A North Carolina (NC) vehicle bill of sale is a document that records the transaction when one individual sells a vehicle to another. The document includes all the information to identify the buyer, the seller, and the vehicle, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Office (DMV) requires a bill of sale and/or title when performing certain transactions, such as titling a vehicle. Without those documents, you will not be able to register your vehicle so that you can drive on public roads in the state. In North Carolina, you are only required to create a bill of sale when buying from a car dealership.
When you transfer ownership of your vehicle in NC, your bill of sale acts as proof that the transaction occurred. By creating a valid bill of sale, you can reduce the chances of fraud and, if you are ever questioned, prove that the transaction was legal and ethical.
North Carolina Vehicle Bill of Sale Requirements
North Carolina Vehicle Bill of Sale Form: There is no specific form, and you can create your own as long as you have all the necessary information on it.
- Notarization: Only title forms with co-owners need to be notarized, but all forms must carry at least a valid signature of the interested parties.
- Witnesses: No witnesses are required on a North Carolina vehicle bill of sale.
- Language Requirements: The state offers assistance to those from other countries who need help filling out forms, and even offers the driver’s license test in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, and Spanish.
- Number of Copies: You will only need one copy but it is wise to make sure that everyone has a copy and you keep an extra copy in a safe place in case there are ever any questions later.
- Writing Requirements: There is no particular requirement as to what kind of print or ink must be used, as long as the documents are legible and contain the necessary information.
Registering a Vehicle at the North Carolina DMV
You need to register your vehicle to drive it. Once you register it in your home state, you can drive your vehicle to other states with no problem.
North Carolina DMV Offices: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some NC DMV offices are closed. You can check availability on the state website, which lists offices by location and services provided.
Days To Register at DMV: You can buy a temporary tag at the DMV for $10, but if you want to wait longer to register your vehicle, the cost of the temporary tag will be equal to that of an actual registration.
Fees: North Carolina vehicle registrants pay $28 for the license plate registration, $5 for RTA/GTP (a tax), and 3% of either the fair market value or the amount on the bill of sale. There is also a $40 fee for the title. There are also potential regional fees and taxes.
Auto / Liability Insurance: Anyone driving in North Carolina must be able to prove at least $25,000 worth of property damage liability insurance and, for personal injury, at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 total. The insurance company must be licensed to do business in North Carolina.
Sales / Excise Tax: You will need to pay the RTA/GTP fee, which is only a $5 state tax, and there may be other local taxes. The largest amount of the fee is your vehicle sales tax, which is 3% of your vehicle value.
Antique / Electric Vehicles: Electric vehicles also have an additional fee of $140.25 on top of the regular vehicle registration fee, and other fees may be required. Vehicles manufactured at least 30 years ago are considered antique cars and may be registered with a special plate if you plan to use the vehicle primarily in parades, exhibitions, etc.
There are many other forms and documents you may find useful:
- Driver’s License and Proof of Residence: You must prove residency to obtain a driver’s license or a registration in NC. You can use utility bills, military documents, school records, a letter from a homeless shelter, a lease or mortgage statement, or other kinds of government documents to prove you are a legal resident.
- Application for certificate of title / registration form: Fill out the title application online, print it and fill it out, or fill it out when you are at the DMV.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) verification: You can apply for a vehicle history to prove the history of your vehicle. Otherwise, there might be another party in the future who may try to claim an interest in the vehicle you legitimately purchased.
- Odometer disclosure statement form: An odometer disclosure statement form is a document signed by the buyer and seller attesting that the number of miles listed on the odometer is correct. Without this form, there is no evidence that the odometer was not tampered with by the former owner. This is only required in North Carolina for vehicles less than 10 years old.
- Emissions certificate: All vehicles are required to pass an annual safety inspection and some vehicles are also required to pass an emissions test. The emissions test is required in 22 counties in North Carolina but several vehicles are exempt, such as those at least 20 years old diesel-operated vehicles, and farm vehicles.
- Seller’s report of sale: Some other states give the sellers a specific amount of time in which to report an auto sale.
- Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) sticker: You may choose to use the MSRP to prove the actual value of the vehicle, which is more likely to be based on its specific history.
- Military service exemption: Military personnel are not exempt from registration fees or taxes.
- Driver privilege reciprocity: While there are no requirements for visitors, you are required to get have a new license, title, and registration within 60 days after establishing a permanent residence in North Carolina.You will need to visit a DMV office with proof of residence and valid insurance, although you may be able have your test waived if you are transferring a driver’s license from another state.
How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car in North Carolina
When creating and filling out a bill of sale, you are not required to use a specific form or follow a certain format.
- Download a vehicle bill of sale form or look at examples of a vehicle bill of sale.
- Fill in the information required for North Carolina.
- The buyer’s and seller’s legal names and addresses are required.
- You will need to include the vehicle’s model, year, make, body style, color, price, and VIN.
- The odometer will be on the driver’s panel, but you will have to look for the VIN on the inside of the driver’s door.
- Include any liens or loans already on the vehicle, because those other parties will continue to hold that interest in the vehicle.
- Sign and date the document at the bottom.
Once you’re finished writing your NC vehicle bill of sale, bring the document to the DMV with proof of insurance, some form of identification, and pay your registration fees.