How to Sell a Car in New Mexico

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The steps and process for selling a vehicle online are different in every state. Learn how to sell your used car or truck privately in New Mexico.

Whether you live in the Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, or Metro Region of New Mexico, if you are thinking about privately selling your used car or truck, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 700,000 registered trucks and cars in the state of New Mexico, it’s no wonder that thousands of private vehicle sellers from the Land of Enchantment 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 Mexico 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

Step 1: Allow the buyer to have the car inspected by a third party

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 - this is a good idea. 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 Mexico 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.

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Step 2: Organize and gather all related vehicle documentation

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. 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, 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 MVD-10041 will need to be completed and signed by an authorized agent of your lienholder for the lien release to be official.

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Step 3: Bill of Sale

For most private party vehicle sales in New Mexico, a bill of sale is not required. However, if there’s information about the transaction that’s missing from the title like the purchase price or an odometer statement, then you need a bill of sale. The official form for this is form MVD-10009 which records information like the year, make, model, and VIN of the vehicle in question plus the purchase price and an odometer statement. When applicable, 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.

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Step 4: Transfer the title

If the vehicle’s title has been lost, stolen or badly damaged, you can get a replacement/duplicate New Mexico title by filling out form MVD-10901. With that form filled out plus a $5 fee you can get a duplicate title.

When selling a car privately in New Mexico, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) odometer disclosure requirements were updated in December 2020 impacting certain private vehicle sales in New Mexico: 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 Mexico provides Odometer Disclosure Statement form MVD-10187. on their website.

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.

If you’re wondering about gifting a car to a relative, you can follow the same process that is outlined here to transfer the title with the addition of filing an Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle which is form MVD-10018. This form needs to be notarized. 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. You’ll also need to file form MVD-10013 and have your signature on it notarized.

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Step 5: Remove your plates and cancel your insurance

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. If you do not transfer the plates, they need to be returned to the MVD within 30 days of the sale. 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. After the vehicle is sold, you need to file a Notice of Vehicle Sold which is form MVD-10048.

For more information, visit the New Mexico MVD website. New Mexico provides this list of vehicle forms if you are looking for something which isn’t listed above.

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Questions about selling your car in New Mexico? We have answers.

What paperwork do I need to privately sell a car in New Mexico?

The following paperwork is required for selling a car in New Mexico:

  1. Certificate of Title
  2. Bill of Sale, if applicable (form MVD-10009)
  3. Lien Release, if applicable (form MVD-10041)
  4. Notice of Vehicle Sold (form MVD-10048)
  5. Odometer Disclosure Statement (form MVD-10187), if applicable

Is a Bill of Sale required for selling a car in New Mexico?

For most private vehicle sales in New Mexico, a bill of sale is not required. However, if the purchase price or odometer statement are missing from the title, then a bill of sale (form MVD-10009) is required.

Do I remove my license plate when I sell a car in New Mexico?

Yes, your license plate must be removed upon the sale of the car. The plates need to be either returned to the MVD or transferred to another vehicle you own within 30 days.

Does a bill of sale have to be notarized in New Mexico?

No. A bill of sale for a private party vehicle transfer does not need to be notarized in New Mexico.

Does a vehicle title have to be notarized in New Mexico?

No. A notary doesn’t need to witness the buyer and seller signing the vehicle title.

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