How to Sell Your Car in North Carolina
SELLING A CAR - 5 mins 30 secs read

How To Sell Your Car In North Carolina

WhipFlip - Jan 30,2023

Whether you want to upgrade your existing car or get rid of it, you’ll need to go through the motions of selling it. How you decide to sell it is up to you. While selling your car directly to a private buyer might be similar across the United States, some things differ from state to state.

Below is a detailed guide to everything you must know before selling your car in North Carolina.

Do I Remove My License Plate When Selling My Car In North Carolina?

Yes. You cannot transfer your current license plate to the new owner of your car. You’ll need to wait until you have finalized the sale to remove the license plates from your name.

While some states might allow you to keep the plates and use them on another car, you must return them to the closest DMV in North Carolina. You have a ten-day grace period before turning them in, after which you might incur a $50 service fee, $50 restoration fee, and extra license fees.

Is a Bill of Sale Required for Selling a Car In North Carolina?

While North Carolina law does not mandate that you have a bill of sale, it is a good idea for you and the buyer to have a copy.

A bill of sale is the document your car buyer will require to register and title their car. It also shelters you from liability if the vehicle is later involved in an incident or accident. Down the road, it can also help settle any legal issues between you and the buyer if any disputes arise.

You can draft your bill of sale, but you must ensure it is in English. Ensure to include the following information in the bill of sale.

  • Date of the sale
  • Name and address of the seller and buyer
  • The car makes, model, year, vehicle identification number, and body style
  • The amount you sold the car for, including what is paid upfront and other agreed-upon future payments
  • Agreed-upon payment plan
  • The insurance price the buyer takes out on the vehicle
  • Your signature plus that of the buyer

What Documents Do I Need to Privately Sell a Car In North Carolina?

Car title

This is the most essential document many buyers look for before buying a used car. It verifies that you own the vehicle and shows that the transfer is legal. Make sure you fill out the appropriate sections to ensure a proper transfer of ownership to the buyer.

There are different types of titles depending on the car's condition, and you need to update it.

A clean car title shows that that car is in good structural shape with nothing wrong, while a clear one indicates the car has no major dents or apparent physical damage. If your vehicle has been wrecked, you need to have a salvage car title. If you fix the car enough to be safe on the road, update the car title to a reconstructed or rebuilt car title.

To transfer the car title, you and the buyer must complete the information on the back of your original title. The information includes your and the buyer's names, the date of sale and delivery, and both you and the buyer's signatures. If you’ve misplaced your title, you need to request a replacement or duplicate title from the NCDOT.

Service History

When setting a price for your car, you usually consider the internal and external conditions. Buyers inspect this to see if the price matches the vehicle's physical state.

A comprehensive service history is essential to get the best price for your car because it shows that you have correctly taken care of and maintained the vehicle.

The service history outlines the services the car received, when the services were done, and the car mileage at that time.

This document ascertains that the car has no reported accidents and helps identify any issues the vehicle might have for timely repairs or replacements.

A damage disclosure statement

Also known as form MVR-181, this statement indicates the damages your car has experienced and represents them in monetary value. It also includes the last inspection date, your name, significant damages plus repairs or replacements, and your car deillegalscription, including the model, make, and year.

Odometer disclosure statement

Also known as the form MVR-180, this document is only necessary if your car is below ten years old. It indicates your car's accurate mileage during the time of sale. This is another major factor in determining your car's value.

Lien release

When you purchase your car using an auto loan, the lender files a lien with the state and ties it to your vehicle. This way, if you default, the lender has an asset attached to your loan and can repossess the car. The lender will give you a lien release once you finish paying the loan per the contract, and you must transfer that document to the buyer.

Remaining car warranty

If your car still has a warranty from the manufacturer or dealership you bought it from, ensure you include it in the documents you hand over to the buyer. This could help you get a better price for the car.

Where Should I Sell My Jeep?

There are many places with lots of potential buyers, so it really depends on where you want to be advertising your jeep. Some popular places to advertise used cars are websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Autotrader, and others. However, if you would want your car handled by sales professionals with lots of experience in selling cars, Whipflip is your best bet.

Does My Old Car Require an Annual Safety Inspection?

Yes. An annual safety inspection involves looking at the car's interior and exterior to ensure everything is in good shape. The professionals who perform the inspection will thoroughly inspect the brakes, suspension, lights, transmission, glass, mirrors, tires, wiper blades, etc.

You can improve the outcome of the inspection by addressing any minor fixes of the interior and exterior. This includes cleaning the car, detailing it, and fixing dents, dings, and scratches.

This will make it safe for the new buyer and other road users and ensure that the buyer pays the highest price for it. North Carolina requires that you provide your buyer with proof that the car passed the inspection.

22 counties in the state also require that your car passes an emission inspection. This inspection determines whether the car's gases are within legal limits. However, this inspection is not applicable for vehicles below three years old, cars that operate on diesel, and car models older than 1995.

Does a Bill of Sale Have to Be Notarized In North Carolina?

Yes. It helps prevent fraudulent activities and car sales. It also authorizes the legal transfer of the car. You and the buyer must be present during notarization.

Does a Vehicle Title Have to Be Notarized In North Carolina?

Yes. This ensures that you and the buyer are legally identified. It also ensures you are aware of the contents of the car title and have signed it voluntarily. Like with the bill of sale, you and the buyer must be present at the car title's notarization.

How do I notify my DMV that I sold my car?

Letting your DMV know you no longer own the car releases you from its liabilities. You have 30 days to complete a Vehicle Transfer Notification and submit it to the DMV.

Can I Change Ownership of The Car Online?

Yes. You can do it on

Why Choose WhipFlip?

WhipFlip is here to help you sell your car faster, easier, and for a higher price. Here are some of the benefits you get from selling to WhipFlip

  • Convenience - You no longer have to travel to meet your buyer, saving you time and money. Our employees come to you once you’ve accepted our offer.
  • Easy selling process - You only need to complete three easy steps to sell your car with WhipFlip, lasting at most ten minutes. First, enter your car's details for an instant offer, use the automated car valuation tool for an offer from WhipFlip, then accept the offer and upload the necessary car documents to prove legal ownership.
  • Better price - WhipFlip has been buying pre-owned vehicles for a long time, meaning they know how to get the best price for your vehicle, depending on its conditions.
  • Safety - When you sell your car to WhipFlip, you don't have to worry about getting scammed. You will receive your full payment before handing over the keys. There are also no third parties, meaning no extra or hidden costs.
  • Trust - Unlike independent buyers, WhipFlip will give you the best for your car. Our excellent online reviews should give you confidence that you’re dealing with a reputable buyer who does exactly as they say they will, pays immediately, and will handle any necessary paperwork.