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Should we sell this car for $1 or give it as a gift?


Q. Several years ago, my child paid for a car at age 17. The title was put under my husband’s name. Now that the child is an adult, we plan to transfer the title. Is it better to charge $1 for the car or gift it? And how do we handle this at the Motor Vehicle Commission? Do they both have to go?
— Mom

A. Here’s what you need to know.

Whether you sell the vehicle for $1 or gift the vehicle, it is still a gift.

“It would be cleaner to simply gift the car and not try to disguise it as a sale,” said Michael Karu, a certified public accountant with Levine, Jacobs & Co. in Livingston. “The gift of the car from parent to child is not subject to New Jersey sales tax as it is not a sale.”

As for how to do the transfer with MVC, both your husband and child will have to take some action.

Read up on the process on its website, which has very comprehensive instructions.

Email your questions to .

This story was originally published on Sept. 28, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.