Change of vehicle ownership
If you buy, sell or trade-in a used vehicle, you will need to register for the transfer of vehicle ownership from its current owner to the new owner of the vehicle.
The law requires that all changes of vehicle ownership must be notified to the Department of Transport.
Any change of ownership must be recorded on the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF).
This vehicle ownership register can also be very helpful to the owner as well, especially in the event that the vehicle has been recalled by the manufacturer, in which event they will endeavor to contact all registered owners with the assistance of data from the NVDF. Therefore, it is important that ownership and name and address details are up to date so owners can be notified promptly.
Both the sellers and buyers of vehicles are bound by certain obligations to comply with the procedures for notification of vehicle ownership and there are penalties, upon conviction, for non compliance.
The onus is on the seller to ensure that the necessary documentation relating to a change of ownership is completed.
If the registered owner of a vehicle fails to give the correct credentials of a new owner, the seller’s name will remain on the record which in turn makes that person liable for any charges which arise in relation to the vehicle including motor tax.
Online Change of Vehicle Ownership Service
In the vast majority of cases, motor dealers are involved in the sale and purchase transactions of vehicles. As such the Department has introduced an E- Government service which enables approved dealers notify vehicle ownership changes to the NVDF over the internet at www.motortrans.ie
The online service can only be used by approved dealers The website contains instructions for dealers to register to use the service. The online service also incorporates:
- a facility whereby Authorised Treatment Facilities may notify vehicle end-of-life (ELV) instances
- a transaction tracking facility for motor dealers who submit electronic notices
- a facility for the general motoring public where, through a link from the online motor tax website www.motortax.ie, some non confidential information on recent transactions recorded on the NVDF may be obtained – this is to avoid the necessity to make telephone calls to establish the status of change of ownership notices.
Sale to a Motor Dealer
If you are selling your car to a motor dealer, you should give the dealer the Vehicle Registration Certificate (or licensing certificate) and both you and the dealer must complete the RF105 form.
Where a dealer is authorised to use the online change of vehicle ownership service the dealer will arrange to have the details notified online.
If they are unable to do this, the seller and the dealer will need to complete the RF105 form which is then sent to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Computer Services Division, Department of Transport Tourism and Sport (DVCSD), Shannon, Co. Clare. This can be downloaded here.
If a vehicle is sold privately, both the seller and the buyer have to complete the reverse side of the Vehicle Registration Certificate (or in the case of pre-April 2004 vehicles the B Part of the vehicle licensing certificate) and send to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Computer Services Division (DVCSD), Department of Transport, Shannon, Co. Clare. The DVCSD will process this transaction and issue a new Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC) to the new owner.
Change in Ownership for pre 1993 vehicles
Form RF200 should be used where a change of ownership needs to be notified for a vehicle registered before 1 January 1993. The completed form and registration (log) book must be submitted to your local motor tax office. This Form RF200 is available from Motor Tax Offices, Public Libraries and Garda Stations or can be downloaded at www.motortax.ie. If the vehicle is being sold to a motor dealer the registration book should be given to the motor dealer and Form RF 200 sent to the local motor tax office.
Change in Ownership for post 1993 vehicles
For Vehicles registered since 1993, where a vehicle is sold privately both the seller and the buyer of the vehicle will need to complete part of the vehicle Registration Certificate/licensing certificate. This document should be sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Computer Services Division (DVCSD), Department of Transport, Shannon, Co. Clare. This is recorded and a new Vehicle Registration Certificate (VRC) is given to the new vehicle owner.
Remember, it is the responsibility of the seller of the vehicle to make sure that the forms are completed and sent for processing, so never hand over the registration certificate presuming the buyer will do it. If the details are not updated, then the seller will continue to be liable for the vehicle.