The DMV Title Certificate: Registration, Rules and Regulations Vary from State to State

In each state, the ownership rules and registration requirement slightly differ from each other, but they are all essentially proof of ownership. If you are a owner of a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, travel or utility trailer weighing a minimum 1,000 pounds or a mobile home, you need the Certificate of Title MV-999) to prove that you are the owner of that vehicle. In other words, the title certificate is the official proof of ownership of the automobile. The person or organization from whom you took a loan to buy the vehicle is also recorded in the title. It is advised to keep your title in a secure place and never hold the document while traveling.

In New York State, you must go for a title certificate in the following cases:

  • If the model of the vehicle is manufactured after the year 1973
  • If you have a motorboat manufactured after 1987 and is 14 feet or more in length
  • For the manufactured homes that cover at least 320 square feet after getting erected on site

The New York DMV will not issue a title certificate for any motor vehicle with a model that was manufactured before 1972. Also, the travel or utility trailer weighing less than 1,000 pounds and limited used motorcycle including mopeds.

In order to obtain a title certificate, download a Vehicle Registration/Title Application MV-82) form from the DMV website of the concerned state or collect from the nearest Motor Vehicle office. Along with the completed form you have to submit the registration and license plate fees, required sales tax, and a $50.00 fee to get the title certificate.

There is a difference between a registration certificate and title certificate. A title certificate is a proof of ownership for any of your automobile and is required at the time of transferring it to the next owner. On the other hand, a registration certificate is a kind of permit for driving any vehicle on the roads or operating a motorboat on waterways. You can not get a registration for a manufactured home.

How you get the title certificate differs from state to state. For example, in New York, you cannot receive the title certificate over the counter. According to state law, the DMV mails the title to the owner. The title certificate is issued only after carefully examining the proof of ownership provided with the application and takes several weeks to complete. You will also receive permanent registration and license plates at the time of the submission of the application. If you don't receive the title certificate in 90 days, contact the call center of the local DMV with your registration receipt to help verify your vehicle's plate number, brand, year of manufacture and Vehicle Identification Number VIN).

Once you receive the title certificate it is your responsibility to check whether the information printed in the title are correct and at par with the information on the vehicle registration document. In case of any incorrect information, contact the local DMV immediately and request for an amended title. If you find incorrect information both on the registration and title you have to bring them to the nearest DMV office.

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