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Most states require that vehicles have titles that are registered to their owners and New Mexico is not an exception. When the vehicle changes owners, the title generally has to be changed over with it.

Transferring a vehicle’s title in New Mexico is a pretty straight forward process. However, the transferring process varies depending on whether you are moving to the state, buying a vehicle in the state, selling a vehicle in the state, gifting, or inheriting a vehicle in the state.

Are You Moving to New Mexico with a Vehicle?

If you are moving to New Mexico, from another state, you have exactly 30 days to transfer your title and register your vehicle with the Motor Vehicle Division (“MVD”). You also need to make sure that you are legally insured to drive in New Mexico.

The MVD also offers an express title transfer service that allows you to get in and out of the facility as soon as possible. Contact your local MVD, to see which ones offer the service and how to expedite your transferring process.

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Once you are all settled in to your new place, head on over to your nearest MVD office and:

  1. Give the MVD associate your out-of-state title
  2. Present a government issued photo
  3. Present proof of residency
  4. Submit your car to the MVD representative for VIN inspection
    1. Schedule an appointment for the inspection at your local MVD
    2. Find a certified VIN inspector
  5. Submit proof that you are legally insured to drive in New Mexico

Are You Buying a Vehicle in New Mexico?

If you are buying a car from someone, or a dealership in New Mexico, you still need to make sure that the title is a New Mexico title, and that it has been signed over properly.

When Buying From Private Seller

  1. Make sure that the seller has completed the assignment that has their name and information on it:
    1. Print and sign their name
    2. Ensure that the odometer reading is written correctly
    3. Fill out an Odometer Disclosure Statement
    4. Provide a Lien of Release if necessary
  2. Once the seller has completed their portion, take everything they gave you and the things you have from the dealership to the MVD
    1. Seller documents
    2. A completed title and registration form
    3. Bill of Sale form
    4. Government issued ID
    5. Proof of residency
    6. Proof of income

Are You Selling a Vehicle in New Mexico?

If you are selling a car in New Mexico, it is your responsibility to be sure that you have completed the title and all related forms, before turning them over to the buyer. Since the buyer will be taking all of the necessary documents to the MVD. You will need to:

  1. Fill out the appropriate assignment section on the title
  2. Sign the title
  3. Fill out the odometer disclosure
    1. Odometer Disclosure Statement form
    2. Title and Registration application
    3. Bill of Sale
  4. Provide the Lien Release if necessary

Were You Gifted a Vehicle, or Inherited a Vehicle in New Mexico?

If you are gifted a vehicle, or you inherit a vehicle, you generally still need to register your vehicle with the state. If you are the person donating the vehicle, you may be eligible to receive a tax credit.

The process of gifting a vehicle is somewhat like the other processes we’ve discussed previously. To complete the transfer, go to the MVD with:

  • The original title, signed over to you
  • Proof of insurance in New Mexico
  • You will need to submit a notarized Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle or Boat to the MVD. The form needs to be signed by both parties, and say no money was exchanged
  • Proof of residence
  • Payment for fees

If the vehicle is inherited through the passing away of its previous owner:

  • The estate administrator, spouse, or heir will handle the disbursements
  • The title can only be transferred 30 days after death
  • Provide the death certificate
  • Government issued photo ID
  • A Certificate of Transfer without Probate, if there is no will, will need to be completed

New Mexico has its own rules, just like every other state does when it comes to transferring and issuing titles. The title demonstrates ownership, and you have 30 days from the acquisition of the vehicle, to transfer the title. The most important thing to do to make sure that you don’t experience any hiccups while transferring titles, is to make sure that the title assignments are filled out completely.