How to Transfer a Car Title to a Child in North Carolina

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A car title is a legal document. When you transfer ownership of your car to your child, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles requires a legal title transfer within 28 days of delivery or within 28 days of the date the document is notarized. If you do not complete a title transfer within 28 days, the DMV will charge you a penalty fee.

Transferring a car title to a family member such as a child is common in North Carolina. Also, North Carolina does not require a child to pay the highway use tax if he receives the car from a parent.

Necessary Paperwork

Locate online the forms you will need to make the title transfer. These forms include Title Application, Odometer Disclosure Statement, Damage Disclosure Statement, Declaration of Eligible Risk and Highway Use Tax Exemption Certificate. These documents are available online through the DMV (see Resources).

The parent must present information on any liens that apply to the car title. You should include any lien information on the Title of Application.

The parent must complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement that includes the current odometer reading for any car less than 10 years old.

The parent and child must fill out the Title Application. In the purchase price section, write “gift.”

Both the child and the parent must sign and date the title in the presence of a notary public.

The parent must also provide the child with a Damage Disclosure Statement. Both the parent and the child should sign this document.

Actions Required

The parent will then remove his license plate unless he plans to transfer the plate to the child and give the child the title.

The child will bring the following documents to his local Vehicle & License Plate Renewal Office: Title Application, Declaration of Eligible Risk, Highway Use Tax Exemption Certificate, his driver’s license, his proof of insurance, and (as of 2010) a $40 titling fee (plus a $15 penalty fee if applicable).

File the necessary paperwork with the Vehicle & License Plate Renewal Office.


  • If the child also registers the car at the same time, this process requires additional forms and fees. These fees depend on the value of the car and the class of vehicle that is being registered.