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Chapter 3 – Title and Registration - New Vehicles

8:24 AM

Section A.  Documents Required to Title and Register a New Vehicle
Section B.  Issuance of License Plate and Validation Sticker


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

Revised June 30, 2016

  1. Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) 

    All new vehicles built by a manufacturer are identified by the issuance of a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO). All MCO’s must be the original document issued by the manufacturer. Photocopies will not be accepted. If original is lost, stolen or mutilated it is possible that the manufacturer will issue a duplicate MCO. 

    The MCO must show: 
    a. Complete descriptive information of the vehicle; 
    b. Complete assignment from the manufacturer to a franchised dealer (an MCO assigned to a non-franchised New Mexico dealer must first be converted to a New Mexico Title before the non-franchised dealer can negotiate the MCO); 
    c. A franchised dealer to the first purchaser of the vehicle. 

    An MCO may be accepted without notarization of the assignment if the Motor Vehicle Division in the state of origin does not require notarization. If the assignment and reassignment field have a certification statement and a place for notarization, do not reject if assignment is not notarized.
  2. Purchase Agreement 

    The purchase agreement is required on every title transaction involving a dealer sale. The purchase agreement for new vehicles must be the original or a certified copy, including purchase agreements 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 will 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. new car/truck MSRP 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 discounts; 
    e. If taxes are paid to out-of-state dealer they will be credited towards New Mexico taxes due. 

    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 motor 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 MCO, on MVD Form 10187 “Odometer Mileage Statement” or MVD Form 10002 “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. 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.
  5. Affirmation of Insurance (66-5-208) NMSA
    The Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA) of 1984 (Chapter 11 Section A) 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. Power of Attorney (POA) General or Limited 

    a. Must be notarized; 
    b. Owner must sign in ink; 
    c. Certified copies of “POA” may be accepted; 
    d. If notary’s commission expires, POA remains active until rescinded by owner; 
    e. POA cannot be used to execute any transaction after death of grantor; 
    f. Dealers must use a secure POA only; 
    g. 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 their authority by Power of Attorney to another individual.
  7. 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.
  8. Title Application and Owner’s Signature

    When lien holder, dealer or title company is submitting the 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 multiple owners names are joined with “AND”, then both/all signatures are required. If a representative is signing for the applicant, a notarized power of attorney is required. An officer of a company may sign the Application for Title without a Power of Attorney.
  9. 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.
  10. New Mexico Residence Address Required (66-3-4A) (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.
  11. Vehicles must be Titled and Registered Within 30 Days of Purchase to Avoid Late Registration Penalties. The date of sale of a vehicle and the beginning of the 30-day registration requirement period is established by the date of assignment on the MCO or dealer’s invoice. If the dates on the MCO and the dealer’s invoice are not the same, the earliest date is the effective date of sale. Failure to apply for Title and Registration within 30 days after sale as shown by the MCO assignment, to a New Mexico resident will subject the new owner to registration penalties.

(Cross References:

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


Section B: Issuance of License Plate and Validation Sticker

Revised September 28, 2011

  1. Issuance of License Plate

    Issue a new license plate to every new vehicle being titled for the first time, except in those cases when the applicant has a previously-issued new format license plate or prestige plate which can be transferred to the new vehicle (see paragraph 3 below).
  2. License Plates Issued by Vehicle Type

    Issue license plates to new vehicles according to the type of vehicle. Passenger vehicles, trucks and farm trucks have the option to register with the lemon yellow or turquoise centennial plate. If you are issuing a turquoise centennial plate on these types of vehicles enter “PC” as the special plate code.
  3. Transferring Owner’s Previous Plate to New Vehicle

    The owner of a registered vehicle sold or traded-in on a new vehicle is responsible for removing the license plate from the vehicle sold or traded-in.

    An applicant may transfer a license plate previously registered in the applicant’s name to a new vehicle when the plate was removed from a vehicle of the same class or plate type within 30 days, before applying for the new vehicle Title and Registration.

    When applicant fails to remove the license plate from a traded-in vehicle and the applicant's new vehicle is of a type that has the same plate format, MVD will issue a replacement plate for a fee of $17.00. The owner must re-register the plate to his new vehicle within 30 days.

    Clerk must be able to verify by computer that the plate belongs to the applicant or the applicant must provide proof (copy of registration or Title).
  4. Issuing Validation Sticker

    A validation sticker must be affixed to the license plate registered to a new vehicle at the time of registration. Exceptions: Fleet Vehicles, manufactured homes and freight trailers are not issued validation stickers.

    A vehicle registered into the staggered registration program shall be issued a year/month sticker showing the month in which the vehicle is originally registered and the year of expiration.

    Off-Highway motor vehicles are issued license plates. Registration is for two (2) years. A staggered registration sticker of the current month shall be affixed to the license plate.

    Utility trailers and travel trailers with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) under 6001 lbs. and not used in commerce may be registered permanently. Issue a permanent registration sticker. Enter “P” for registration type and registration expiration date will be 01/31/2050. Other utility trailers and travel trailers (i.e. those that are used in commerce or have a GVW of 6001 lbs. or more) may only be registered for one or two years.


    GVW <6001 lbs.

    GVW >6000 lbs.

    Not used in commerce

    permanent registration

    1-year or 2-year registration

    Used in commerce

    1-year or 2-year registration

    1-year or 2-year registration


    Commercial vehicles driven exclusively on New Mexico highways (intrastate) are issued a Weight Distance (WD) plate with a validation sticker.

    Commercial Vehicles that operate in other states as well as New Mexico (interstate) are registered through the International Registration Plan (IRP). These vehicles are registered on a staggered basis with the expiration consistent for all units in a fleet. IRP registrations are processed by the Commercial Vehicles Bureau (CVB).

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