
If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer, the good news is they’ll likely take care of the title and registration for you.
Purchasing a vehicle from a private seller
If you purchased a used vehicle from a private seller, you’ll need:
- The title, signed by both parties, dated, sale date, plus driver’s license info
- The Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49)
- Driver’s license
- Title fee ($60 standard vehicle)
- Registration fees and sales tax
- Current New Jersey insurance
When you have all the documents ready, go to a local NJ MVC office to complete the New Jersey MVC transfer title process. You must do this within 10 days of the car purchase to avoid a $25 late fee.
Selling a vehicle
If you sell a vehicle in New Jersey, you need to complete and sign the car title and give it to the buyer. Include a bill of sale that has the date the vehicle was sold, sale price, mileage reading, plus the buyer’s information including full name and address.
Remove your license plates before giving the vehicle to the buyer. The plates must be surrendered to the NJ MVC or transferred to another vehicle. The buyer then needs to complete the New Jersey title transfer on their own to make it official.
If you’re missing a New Jersey title
If you are selling your vehicle and realize you can’t find your vehicle title, you’ll need to apply for a replacement title. To do so, you need to make an appointment at your local NJ MVC office and fill out the Universal Title Application (form OS/SS-UTA). You’ll need to provide proof of insurance and registration and pay a $60 fee.
Transferring a car title if you’re from out-of-state
Moving to New Jersey from out-of-state? Then you need to update your vehicle title and registration. You typically have 60 days to do so from the time of your move and up to 120 days in a public health emergency like COVID. To do a New Jersey title transfer as a new resident from out-of-state, you’ll need:
- Driver’s license
- Current title
- Proof of insurance
- Universal Title Application (Form OS/SS-UTA)
- Vehicle Registration Application (Form BA-49
- Transfer title fee of $60
- Applicable registration fees
Make an appointment at your local NJ MVC office to transfer your title and get your documents up to date as a new resident.
New Jersey title transfer cost
Completing the New Jersey MVC transfer title process requires gathering and submitting documents. The cost to transfer a vehicle title in New Jersey is $60 for a standard vehicle. If the vehicle has a lien, the cost is $85. If there are two liens on the vehicle, the cost to transfer the title is $110.
Gifting a vehicle to family
If you no longer need a car or are upgrading to a new vehicle, you may gift your old car to a family member. In this case, the process is similar to selling a vehicle. You and the family member must complete the title and bill of sale and fill out all relevant information.
Instead of putting a price, you can put “zero” or “gift” so that it’s clear the transfer is a gift. The family member receiving the gift will need to complete the New Jersey MVC transfer title process and pay any applicable fees and taxes.
Transferring vehicle title after the owner passes away
If the vehicle owner passes away and you’re an heir to the vehicle, you’ll need the original title, death certificate, and Affidavit (Form BA-62) that is notarized. You can use the vehicle for up to 30 days after the owner’s death, but after that, the title transfer must occur.
Going through an estate
If the vehicle is part of an estate, you must apply for an Entity Identification Number, and bring that number as well as your driver’s license, original title, and the Surrogate’s Short Certificate, plus proof of New Jersey insurance and pay the $60 title transfer fee to update the title.
When there’s no will
If there’s no will, the process on how to handle the vehicle may vary. If you’re a surviving spouse or partner and the estate is $50,000 or less, you’ll need the original title, Affidavit of Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner/Civil Union Partner, death certificate, and MVC Affidavit (Form BA-62).
If there are no surviving partners but there is an heir and the estate is worth $20,000 or less, you can bring the title and Affidavit of Next of Kin to transfer the title in your name. Fees and taxes may apply.
The bottom line
If you’re in one of the above situations now you know how to transfer a car title in New Jersey. Taking the appropriate steps and acting quickly can help you get your documents up-to-date and avoid any late fees. If you’re in need of car insurance and don’t drive a ton, check out pay-per-mile car insurance. You may save money by driving less and paying less. Get your free quote now.
Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.