What Kind of Paperwork Is Needed to Buy a Car?

What Kind of Paperwork Is Needed to Buy a Car?

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017

Getting a new car means more than just having a driver’s license.

To buy a car, you just need your license and maybe a pay stub, right? No. It is a lot more complicated than that, but fortunately, if you plan ahead, you will be good to go. Here is what you will need as you go through the process of buying a car.

Remember, each state has different rules for what types of paperwork you will need to buy a car. Some states might require you to offer a very detailed collection of documents. Others just want a handful of papers. Before you buy your car, make sure that you have a checklist of all the documentation you will need when working with the dealership and your state’s DMV.

It is also a good idea to come with your own organization system. There may be a lot of documentation of which you need to keep track, so spending a dollar or two on a tabbed folder or document organizer will pay dividends. Also check to see if your state, your dealership, or your insurer offers any useful apps to keep this information organized, which will let you keep this on your phone.

Finally, if you can, once you have all the information together, scan it and put it in cloud storage, under a password. That way, if there is a fire or your documentation is somehow lost, you will still have it handy for legal purposes.

Here are some of the most common documents you will need for a car purchase:

Bill Of Sale: The bill of sale is your receipt for your car, essentially. You will need the bill of sale to prove you own the car, especially if a lender holds the title. The bill of sale should always include the purchase price.

Driver’s License: You should, of course, have this already, but if multiple people are driving the car, you may need to provide their documentation to insurers.

Proof Of Insurance: Also sometimes called your insurance card, your state DMV will need proof you are complying with state insurance rules. Your car insurance provider will give you this as part of your documentation.

Get your financial data together when buying a car.

Proof Of Taxes Paid: This refers to your receipt for when you pay excise taxes and other required state taxes on your car. It is issued when you do so, usually at the dealership or the state DMV.

Registration: This verifies where your car is currently located, who is driving it, and who owns it. There can be both state and county registrations.

Title: The title is basically the deed to the car. With new cars, the title is generally held by the dealership or the lender from whom you secured financing; technically, they own the car while you are paying off the loan. With used cars, especially private sales, you will need to have the title signed over to you.

VIN: The Vehicle Identification Number is essentially your car’s “Social Security number.” This number is used to verify documents, ownership, and much more. Keep your VIN handy. You will often need it.

As you can see, buying a car involves a lot of documents, but if you plan ahead and keep track of them, you will always have exactly what you need. Need more help? Start with the research from CarFoundMe.