Make sure your next visit to a car dealership is as quick and painless as possible.

Each item below is intended to help you speed up your shopping process and get you in and out with minimum hassle.

Bring the following, in your name:

  • Driver's license
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Financial info (bank and credit card account info to fill out credit application)
  • Social Security number

Depending on your credit, you may also need the following:

  • References (with complete contact info)
  • Proof of employment and salary (paycheck stubs, with one less than 30 days old)
  • Proof of residence (mortgage document or rental lease agreement)
  • Current phone bill (or other utility bill such as gas, electric or water)
  • Down payment

If you’re thinking about trading in a car, you should also bring up-to-date trade-in values. That way, you can compare them to what the dealer offers. The same idea applies to rebates and incentives. Make sure you check out the manufacturer’s website before you visit to find any unadvertised offers you might be able to take advantage of.

This list is a good place to start, but we recommend that you call the dealership before you visit. They'll help you pull together everything you need.


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Jon Acuff is a staff writer for

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