After you Buy a Car: What to do next

When you purchase a vehicle, make sure to obtain proof of ownership, the Title of Ownership. The person from whom you purchased the car should be able to give you the Title at the time you finalize the purchase.

If you purchase a used car from an automobile dealer, they have to provide you with the Title, the proof of ownership. Most NYS automobile dealers send the application for your state vehicle registration and title certificate to the DMV (they may charge a fee for this service).

If you purchase a used car from an individual, the proof of ownership is the Title Certificate that the previous owner has to sign in order to transfer the ownership to you.
Obtain the signed copy of the Title Certificate from the owner.
Make sure the owner does not have a lien on the car (A lien means the present owner owes money on a car loan they used to purchase the car). The front of the title will specify if there is a lien. If the owner does not have the Title Certificate, ownership of the car is probably held by a lending institution.
Pay no money to the seller before the Title Certificate is signed over to you
Obtain a written receipt for the purchase of the car from the seller.

These are some additional important things you have to do after you purchase your car.

Arranging for Auto Insurance
Register your car with the NYS DMV
Dealing with car repairs

Last Updated: 4/12/16