Owning a car or a motorcycle in NY isn’t always a lot of fun. Drive across town and you’re still going to be looking for a parking place by the time all of your friends are getting ready to go home. For some, the freedom of owning an auto in the city is worth it. Others would rather just take the subway everywhere. So if you’re thinking of getting rid of your car or motorcycle or transfer vehicles in NY, here’s a step by step guide:

Getting Started

The first step to getting rid of an auto that you have no use for is to ensure that all of your papers are in order. In other words: You can’t sign the title over if you don’t have the title. The easiest way to get a duplicate title in NY is to skip the line at the DMV by going online to the NY DMV website, enter your vehicle info, and then mail in an application for duplicate title, some proof of identity, and twenty bucks. Registering a motorcycle, on the other hand, will cost you about $62.50, in total. $50 for your initial title fee, and $12.50 for your plate fee.

Finding A New Owner

Finding a buyer in NY isn’t tough. There’s plenty of people here looking for cars and motorcycles, and you can find someone easily enough with an ad through Craigslist or just asking around to see who needs a set of wheels.

Transferring Ownership

To transfer ownership, you will need to either surrender your plates to the New York State DMV, or transfer them over to the new owner. Surrendering your plates might earn you a refund on the registration fee, depending on a number of factors. You can transfer your plates for $7.75 through the DMV, or get a transfer receipt to transfer in the future.
Form DTF-802 from the DMV will let you sign your car or bike over to the new owner. You fill out page two, and then give them the form to fill out page one. You use the same form whether you’re selling the auto or handing it over as a gift.

If you transfer your plates, make sure to destroy your registration stickers. You don’t want someone else driving around with your stickers.

Getting A New Vehicle?

After all this paperwork with the DMV, you’ve figured out how to get your title, how to register, and how to keep your car legal. One last step we haven’t covered: Transferring auto insurance over to a new vehicle. Good news: It’s not the headache you’re expecting it to be. Your insurer handles pretty much all of the paperwork for you, including state filings and so on. Your job is to contact your insurer, let them know you’ve got a new set of wheels, and then have the insurance transferred to your new car.

Every insurer has their own approach, here. For some, giving them the details on your new car over the phone will be enough. Others may have you go online to register your new car with them. In any event, it’s pretty simple, and most insurers will handle all the really annoying parts of the task on your behalf. To save even more money on NY Auto Insurance, click here.

Oh, and here’s some neat trivia on NY registration: You don’t need a driver’s license or even a permit to register a new auto in New York. As long as you fill the paperwork out right and pay the fees, you’re good to go, so if you’re thinking of gifting a car to your nephew who hasn’t even learned to drive yet, that’s totally legal, just so long as he does know how to drive before he takes it out on the road.