North Carolina Vehicle Titles

Signing a Vehicle Title in North Carolina – Private Party Sale

When selling a vehicle in North Carolina through a private party transaction, it is important to properly sign the vehicle title to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Locate the Vehicle Title: As the seller, you need to have the original vehicle title in your possession. This document is commonly referred to as the “pink slip” and proves ownership of the vehicle.

2. Complete the “Assignment of Title” section: On the back of the title, you will find an “Assignment of Title” section. Fill out the following information:

– Date of Sale: Write the date when the vehicle is being sold.

– Seller’s Name and Address: Enter your full legal name and address as the seller.

– Buyer’s Name and Address: Enter the full legal name and address of the buyer.

– Odometer Reading: Record the accurate mileage reading of the vehicle at the time of sale. Be sure to include the correct unit, such as “miles” or “kilometers.”

3. Sign the Title: Once the “Assignment of Title” section is completed, you, as the seller, must sign the title. The signature must match your name as it appears on the front of the title.

4. Obtain the Buyer’s Signature: The buyer should also sign the title in the presence of a notary public. This step is not mandatory in North Carolina, but it is recommended to safeguard against potential future issues. If the buyer is present when signing, both the seller and the buyer can sign in the presence of a notary public.

5. Prepare a Bill of Sale (optional, but recommended): While not required by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), it is advisable to create a Bill of Sale for the private party transaction. A Bill of Sale acts as a written record of the sale and protects both the buyer and the seller in case of any disputes. Include the following information:

– Date of Sale

– Purchase Price: The agreed upon sale amount between the buyer and the seller.

– Vehicle Description: Make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license plate number.

– Seller’s Information: Full legal name, address, and contact information.

– Buyer’s Information: Full legal name, address, and contact information.

– Signatures: Both the seller and the buyer should sign the Bill of Sale.

6. Collect Payment: As the seller, collect the full payment from the buyer and provide a receipt to acknowledge the transaction. Accepted payment methods may include cash, certified check, or money order. Ensure that funds have been cleared before releasing the vehicle.

7. Provide Documentation to the Buyer: Give the signed vehicle title and the completed Bill of Sale (if applicable) to the buyer, along with a valid vehicle’s current registration card and any relevant maintenance records.

8. Remove License Plates: As the seller, remove the license plates from the vehicle. In North Carolina, license plates stay with the owner and are not transferred to the new owner.

Remember, as a best practice, it is highly recommended to visit the North Carolina DMV website or consult with local DMV offices to stay up to date with any changes or additional requirements for private party vehicle sales.


– North Carolina DMV: Private Sale of a Motor Vehicle FAQ:

North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles