Guide: How to Privately Sell Your Car in North Carolina

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Have you decided to sell your vehicle yourself? If so, be sure to review the steps below to make sure that you do everything that you need to do to sell your car, truck, or SUV in the state of North Carolina. Or if you choose not to take on that stressful task; simply give us a call at (844) 400-6673 and let us handle the paperwork and make the entire process convenient and easy for you.

Getting Ready to Sell Your Car

Organize all maintenance records. 

Hopefully, you kept your maintenance records and similar documents while owning the vehicle. This allows for more transparency when selling the vehicle to a potential buyer. These records will show how often the vehicle was serviced (oil changed, tires rotated, air filter replaced, etc.).

Proof of most recent NC Emissions and Safety Inspection. 

If you live in a county that requires an emissions test, be sure to have an inspection done that proves that the vehicle has passed the test and is legal for road use. Certain vehicles are not required to pass emissions tests such as vehicles that are older than thirty years, less than three years old, manufactured prior to 1995, or diesel operated vehicles. Your registration card would show proof of when this was last done.

Do you still have the Owner’s Manual?

Providing the owner’s manual to the buyer will also supply vital information that can be reviewed to learn more about the specific vehicle. If you kept your original sales documents or the window sticker, it could help you list key features and more details that might help increase the value of your car. 

Have you added any aftermarket modifications?

If you have made modifications to your vehicle that would enhance the price of your car, keep the receipt. This might help you justify a higher price. If you just bought brand new tires, it might help increase the price of your car. 

The buyer might want to have the car inspected by a mechanic. 

When selling your car, truck, or SUV the buyer may want the vehicle inspected by their personal mechanic or a local automotive repair shop. This is done to be sure that there are no serious issues with the vehicle before taking ownership of the car, truck, or SUV. The vehicle inspection will typically be paid for by the buyer. You should both agree on a reputable business and meet there for the vehicle inspection.

What Paperwork Do You Need to Sell Your Car?

Now that you have gathered all the information necessary to sell your car and have an interested buyer, here is paperwork that is required and recommended for selling your car to protect yourself and the buyer:

  • Title
  • Bill of Sale
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement
  • Damage Disclosure Statement 

Transfer of Certificate of Title 

To transfer a title, both the buyer(s) and seller(s) must complete the information using blue or black ink on the back of the original title in front of a notary. Your local DMV or license plate agency should be able to help with this. Be sure to take your NC Driver’s license with you. 

  •  Date of sale
  • Buyer and Seller’s name and address 
  • Seller’s hand printed name and signature
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement
  • Damage Disclosure Statement

In the State of North Carolina, it is required to have the title notarized by an active NC notary. 

  • Bill of Sale is not legally required in North Carolina when selling a car privately, but it is a good document to prove you changed ownership of a vehicle. It can include Date, Year/Make/Model, VIN, Mileage, Buyer’s Name, Address and Signature; Seller’s Name, Address, and Signature, Purchase Price, and at times a note stating any warranty transfer or “As-Is” status. 
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement (MVR-180) Is a document that states the mileage on the vehicle at time of the sale of the car, truck, or SUV. This document will be used when transferring the title and the mileage will be reported on the vehicles CARFAX. The document will also state important items such as the Year/Make/Model, and VIN.
  • Damage Disclosure Statement (MVR-181) Is a document that is filled out by the seller stating if the seller knows of any damage that has happened to the vehicle for sale. It asks questions such as: 
  1. Has this vehicle been damaged by collision or other occurrence to the extent that damages exceed 25% of its value at the time of the collision or other occurrence? (Applies to 5 Model Years old and newer)
  2. Was this vehicle a salvage motor vehicle? (Applies to All Model Years)
  3. Is this vehicle a flood vehicle? (Applies to All Model Years) 
  4. Is this vehicle a recovered theft vehicle? (Applies to 5 Model Years old and newer) 
  5. Has this vehicle ever been reconstructed? (Applies to All Model Years) 

As the seller, you must declare that the above information is true to the best of your knowledge. State Law requires that every seller disclose to the buyer if he/she knows the information listed above. Be sure that when you are selling your vehicle that you are aware of what all these damage disclosure definitions are so that your answers are true to the best of your knowledge. 

Turn in your License Plate and Cancel your Insurance

Once the vehicle has been sold, keep the license plate. If you are not transferring your plate to another vehicle, you will need to turn the plate in to N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. If you are transferring your plate, contact your NCDMV license plate agency for instructions. 

IMPORTANT: Under North Carolina Law, you must turn in your license plate before cancelling your insurance. Failing to do so may result in a fine for failing to maintain continuous insurance coverage. 

Your license plates can be returned at any NCDMV license plate agency or by mailing them to:

NCDMV Vehicle Registration Section
Renewal Title & Plate Unit
3148 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697-3148

For more information, visit the North Carolina official DMV website.

Alternative Ways to Sell Your Vehicle 

Many sellers in North Carolina decide that they do not want to sell their vehicle on their on for several reasons. Whether it is the amount of time and effort it takes, haggling over the price or meeting with a stranger, at times it is much simpler and safer to sell to a local dealership or car buying service. 

If you receive an offer from Carmax, Carvana, local car dealership, or any other car buying service then be sure to contact to see if you received an accurate offer on your car, truck, or SUV. 

The process is simple – Call at 1 (844) 400-MORE or live chat with us on our website. Provide your current offer, VIN, mileage, and a few other items that our local buyer will request from you. With this information, we will be sure to let you know if we can beat your offer and by how much or let you know if the offer that you received is a great offer! 

Our process is a Win-Win situation for our customers that will save you time, earn you extra money on selling your vehicle, and take all the responsibility and headache off your hands!