Car Buying and Selling Regulations in New Hampshire

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Buying a car can be a very exciting event; selling a vehicle can also be a satisfying experience. However, if you fail to do your homework well, selling or buying a car can turn out to be a nightmare. Whether you are buying or selling a vehicle, you will need to do some research first. If you are a buyer, research can help you get the best car in terms of lifestyle, price, reliability and safety. Once you have found the best deal, you will need to negotiate the best price for that car. Sellers normally start with a higher price which they don’t expect buyers to pay. You should start with a lower price and then negotiate the price upwards.

Bill of Sale

The Bill of Sale is an important document that acts as a receipt of purchase. The terms of agreement is documented on the bill of sale. A typical bill of sale contains the signature, name and addresses of the seller and buyer, the vehicle’s purchase price, purchase date, vehicle’s description and the VIN. You should therefore obtain the bill of sale from the seller, signed and notarized. Be sure that any terms of agreement like warranty and price, are clearly documented in the bill of sale. It is important to verify the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the vehicle to ensure it matches the one on the bill of sale or title. If the VIN doesn’t match, don’t purchase the vehicle.


The warranty is the most important factor of the vehicle sale. The dealer should honor the warranty. If at any time you purchase a defective vehicle that can’t be repaired after a number of repair attempts, you can exercise your right under the Lemon Law and get a replacement vehicle or a refund. Warranties can be lengthy and confusing, so be sure to ask your attorney to review the specifics of the warranty before signing the contract.

Vehicle Title

If you purchase your vehicle from a private seller, obtain the signed-off title from the seller. You will need the title to transfer the vehicle ownership to your name. If you purchase a vehicle from the dealership, they will handle the title application process on your behalf. Some vehicles are exempted from title application. If you purchase a 1999 vehicle or older, a title will not be needed when registering your vehicle. If you are financing your vehicle through a loan, after submitting paperwork for titling, the title will be mailed to the financing institution. Selling a vehicle that has a lien requires you to have the liens released before selling it. The title will not be assigned to the buyer if you have not paid off the loan.

Registration and Inspection

After you have purchased a vehicle, you need temporary permit to drive the vehicle to your place of residence. If you have purchased it from the dealer, the dealer will give you temporary plates that you can use until your vehicle is registered. When you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you will not receive temporary plates. This means you have to go to the town clerk’s office in person to get temporary plates. You will need the bill of sale to obtain the temporary plates. You can then go back to the same office along with the title and the bill of sale to get the regular license plates. License plates are issued by the DMV substation or town clerk. It depends on your area of residence. Vehicle inspection is needed when purchasing a vehicle in New Hampshire. This is normally done by the dealership. If they don’t offer the service, request them to place a sticker on your windshield after registering your vehicle. If you purchased a vehicle from a private party, you will need to take it for inspection within 10 days from the registration date. There are several registered inspection offices that you can approach to conduct the inspection.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle without a Title

If the title is missing, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy and assign it to you during the time of sale. Otherwise, you will need to fill out Form TDMV 22A (Transfer of a Non-Titled Vehicle or Report of Sale) and Form TDMV 19A (Verification of Vehicle Identification) to the New Hampshire DMV when applying for a new title.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle without a Registration

Selling without registration papers is not an issue. You don’t need these papers in order to register and title your newly purchased vehicle. All that you need is the title, Form TDMV 22A (Transfer of a Non-Titled Motor Vehicle) and Report of Sale.