What documents do I need to bring when I’m buying a car?

Congratulations; you’re ready to get a new car! In all the excitement of choosing your new vehicle, however, it’s easy to forget exactly what you need to bring with you to the dealership to finalize your purchase. Don’t let this happen to you—use our checklist to make sure you have everything you need:


Before heading to the dealership, find out which forms of payment the dealership accepts.

Current Pay Stub or Bank Statement

This will verify your employment, as well as confirming to the dealer that you will be reliable with your monthly payments.

Proof of Residence

These can include documents such as utility bills, cell phone bills, or envelopes addressed to you. It’s wise to bring more than one in case the dealership needs a backup document.

Trade-In Vehicle Title and Registration

o    If you’re trading in your current vehicle, you need to bring its title with you. This will provide proof that you are the current owner, and giving the title to the dealership will transfer the ownership to them.

o   The dealership will also need your current vehicle’s registration. Make sure that it is up-to-date and that the correct stickers are on your license plates.

o   If applicable, you should also bring the lien release for your trade-in.

Proof of Insurance

o   You will need to show the dealership that you have a valid, up-to-date insurance card.

o   Different states have different requirements for insuring new cars and adding new cars to existing insurance policies. In Utah, for example, drivers have 15 days after the purchase of a new car to get the new vehicle insured. Fortunately, most insurance companies have made it easy to insure new vehicles either online or over the phone.

Driver’s License

Don’t forget your license! Not only will the dealer need to see your license, but you also want to drive your new car home, don’t you?

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