Call Us Email Map Contact Us
Search Button

Chapter 4 – Title and Registration - Used Vehicles

4:55 PM

Section A.  Documents Required to Title and Register a Used Vehicle
Section B.  Used Vehicle Plate to Owner Process


Section A: Documents Required to Title and Register a Used Vehicle

Revised June 30, 2016

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division will interface with Vehicle Pollution Management Division, in real-time, to receive Emissions Inspections results information electronically.

Certificate of Title 

The current outstanding Certificate of Title is the primary document when transferring ownership of a used vehicle. Photocopies are not acceptable for processing any type of title transactions.

  1. Bill of Sale 

    On a dealer transaction, when the assignment on the reverse side of the Title is incomplete or there is no more room on the back of the Title to make an assignment, a Bill of Sale (MVD-10009) shall be used to complete the transaction. The Bill of Sale (MVD-10009) shall also be used to carry out a transfer in transactions between individuals, when the assignment on the reverse side is incomplete. The Bill of Sale must be completed by the seller and include all vehicle information (year, make, VIN, sale price, seller’s name, address and signature, buyer’s name, address and signature). If the vehicle is a surplus vehicle from the Federal Government, the Bill of Sale must correspond with the Title or U.S. Government Release Assignment.
  2. Purchase Agreement 

    The purchase agreement is required on every title transaction involving a dealer sale. The purchase agreement for all vehicles must be the original or a certified copy. It includes purchase agreements for vehicles purchased from out-of-state dealers. This document is essential for the computations of the excise tax, based upon the net sale price of the vehicle. A non-certified copy may be accepted if the sale price conforms to the NADA Retail Pricing Index Guide (i.e. is at least 80% of the N.A.D.A. average trade-in or wholesale value of the vehicle). If any taxes are paid out-of-state a certified copy of the purchase agreement must be provided. The purchase agreement must show the following: a. A complete description of the vehicle; b. A complete description of any trade-in vehicle; c. The gross sales price before trade-in deduction, if any; d. The net sales price less any discount; e. If vehicle was purchased from an out-of-state dealer, the purchase agreement must reflect taxes paid, if any.

    NOTE: An “Intent to Purchase” document cannot be accepted as a purchase agreement.
  3. Odometer Statement 

    The Motor Vehicle Division requires that the seller and buyer of a vehicle attest to the accuracy of the odometer mileage reading at the time of sale. The odometer mileage statement can be attested to in the assignment on the back of the New Mexico Title, on MVD Form 10009 “New Mexico Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale,” on MVD Form 10187 “Odometer Mileage Statement” or MVD Form 10001 “Application for Title and Registration”. Odometer mileage disclosure statements may be accepted provided that they conform to federal standards, meaning they must have the language stating mileage is actual (AM), exceeds mechanical limits (EL), warning odometer discrepancy (NM), or exempt (EX). The odometer statement is required on all motor vehicle title transactions, except off-highway vehicles.
  4. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Inspection 

    All used vehicles with Titles from any state other than New Mexico, being registered and titled in New Mexico for the first time, shall be visually inspected, by a certified VIN inspector to verify that the vehicle identification number on Title corresponds with the vehicle. This includes all “U.S. Government Certificate of Release of a Motor Vehicle”. Upon inspection of the vehicle, should there be any alterations or signs of tampering with the VIN plate, STOP inspection and contact law enforcement for a Level 3 or Level 4 VIN Inspection. MVD Form 10861 shall be entirely completed by the inspector.
  5. Proof of Trade-in Vehicle

    A copy of the trade-in registration or copy of Certificate of Title for the trade-in vehicle(s) are no longer required. Tapestry will only require the trade-in VIN(s) from the sales invoice.


  1. Release of Lien 

    When the outstanding Certificate of Title reflects a lien and there is a transfer of Title to a new owner or name change, the lien shown on the previous Title must be properly released. The lien can be released by proper endorsement of the lien holder, on the designated area on the outstanding Certificate of Title, MVD Form 10041 “Release of Lien”, or notarized release on letterhead signed by the lien holder. When lien holder is bank, financial institution, credit union, or other company the person releasing the lien must indicate their “position” with the company (agent, president, title clerk, etc.).
  2. Proof of Residence (PQU#64rev2

    Individual owner/applicants for title and registration must provide a bona fide New Mexico residence address and mail address. Acceptable proof of New Mexico residence address can be either: a) a current New Mexico driver's license (DL) or identification card (ID); or b) the same two documents that would be required to prove residency for a DL or regular ID, with reference to the acceptable documents chart and the new rule Q&A. If the DL/ID address and the registration address are not the same, two documents will be required as proof of residency for the vehicle registration. 

    When there are multiple owners, at least one owner must be a bona fide resident of New Mexico. Proof of identity and New Mexico residency is only required for that one owner, who should be listed as the first individual owner on the vehicle’s registration and who is the only owner who can use the vehicle registration as proof of the owner’s New Mexico residence address. For this purpose it makes no difference whether the joint ownership designation is recorded as “and” or “or.” 

    Similar documentation shall be required of any applicant for vehicle registration and certificate of title that is a firm, association, corporation or other entity (non-individual) owner and is not an established MVD customer. In addition to the specific examples (such as utility bill, insurance bill or bank statement) listed on the chart, acceptable documents to prove New Mexico business address for an entity owner would include a business license, articles of incorporation or equivalent documents. 

    Reject the application if the applicant does not have a New Mexico residence or business and mailing address. 

    Exception: (See also PQU#64rev2) Sec. 66-3-301E NMSA 1978 requires that a nonresident doing business in New Mexico and owning and regularly operating a vehicle here shall register the vehicle. If the nonresident business does have a bona fide New Mexico business address, the same documentation is required as for any other entity owner. However, it is sometimes the case that a nonresident business, in order to comply with 66-3-301E, wants to register a vehicle in New Mexico but has no New Mexico business address. In that case, the 66-3-4A requirement of a bona fide New Mexico business address does not apply, and we will accept the owner’s out-of-state business address for our records. 

    Exception (see Chapter 15 Section A - RVs): A non-resident who takes possession of an RV in New Mexico may register the RV in New Mexico (no proof of NM residency is required). Proof of delivery in New Mexico is required.

    Exception (see Chapter 8 Section A) 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.
  3. Power Of Attorney (POA) 

    General or Limited 1. Must be notarized; 2. Owner must sign in ink; 3. Certified copies of POA are accepted; 4. If notary and commission expire, POA remains active until rescinded by owner; 5. POA cannot be used to execute any transaction after death of grantor; 6. Dealers MUST use a secured POA ONLY; 7. Proof of ID for Owner's Representative (Motor Vehicle photo I.D. Card or license). NOTE: A person appointed with a Power of Attorney CANNOT assign authority by Power of Attorney to another individual.
  4. Title Application with Owner’s Signature 

    When lien holder, dealer, or title company is submitting title work for applicant, the “Title Application” completely filled out must be included. The owner or the authorized representative must sign, in ink, on the “Title Application”. If a representative is signing for the applicant, a notarized “power of attorney” is required. An owner of a company or an officer of a corporation may sign the application for Title without a power of attorney.
  5. Affirmation Of Insurance (66-5-208B) NMSA) 

    The Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA) of 1984 requires that every owner of a motor vehicle registered in New Mexico be able to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility for liability for damages, which may arise from the operation of the motor vehicle. Applicant must affirm that vehicle meets minimum requirements, which are: $25,000/bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident $50,000/bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident $10,000/injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
  6. Notice of Additional Requirements

    While processing Vehicle related transactions in Tapestry, if ANY of the required documents are missing, you must prepare and generate MVD Form 10282 “Notice of Additional Requirements for completion of Vehicle Transaction”. Tapestry will generate this letter to document all requirements that have been met and especially to document everything that is missing or incorrect. Customer Service Representatives can include additional notations to the letter towards ensuring customers are notified of everything they will need to have successful outcomes upon their next visit. Key-entered additional notations will also be visible to all other users from the CRM tab.

    When reviewing all the documents submitted by the applicant(s), keep in mind; transactions should be rejected if documents lack any necessary information, if documents do not have all signatures, or if documents are incorrect or missing information. Any discrepancies found shall be explained to the applicant. Be sure to review documents carefully and note all additional requirements necessary to complete the transaction. Generate the “Notice of Additional Requirements for completion of Vehicle Transaction” letter, give it to the applicant and advise them all required documents must be returned within 10 days of the date on the form to avoid late registration penalties and late transfer fees.

    Tapestry will allow a Manager override if it is determined later that the 10 days should be extended. Reject the transaction if there are any erasures, alterations, type-overs or discrepancies on any of the documents. To the extent possible, documents should have the same typeset, ink, etc., to avoid being reviewed by staff as an alteration.
  7. Lien holder Information

    Lien holder information is required to be complete upon application for title and registration. Applications lacking any of the following information may be rejected and returned to the applicant for completion:
       a. The lien file and maturity date,
       b. the lien holder’s name and mailing address.

    Lacking information can be obtained without mailing all paperwork back, if an authorized agent for the lien holder is able to submit the completed application by fax or email.
  8. Spouse May Add Other Spouse’s Name with a Bill of Sale 

    If an owner to whom the Assignment of Title is made wants to add the name of a spouse, he or she may do so at the time of the original title transaction. A Bill of Sale from the spouse indicated on the Bill of Sale to the names of both must be completed. The Bill of Sale should indicate “adding name of spouse”. The lien holder, if any, must give written permission.
  9. Emission Inspection

    Bernalillo County residents (who fall in the zip code category listed below) will be required to provide emission inspection certificates upon Application for Title and Registration on new and used vehicles. Alternatively, New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division will interface with Vehicle Pollution Management Division, in real-time, to receive Emissions Inspections results electronically.

    Emissions exceptions: new vehicles sold by a dealer (MCO document), vehicles 35 years old or older, motorcycles, vehicles with a DGVW greater than 10,000 lbs. and those vehicle owners who reside outside Bernalillo County.

    The following are Bernalillo County zip codes for which emission inspections are mandatory for registering vehicles in the state of New Mexico: 87008 87101 87105 87109 87113 87117 87121 87153 87185 87194 87022 87102 87106 87110 87114 87118 87122 87154 87190 87195 87047 87103 87107 87111 87115 87119 87123 87176 87191 87196 87059 87104 87108 87112 87116 87120 87125 87184 87192 87197 87198 NOTE: Questions may be referred to the Pollution Control Management Division, 1500 Broadway, N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, Telephone number (505) 764-1110.


(Cross References:

Policy/Clarification document: Online Services Enhancements
Chapter 5, Section A: Prescreen Documents,
Chapter 5, Section E: Vehicle Title Lien Processes)


Section B: Used Vehicle Plate to Owner Process

Created August 22, 2008


Owner’s Responsibility to Remove Plate

The registered owner of the vehicle, upon transfer of ownership, is responsible for removing the license plate from the vehicle to be sold or traded in. The owner has 30 days to either place it on another vehicle of the same class or have it cancelled by the Division.

Individual Purchases Vehicle from Individual Other Than a Dealer

  • Seller is to remove license plate from the vehicle sold and has 30 days to have the plate assigned to another vehicle or return it to the Motor Vehicle Division for cancellation.

  • Purchaser will place new license plate on the vehicle that he has just purchased, provided that proper fees and taxes are paid.

  • If purchaser does not have a license plate from a vehicle of the same class a new license plate will be issued to the newly acquired vehicle.

Individual Purchases Vehicle from Dealer – Has Trade-In

  • Dealer/Seller is to remove the plate from the vehicle being traded-in. This license plate is not to remain on the vehicle.

  • If the new vehicle is of the same class as the old vehicle, assign the plate to the new vehicle. If dealer did not assign plate or customer has lost the plate, assess a replacement plate fee and issue new plate.

  • If the plate is not of the same class as the vehicle being purchased, return the plate to the Motor Vehicle Division for cancellation.

  • If the dealer submits an application indicating a trade-in and the license number block is blank, the clerk must verify if a plate was on trade-in vehicle. If so, charge the replacement plate fee.

Individual Purchases Vehicle from Dealer, No trade-in

  • Clerk should ask purchaser if they have a license plate from another vehicle that they have disposed of within the past 30 days. If the purchaser does not have a license plate, a new plate will be issued at no additional fee.

back to list

Locate an MVD Office

Find an MVD Service Provider Near You

MVD Home          Site Map          Privacy & Security          Site Policies          Accessibility          About Us          Contact Us

Governor Susana Martinez

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division Facebook Page

Call Email Map Contact