Chapter 4 – Title and Registration – Used Vehicles

by | Dec 29, 2020 | Vehicle Procedures Manual | 0 comments

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 October 12, 2018

  1. Certificate of Title (§66-3-10)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 transaction.
  2. Bill of Sale On a dealer transaction, when the assignment on the reverse side of the Certificate of 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 Certificate of Title or U.S. Government Release Assignment.
  3. Purchase Agreement/Dealer’s InvoiceThe purchase agreement or dealer’s invoice is required on every title transaction involving a dealer sale, including purchases from out-of-state dealers. The purchase agreement or dealer’s invoice must be the original or a certified copy. 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). However, if any taxes are paid out-of-state a certified copy of the purchase agreement or dealer’s invoice must be provided.The purchase agreement or dealer’s invoice must show the following:
    1. Date
    2. Customer’s name
    3. A description of the vehicle including year, make, and VIN;
    4. A description of any trade-in vehicle including VIN;
    5. The gross sales price before trade-in deduction, if any;
    6. The net sales price less any discounts;
    7. If taxes are paid to an out-of-state dealer.

NOTE: An “Intent to Purchase” document cannot be accepted as a purchase agreement or dealer’s invoice.

  1. Odometer Statement (§§ 66-3-4, 66-3-10, 66-3-101(A), 66-3-107(C) and 49 CFR 580.5)Federal and state law require that the transferor of a motor vehicle attest to the accuracy of the odometer mileage reading at the time of the vehicle’s sale, transfer or assignment. 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, i.e. they must have language stating that 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.
  2. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Inspection (§66-3-4(B))
    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 (VIN) on the Certificate of Title corresponds with the vehicle. This includes all vehicles transferred with a 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. MVD Form 10861 is valid 90 days from the date of inspection
  3. Proof of Trade-in VehicleA copy of a trade-in vehicle’s registration or Certificate of Title is no longer required. Tapestry only requires the trade-in vehicle’s VIN from the sales invoice.
  4. Affirmation of Insurance (§§ 66-5-234, 66-5-233 and 66-5-208) Every applicant for a vehicle registration must affirm that he is financially responsible within the meaning of the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA). Payment of the registration fee and acceptance by the department of the application for registration shall be affirmation by the owner of the registered vehicle that they have complied with the requirements of that act. If the applicant affirms the existence of a motor vehicle insurance policy, they must provide the name of the insurer issuing the policy, the state where the policy was issued, the policy number, and the issue and expiration dates.“Financial responsibility” as used in the MFRA, means the ability to respond in damages for liability on account of vehicle accidents in the following amounts: $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident; $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and $10,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
  5. Power Of Attorney (POA) General or Limited:
    1. Must be notarized;
    2. Owner must sign in ink;
    3. Certified copies of POA may be accepted;
    4. If notary’s commission expires, 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 secure POA ONLY;
    7. Proof of ID for Owner’s Representative (Motor Vehicle photo ID card or license).

NOTE: A person appointed with a Power of Attorney CANNOT assign authority by Power of Attorney to another individual.

  1. 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.

Missing 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.


  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 a name change, the lien shown on the previous Certificate of Title must be properly released. The lien can be released by proper endorsement of the lien holder in the designated area of the outstanding Certificate of Title; MVD Form 10041 “Release of Lien”; or a notarized release on letterhead signed by the lien holder. When lien holder is a bank, financial institution, credit union, or other company the person releasing the lien must indicate their position with the company (e.g. agent, president, title clerk, etc.).


  1. New Mexico Residence Address Required (§66-3-4(A))Individual owner/applicants for title and registration must provide the owner’s name and bona fide New Mexico residence address and mailing address. Acceptable proof of New Mexico residence address can be either: a) a current New Mexico driver’s license (DL) or regular identification card (ID); or b) the same two documents that would be required to prove residency for a Real ID driver’s license or identification card, as specified in the Drivers Manual Chapter 6 Section 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 in the Drivers Manual Chapter 6 Section A, 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: §66-3-301(E) 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 §66-3-301(E), wants to register a vehicle in New Mexico but has no New Mexico business address. In that case, the 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.

As always, any documents used to prove a vehicle owner’s New Mexico residence or business address must include that residence or business address.

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, with no proof of NM residency required. However, 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.


  1. Title Application with Owner’s Signature When a lien holder, dealer or title company is submitting the title work for an applicant, a completely filled out Title Application 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.
  2. Emissions Inspection Certificate (66-3-7.1)Emissions testing is required of motor vehicles registered or commuting in Bernalillo County (see Chapter 2 Section H), including vehicles owned by Bernalillo County residents (who fall in the zip code category listed below). Tapestry interfaces with the Bernalillo County Vehicle Pollution Management Division, in real-time, to receive emissions inspections results electronically.However, if the system is for any reason unable to confirm compliance electronically, the vehicle owner will be required to provide a current (issued within 90 days) Certificate of Inspection confirming that the vehicle has passed inspection.

    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.

  3. Notice of Additional RequirementsWhile 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 to ensure that customers are notified of everything they will need for a successful outcome on 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 that 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 day period 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.


Section B: Used Vehicle Plate to Owner Process

Revised December 1, 2017

Owner’s Responsibility to Remove Plate (§66-3-101(B))

The registered owner of a vehicle, upon transfer of ownership, is responsible for removing the registration plate from the vehicle being 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.

If the registration is still within the first year of a two-year registration, and the owner transfers the plate to another vehicle of the same class, Tapestry will automatically apply credit for the unused second year of the registration to the customer’s vehicle account (Vehicles ?Chapter 2 Section A).

Individual Purchases Vehicle from Individual Other Than a Dealer

  • Seller is to remove registration 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 registration plate from a vehicle of the same class a new plate will be issued to the newly acquired vehicle.

Individual Purchases Vehicle from Dealer, with Trade-In

  • Dealer/Seller is to remove the registration plate from the vehicle being traded-in. This  plate is not to remain on the vehicle.
  • If the new vehicle is of the same class as the old vehicle, the plate may be assigned to the new vehicle.
  • If the plate is not of the same class as the vehicle being purchased, plate should be returned to the Motor Vehicle Division for cancellation and a new plate issued at no additional fee.

Individual Purchases Vehicle from Dealer, without Trade-In

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