New Jersey

How to Fill Out Car Title in NJ

When you buy a car in New Jersey, the next step is for you and the seller to fill it out correctly. This article shows you how to fill out car title in NJ to transfer it into the buyer’s name.

how to fill out car title in NJ

Motor vehicle transfer is done only at your local motor vehicle department. A title transfer could also be done online and mailed to your local motor agency.

Be careful not to make errors on the title certificate. Otherwise, you may have to request a duplicate title, which takes weeks before it’s mailed to your address. You’ll also pay the processing fee.

Eligibility to Submit a Completed NJ Title for Registration

  • The car is pre-owned in New Jersey.
  • The car is pre-owned and bought from an auction.
  • The car is pre-owned in another state that issues car titles.
  • The car is pre-owned in a state that does not issue car titles.

How to Fill Out Car Title in NJ

Some drivers get penalized for not following the proper guidelines for filling out the New Jersey title. Some, for example, fill out the wrong places, or perhaps, provide wrong information in a particular field on the title certificate or pink slip. Below are the steps regarding how to fill out a car title in NJ:

  1. The Seller

  • As a seller, when you sell a car privately or as a dealership in NJ, remove the license plates and surrender them to the full service agency or DMV. However, if the title will be transferred to another car, you don’t keep it. Note that NJ plates are registered to vehicles, so when the vehicle the plates are registered to is sold, the owner submits the plates to the DMV or transfers it to another vehicle.
  1. Providing Lien Information

According to the pictures by CTAA below:

How to fill out a title when gifting a car in NJ
Blue Title: Step 1 and 2

Specify if there is a lien on the title in (1).

Specify if the lien holder has signed off in (2).

How do you sign over a car title in NJ
Pink title: Step 1 and 2

If there’s a lien on the car or you’re financing it, you must present the lienholder’s information, including name, address, and corpcode (also EIN). The New Jersey vehicle department will send the title to the lien holder to make sure you (the seller) completed the debt. The buyer can also become liable for the debt, but that does not mean a title transfer is possible because the lien must be paid off. You may be interested in how you can remove a lien on a vehicle.

  1. Signing the Title

  • The seller must sign the section of the seller at the back of the title certificate.
how to fill out a car title transfer in nj
Blue Title: Step 3, 4 and 5

Enter your name in the title in (3). The name must match with the name in the front of the title.

how do you fill out a title when selling a car in nj
Pink Title: Step 3, 4 and 5

Enter your signature in (4). Must match with the signature in the front of the title.

The second owner will sign and print her name in (5) if two owners are listed in the car.


After signing the back of the title to transfer the car ownership, the seller hands over the title l, including a bill of sale that contains the names of the buyer and seller, addresses, mileage odometer reading, and sales price of the car.

  1. The Buyer

  • The buyer will sign the buyer’s section on the back of the title and enter their driver’s license or Entity Identification Number (EIN) formerly known as Corpcode.
  1. Transfer the Title

To transfer the title, visit your nearest motor vehicle agency. As a buyer, you’ll complete the Vehicle Registration Application known as Form BA-49 (if applicable), and you’ll be given the vehicle license plates.

The seller or dealer will provide the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) as proof that they paid sales tax on the car because some people evade paying sales tax, especially the curbstoners.

  1. Make Payment

The final step is to pay the title processing fee. Depending on whether the vehicle is financed, and the number of liens on it, the title processing fee ranges between $60 and $110.

The cost of a title transfer in NJ is $60. If the car has a lien on it, the title fee is $85. After this payment, the motor vehicle department completes the title transfer and issue you (the buyer) NJ license plates.

Note: New Jersey mandates buyers to transfer their title for registration within 10 working days from the date of sale in the bill of sale. The fine for not transferring a car after buying it within 10 working days is $25. After buying a car in NJ, ensure to request a temporary tag. Refer to our article discussing whether you can drive a new car that you just bought home.

Rosenzweig also shares a video tutorial we recommend you take a look:

Special Cases for Filling an NJ Title

Apart from just buying a car from a private seller or dealership, the special cases below require special procedures:

When the Registered Owner is Deceased

If a car owner is deceased, people can operate the car for 30 days without registration in another person’s name from the date of death. If the old title was registered in the name of two people, for example, a wife and a deceased husband, the NJ DMV expects you to submit the title, a copy of the death certificate, and a notarized Affidavit, known as Form BA-62. The title application fee in NJ is $60. To transfer an existing registration, you’ll pay an additional $4.50.

However, if the deceased left the car in a will, you’ll do the following:

  • The executor and a Surrogate’s Short Certificate will assign the old title for submission at the motor vehicle department.
  • Submit the title transfer application with a $60 fee. However, the title of the car can be transferred to an immediate member of the family at the cost of $4.50.

When Transferring Ownership to an Estate

If you’re transferring the ownership to an estate, do the following:

  • Apply for an Entity Identification Number (EIN) initially known as CorpCode.
  • When you receive the EIN, attach the old title, valid photo ID (driver’s license, etc.), and Surrogate’s Short Certificate.
  • Pay the title processing fee of $60. If the car has a lien on it, the transfer application fee is $85.
  • If you will operate the car, get NJ insurance and obtain the new registration.

When the Deceased Car Owner Left No Will

What if the deceased car owner left no will? Do the following:

If there is a surviving spouse:

  • Submit the existing title alongside an Affidavit of Surviving Spouse/Domestic Partner/Civil Union Partner (it must contain the raised seal of the County Surrogate, of the county that the decedent resided at the time of death), original certificate of death, and a notarized MVC Affidavit (Form BA-62).

If there are heirs, but no surviving spouse

Where there are heirs and no surviving spouse, the domestic partner or civil union partner and the estate does not exceed $20,000.

  • Submit the existing title with an Affidavit of Next of Kin (it must contain a raised seal of the County Surrogate, of the county where the deceased resided at the time of death).

Read also: I got my car fix, engine didn’t rev

If the estate exceeds $20,000:

If the estate is more than $20,000, the title can be transferred to a surviving spouse, civil union partner, heir, or buyer. The executor or estate administrator will present an assigned car title with an Administrator’s Short Certificate (containing the raised seal of the County Surrogate, in the county where the deceased resided at the time of death).


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Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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