What the buyer must do
Fill out the buyer fields on the title
The buyer’s fields on the back of vehicle titles are often a little easier to fill out than the seller’s. For example, in Maine, all the buyer needs to do is sign and date the title. Other states may require your address and the purchase price of the vehicle.
Take the title to the DMV
After you and the seller have completed all of the info on the title and have completed the bill of sale, you have to go to the DMV. You’ll tell them you just bought a new car and need to have the title transferred into your name.
Pay title transfer fees and any sales tax
While you’re at the DMV, you may also have to pay a title transfer fee and sales tax. Alternatively, the DMV may tell you to go to your town’s registration office to pay these fees. It depends on your state. After you pay these fees, you’ll also get new plates you can put on the car, and a temporary title until yours is sent in the mail.
How much do these fees cost? Sales tax is a percentage of the sales price. The exact percentage varies by state. A few lucky states don’t pay sales tax. Those include:
- New Hampshire
Other states have lower sales tax rates ranging from 2% - 4%. The states with the highest tax range from 7% - 7.5%. These include:
- Rhode Island
As for registration fees, these also vary by state. Some states charge a flat rate, some charge a weight-based rate depending on the weight of the vehicle, some charge based on the car’s value and others are based on the age of the car. Here you can find vehicle registration fees by state.