Anytime you move to Arkansas or purchase a new (or new-to-you) car, you need to register it with the state and pay applicable taxes. Purchasing a used car from a private seller is often more affordable than going through a dealer. But it’s also riskier and comes with some extra logistical steps.
Arkansas’s Attorney General offers some tips on what to look out for and best practices when buying a used car.
You’ve Got a New Car. Now What?
The seller should give you the original Title to the vehicle once you purchase it. You should sign your full legal name under the buyer section in blue or black ink. This Title is a legal document, so don’t use white-out or scratch out anything. If you mess up, simply leave the mistake and move on to the next buyer’s box. In most cases, a completed title is sufficient to register a car to a new owner in Arkansas. However, if there is no more room on the title to record the sale, or if the seller wants to claim a tax credit towards the purchase of a new vehicle, the seller should fill out a Bill of Sale.
Whether you use a Bill of Sale or the back of the Title, you should always include both the buyer’s and seller’s names, addresses and signatures. Also be sure to include the sale date, the VIN number, the vehicle’s make, model and year. Finally, note the odometer reading and the price paid.
Either the buyer or the seller needs to complete a Notice of Transfer of Ownership. This Notice should be mailed or delivered to the Office of Motor Vehicles. The seller can also notify the state online that they no longer own or are responsible for the car.
If you inherit a vehicle, you must provide the state with proof of the original owner’s death. An Affidavit of Inheritance is also required.
How Do I Register a Car in Arkansas?
You have 30 days to register a new vehicle with the state, regardless of whether you’ve just moved to Arkansas or purchased a car.
Firstly, collect your documents. You’ll need the Title or Bill or Sale, the latter of which includes a federal odometer statement, as well as your insurance card. You should also bring your county tax assessment if you’ve lived in the county the previous year. Also provide proof of any property taxes you’ve paid on the vehicle. If your vehicle is leased or you are making payments to a bank or third-party,, bring those documents as well.
You can register your new or used car online or go to the DMV and register your car in person. You can check the status of your vehicle’s registration online, as well.
Do I Need To Insure My New (or New-To-Me) Car?
Absolutely—not only is it the smart choice, it’s Arkansas law. Get in touch with one of our agents today, and they’ll make sure you’re set up with exactly the right policy.