Chapter 8, Section A:
Title Only Transactions

Revised July 3, 2012


The Motor Vehicle Division will issue a vehicle Title without a Certificate of registration or a license plate, under certain conditions.

A “Title Only” transaction is one in which the applicant receives only a Certificate of Title. Payment of the title fee is always required. In some instances, the registration fee is also charged. “Title Only” transactions should be noted as “TO00000” in the “License Plate Number” field.

The following are examples of “Title Only” transactions:

  1. Non-Franchised Dealers Selling a New Car (66-3-118C)
    Non-franchised dealers who wish to sell a new vehicle must convert the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin to a Title and pay both the title and the registration fees. However, they are not required to pay excise tax. The Title Application should specify in the “Remarks” field: “For dealer re-sale only”.
     
  2. Isolated Cases Involving Dealers
    A dealer may have a Title with various assignments, which prevents him from transferring the Title to an out-of-state buyer. The Motor Vehicle Division must use caution in accepting these transactions. In situations, which require a VIN inspection, a certified VIN Inspector should conduct the inspection. The dealer must submit an invoice showing that the vehicle was sold to a non-resident and pay the title fee only. In the “Remarks” specify “Sold out of state”. This is to prevent dealers from “washing Titles in New Mexico”.
     
  3. Vehicles transferred to Nonresidents (66-3-10)
    Whenever a vehicle owner transfers the vehicle to a nonresident who desires to title the vehicle in the state of his residence, the division upon receiving application and the payment of the proper fee shall issue a certificate of title only and record on the certificate all liens and encumbrances.

  4. Inoperable Vehicles
    An inoperable vehicle purchased for reconstruction or rebuilding, mechanical or otherwise, and which the buyer does not intend to operate for an extended period of time, may be titled through a “Title Only” transaction. The applicant pays the title fee and the excise tax. No plates are issued. Once the vehicle is made operable, the applicant, upon affirming insurance, shall be charged the registration fee.
     
  5. Vehicles to be Traded-In
    Vehicles that are gifts, which the new owner wishes to trade-in on another vehicle, may be titled through a “Title Only” transaction. The applicant pays the title fee. The Title Application should specify in the “Remarks” field “Vehicle to be traded-in.”
     
  6. Stolen and Unrecovered Vehicles, Titled to Insurance Company
    The Motor Vehicle Division will issue a “Title Only” to insurance companies for stolen and unrecovered vehicles. The insurance company pays only the title fee.
     
  7. Vehicles Which Are Not Insured
    A vehicle purchased for which the buyer cannot affirm insurance, may be titled through a “Title Only” transaction. The applicant pays the tax and title fee. No plates are issued. The applicant, upon affirmation of insurance, shall be charged the registration fee.
     
  8. A commercial vehicle with a declared gross vehicle weight (DGVW) of more than 26,000 pounds, whose owner or operator chooses to Apportion (IRP) register the vehicle in New Mexico for tax purposes, will be issued a Title Only. The applicant shall be assessed excise tax if applicable and title fee.

    Note: Registration of vehicles with a DGVW exceeding 26,000 pounds (except motor homes) is done solely by the Commercial Vehicle Bureau (CVB) in Santa Fe. Local field offices WILL NOT issue IRP registration, temporary permits or license plates for any IRP registrations.