what to bring when buying a car

Time to Sign: What To Bring When Buying A Car?

Chris Carter

Chris Carter

Are you curious about what documents are needed to buy your next vehicle? Read this article to learn what documents are commonly requested at the dealership.

Following documents are what to bring when buying a car at a dealership


As we detail throughout this site, buying a vehicle does not have to be a stressful endeavor. It’s a fairly simple process that can be enjoyable and time efficient. Once you have found the right vehicle, negotiated to get the best possible deal, and found the dealership that you want to do business with, you are ready to visit the dealership and sign the paperwork.

 Signing the paperwork is where you physically buy the vehicle by signing documents. These documents can include the bill of sale, title application, damage disclosure, odometer statement, and more. 


A license or other valid government identification is always required when you purchase a vehicle. no matter if you are financing the vehicle or paying cash, the dealership will ask to see a copy of your license. This is required by the bank if you are financing the vehicle and by the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to register the vehicle to you as the new owner. a dealership employee will ask to see your license, make a copy of it, and promptly return it to you. This will go in the files that are kept at the dealership and sent to the bank and DMV.

Proof of Residence

Proof of residence is commonly required when you are financing a vehicle and it recently moved or have less-than-stellar credit. Do not be alarmed if the sales manager or F&I professional asks to see a utility or phone bill  to prove that you live at the address listed. Most of the time this is used to verify your identity and mailing address so that the bank can know where to send your monthly statements.No matter your situation, it is a good idea to bring proof of residence with you when you are going to the dealership to buy your next vehicle.

Proof of Income

Proof of income is another item that will be required if you have less than perfect credit or if you are new to a job. If you haven’t been on the job for a long, it will not be listed on your credit bureau report and therefore the bank is trying to verify that you are employed where you say you are. A recent pay stub, with year-to-date pay information will be requested if this is needed. Just like proof of residence, it is a good idea to take proof of income with you when going to the dealership to buy your next car. 

Insurance Card

Most states require that you have insurance before taking delivery of your new vehicle. This is why it’s so important for you to have an insurance card or other documentation before going to the dealership to purchase your vehicle. This document or insurance card should have your policy number, agent information, and deductibles so that your paperwork can be filled out correctly. Most dealerships will call your insurance agent after delivery to confirm your information, but it is a good idea to have this done before signing the paperwork.


 If you are looking to trade in a vehicle and transfer the tag, you need to have your registration card with you at the time of delivery so that the F&I professional can fill out the tag transfer information. Make sure that you have the original registration card and that it is the most recent one that you’ve received from the DMV. It is not uncommon for the F&I professional to keep your original registration card to transfer your tag. If this is the case, your bill of sale will serve as the temporary registration card unless you are told otherwise.


Buying your next vehicle should be exciting. Bringing the necessary documents to the dealership will help to ease any anxiety and provide a smooth experience.  Remember, the sales managers and F&I professionals are simply doing their jobs and trying to get you in your new vehicle as quickly as possible.

 If you are asked to provide any additional information when buying your next car, please leave a comment below so That Others May learn from your experience.

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