Registering Your New Ride: A Step-by-Step Guide – Part II

MercPreviously, in Registering your New Ride – Part I…

(Missed Part I? Click here to catch up)

The tow-truck companies know you by name. You have your mechanic on speed dial. And you’ve sheepishly laughed your way through one-too-many jokes about the rust-trap you call your car. You’ve decided that it’s time to retire the old lady – she’s done you proud service, but she needs to be put out to pasture. After weeks of hunting for The One, you finally find your dream car. Or, at least, a car that doesn’t wreck your wallet. You’ve taken it for a spin, checked out the engine and bodywork, ascertained that it was legally obtained, and can legally be sold, and you’ve completed the negotiation with the seller.

Step 1: Finding your ride. Completed.

Step 2: The negotiation. Completed.

Congratulations. You’re half way through the process. Just a few steps left before you can officially call yourself the proud new owner of a used car.

Step 3: The Sale of Vehicle Contract

Once the buyer and seller have agreed on the finer details, the agreement can be committed to writing in a Sale of Vehicle Contract. This Agreement addresses such issues as the purchase price and payment terms, disclosure of any defects, and pertinent vehicle details. The document gives buyer and seller peace of mind that the agreement of sale has been negotiated and concluded, and is just a few short steps away from being finalised.

Step 4: The paperwork

The sale process doesn’t end with the buyer transferring the cash and claiming the keys. The seller needs to provide the buyer with the following:

  • The original registration papers for the car
  • A completed and signed Notification of Change of Ownership form (obtained from any Licensing Department)
  • A certified copy of his ID

In addition, the buyer will need a roadworthy certificate, and will also need to acquire and complete a further form: the Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle, obtainable from any Licensing Department.

It is also worth mentioning that your insurance should be arranged before taking delivery of the vehicle. Once you’ve paid the purchase price and received the keys, risk in the vehicle transfers to the buyer, so it’s worthwhile double-checking with your insurer that the vehicle is, indeed, covered before driving it away.

Step 5: Roadworthiness

In order to successfully transfer a used car into a new owner’s name, CoR, or RWC is required. The colloquialism depends on which part of the country you live in, but it refers to the Certificate of Roadworthiness obtained from an authorised vehicle testing station. Depending on the state of the car, this can range from being a relatively effortless task to being a right royal pain in the rear. Roadworthiness will not be granted until the car is roadworthy. Period. Deal with it. This is for not only your own safety, but the safety of all other road-users. And by the end of this process you will be rewarded with the knowledge that your new-used-car is safe enough to transport you and your loved ones.

Cautionary note: once obtained, you can’t afford to procrastinate. The certificate is only valid for a period of two months. If you don’t pay the Licensing Department a visit during the certificate’s period of validity, you will need to repeat the process all over again.

Step 6: Licensing Department

The bureaucracy that notoriously plagues government departments the world over can be successfully and, might I venture to add, even effortlessly, navigated if armed with the right tools. In order to make your new purchase official, it is now time to take the following to the Licensing Department:

  • The original registration papers for the car
  • The completed Notification of Change of Ownership form, signed by the Seller
  • A certified copy of the Seller’s ID
  • A certified copy of the Buyer’s ID
  • The Roadworthy Certificate (not older than two months)
  • The completed Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle, signed by the Buyer
  • Transfer of ownership fees

After a short – or not-so-short visit to the Licensing Department (time your visit well, and the wait needn’t be interminable) you will emerge with a freshly-printed registration form branding you as the proud new owner, along with a new licence disc. Fix your licence disc to the windscreen, and you’re ready to drive off into the sunset.

There is, however, one further little niggle in the paperwork that buyers and sellers alike should watch out for. It’s a little problem that can become a big problem if it’s not properly addressed.

Find out more in our final installment!

To be continued…

Please note that this information is supplied for general information and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable for you to contact a legal practitioner for guidance in respect of your unique requirements.