Whether you live in the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Dartmouth Region, the Lakes Region, the Monadnock Region, the Merrimack Region, or the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire, if you are thinking about privately selling your used car or truck, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 600,000 registered trucks and cars in the state of New Hampshire, it’s no wonder that thousands of private vehicle sellers from the Granite State have used Autotrader to sell their car. Below, we’ve outlined the five steps and forms required for how to sell a car in the state of New Hampshire so you can sell your car quickly for the most cash.
Remember, most states consider the vehicle title a legal document, so the legal names (no nicknames) of both parties involved should be used, along with legible handwriting using black or blue ink. Mistakes, errors, and using White-Out may void the document so be careful and take your time filling it out.
Step 1: Allow the buyer to have the car inspected by a third party
Step 2: Organize and gather all related vehicle documentation
Step 3: Bill of Sale
Step 4: Transfer the title
Step 5: Remove your plates and cancel your insurance
Many vehicle shoppers who buy a car privately pay for a pre-purchase vehicle inspection conducted by a qualified and licensed auto mechanic of their choosing. Although the buyer pays for this inspection, the seller and buyer must agree on when and where the inspection is to be held. If the inspection does find any issues with the car, it is a good idea for you as the seller to keep the report for your records. New Hampshire does not require this inspection and doesn’t have any forms that need to be filled out, but it’s a good idea for the buyer to have the inspection performed prior to the purchase.
Find all maintenance records, the owner’s manual and other paperwork related to the vehicle. If you can provide the buyer with extensive and detailed maintenance records, this will help provide the buyer with confidence that you’ve maintained the car in a proper and regular manner. If you don’t save your receipts, ask your regular service facility if they have electronic records. You may even want to consider including a vehicle history report from a service like CarFax or AutoCheck.
The most important document when selling a car is the certificate of title. If there is a lien on the title (usually because the owner borrowed money to buy the car) the lienholder must release interest in the vehicle before the car is sold. This can be achieved either by the seller paying off the car or by getting a lien release from the lienholder. Form TDMV 20A will need to be completed and signed by an authorized agent of your lienholder for the lien release to be official.
For most private party vehicle sales in New Hampshire, a bill of sale is not required. However, if you’re selling a title exempt vehicle or a car from model year 1999 or older, then you need a bill of sale. The official form for this is form TDMV 22A which records information like the year, make, model, and VIN of the vehicle in question. This document needs to be signed by both the buyer and the seller. After it’s filled out and signed, it’s a good idea for the seller to make a copy and hold onto it as proof that the car has legally changed hands. For cars model year 1999 and older, you will also need to complete a Verification of Vehicle Identification (form TDMV 19A).
If there is more than one owner showing on the title, the following number of signatures will be required based on the connection between the names: And – All persons listed must sign. Or – Either seller can sign, only one signature required. And/Or - Both sellers must sign. If no connection listed, it will default to “and” and all owners (sellers) must sign.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) odometer disclosure requirements were updated in December 2020 impacting certain private vehicle sales in New Hampshire: For a vehicle transfer that occurs from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2030, any vehicle of model year 2011 or newer (2012, 2013, etc.) will require an odometer disclosure. Starting on January 1, 2031, any vehicle that is less than 20 model years old will require an odometer disclosure. Previously, the NHTSA required disclosure was for only the first 10 years. Cars older than 2010 are exempt from odometer disclosures. New Hampshire provides Odometer Disclosure Statement (form TDMV 12) on their website.
If the vehicle’s title has been lost, stolen or badly damaged, you can get a replacement/duplicate New Hampshire title by filling out form TDMV18. With that form filled out plus a $25 fee you can get a duplicate title.
When selling a car privately in New Hampshire, the buyer and the seller both need to fill out the relevant sections on the back of the title. This information includes the legal name, address, and signature of the buyer and the seller(s) along with the date of the sale and the odometer reading. When this is filled out accurately and legibly, it makes it easy for the buyer to transfer registration and acquire a new plate.
If you’re wondering about gifting a car to a relative, you can follow the same process that is outlined below to transfer the title. For inheriting a car, it’s a similar process, but you’ll need to file documentation of the inheritance with the county along with the title of the vehicle in question.
The seller must remove their license plates before handing the vehicle over to the buyer. If you do not do so, you may be liable for any violations after the buyer has taken possession of the vehicle. After the sale of your vehicle, you have the option of transferring your plates to a different vehicle that you own. You do not need to return the plates to the DMV. Make sure to cancel your insurance as soon as possible after you’ve removed your plates so you don’t continue paying to insure a car that you no longer own.
For more information, visit the New Hampshire DMV website.
The following paperwork is required for selling a car in New Hampshire:
For most private vehicle sales in New Hampshire, a bill of sale is not required. However, if you’re selling a title exempt vehicle or a car from model year 1999 or older, then a bill of sale (form TDMV 22A) is required.
Yes, your license plate must be removed upon the sale of the car. You do not need to return them to the DMV and you have the option of transferring them to another vehicle you own.
No. A vehicle bill of sale does not need to be notarized in New Hampshire, but some sellers choose to do this as an optional means to formalize the sale between both parties.
No. A notary doesn’t need to witness the buyer and seller signing the vehicle title.
The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles usually takes 30 to 50 calendar days to issue a title once the title application has been received.
As of 2022, New Hampshire does not title motor vehicles which have a model year of 1999 or older.
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