Selling a Car in New Hampshire

When you’re selling a vehicle in New Hampshire, there are some requirements that you have to meet. We’ve collected the appropriate information here regarding these requirements so you can learn what it takes to experience a smooth vehicle sale in the state.

1. Title Information

In New Hampshire, you can only sell a vehicle if you have complete ownership of it. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle. If you have paid off a lien, double-check your title to make certain that the lien has been released. If not, have the lienholder submit a Lien Release to the state. You will not be able to sell the vehicle until the lien release has been accepted by the state.

You should also make certain that you have the actual title. If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to request a replacement title from the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You will need the physical title so that you can fill out the necessary information for the buyer as proof of the transfer of the vehicle. Both your signature and the buyer’s signature will be necessary but are not required by law to be notarized.

In New Hampshire, vehicles 16 years old and older do not require a title.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

New Hampshire only requires a Bill of Sale if you are selling a vehicle that does not have a title (or is exempt from having a title due to being over 15 years old). If you need to make a Bill of Sale, be sure it includes the following:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The full address of the new owner, which cannot be a P.O. box
  • The seller’s name
  • The full address of the seller, which cannot be a P.O. box
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description, including the vehicle’s make, model, year, series number (if applicable), body type (2-door, 4-door, sedan, etc.) and number of cylinders, as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signature of the seller
  • The signature of the buyer

Keep in mind that if you do not get the Bill of Sale and submit it to the state, your vehicle will not be successfully transferred.

3. Inspections

New Hampshire has interesting rules when it comes to inspections and emission testing. The first time a vehicle is registered, it must be safety-inspected at a safety station within 10 days of the registration. Every year thereafter, the vehicle must be safety-inspected within 10 days of the end of the owner’s birth month. Vehicles model year 1996 and newer must also have an emission test as part of the inspection process.

Both the safety inspection and the emission test must be done each year, and the results of both are transferred electronically to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

You are responsible for making certain that both the inspection and the emission test are current before you sell your vehicle.

4. License Plates

In New Hampshire, when you sell a vehicle, the license plates stay with you instead of remaining with the vehicle. Transferring the plates is entirely legal within the state and is possible as long as you register the new vehicle within 30 days. If you are not going to transfer the plates to a new vehicle, make sure you return them to the DMV before you cancel your insurance or you could face unintended fines or liability for the vehicle after you’ve sold it.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

New Hampshire requires people to formally disclose the vehicle odometer reading when they sell a vehicle that is 10 years old or newer. To fulfill this requirement, you can either note the odometer reading in the title transfer section of the vehicle title or use another appropriate form from the state.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details on vehicle selling, check out the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles website.