There are a few steps you’ll need to take when selling your vehicle in a private sale.
After the sale is complete and you’ve signed over the title to the buyer, there are still some steps you’ll need to take in order to notify the DMV of the sale and release your liability and interest in the vehicle.
This page will go over the details of notice of sale and release of liability requirements as well as some other steps you can take after you’ve sold your car.
What is a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability?
A Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability, or a Notice of Sale, is a document that many state DMVs use to update their vehicle database when a vehicle is bought or sold.
Other names for this form include Notice of Transfer or Notice of Release of Liability (NRL).
The document is one of many that will need to be submitted to the DMV during a private sale.
The purpose of a Notice of Transfer is to help protect the seller after a private sale.
The document states that you’ve sold your vehicle to the buyer on a particular date for a particular amount.
It allows the DMV to update the vehicle records for the car you’ve sold so that it will no longer be attributed to you.
If the buyer fails to complete the transfer process and register the vehicle in their own name, a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability can help protect you from potential issues that may arries.
While the document will not complete the transfer process (that is the buyer’s responsibility), it will help you finalize your end of the sale.
If you need it, VINvaquero.com has created a generic Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability template for you to use.
Notice of Sale Requirements When Selling your Vehicle
In some states, the seller is required to notify the DMV of the sale within 5 to 10 days of the transaction.
Depending on where you live, you’ll typically have the option of submitting the form:
- By mail.
- In person at your local DMV office.
Some states provide a form for this process, while others may accept a generic form.
Some states may charge a small filing fee when you submit the request.
What happens if you don’t complete the NRL?
If you are required to submit a Notice of Transfer to your Department of Motor Vehicles after a private sale, you could face penalties and consequences if you fail to do so.
These could include:
- Fines and late fees.
- Being charged for traffic violations or parking tickets committed by the new owner.
- Being held liable for registration fees and taxes.
How to Complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability
A Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability should typically contain the following information:
- The name and address of the seller.
- The name and address of the new owner.
- The details of the vehicle that was sold:
- Make and model.
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
- Odometer Reading.
- License plate number, if applicable.
- The date of sale and the sale price.
If this information sounds similar to that of a Bill of Sale form, you’re right. The details are almost exactly the same.
The main difference between the documents is that the Notice of Transfer is something that the seller would submit to the DMV on their own behalf, while a Bill of Sale is typically used by the buyer when completing their registration and title paperwork.
Notice of Transfer vs. Title Transfer
It’s important to remember that submitting the Notice of Transfer is NOT the same as completing the title transfer.
These are two different processes with separate requirements.
Check out our guides on title transfers here.
Next Steps to Take when Selling your Vehicle
Along with the Notice of Transfer and the other required paperwork when selling a vehicle, there are a few other steps you can take to protect yourself from liability after selling a car, motorcycle, RV, or other vehicle.
After the paperwork has been signed, the sale is complete, and the buyer takes possession of the vehicle, you should contact your insurance company to remove the vehicle from your policy.
The buyer will need to get a new car insurance policy for themselves.
Additionally, you may need to contact the DMV to submit a request to cancel your registration on the vehicle.
Before the sale is complete, confirm whether the license plates should remain with the vehicle or if you should remove them and return them to the DMV.
State DMV Notice of Sale and Release of Liability
Refer to the table below for forms, details, and instructions for selling a vehicle and notifying the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state.