Documentation required to finance a vehicle

Carrying the proper documents with you can help you get an auto loan faster. Lenders usually look for evidence that you have a good credit risk and are able to repay the auto loan. This information, along with your credit report and score, constitutes the interest rate you will pay. To help you get started, here is a list of documents you need to finance a vehicle.


Federal law requires lenders to confirm a customer’s identity when purchasing a vehicle. Most require a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification. Showing your photo and name is enough. In some cases, lenders may verify your identity without documents before finalizing the sale of the vehicle. In such cases, creditors can turn to external resources, such as the B. Consumer Registry.


Lenders want to make sure you can pay off your auto loan before they can finance your car. It’s not just running numbers based on interest rates. Lenders must assess your income, wealth, employment, credit history and monthly expenses to determine if you can repay the loan.

When applying for an auto loan, be sure to bring a copy of your last month’s paycheck showing your total payments for the year. You can also use bank statements to prove income – prepare up to six months of bank statements – or a W-2. In some cases, creditors may call your employer to verify employment and income.


When applying for an auto loan, you must provide the lender with your Social Security number, name, address, and date of birth so they can retrieve your loan. Auto lenders have access to a variety of credit scoring systems, including the FICO Auto Score.

You can also view your credit history, including the type of credit account when you opened the account, the amount of credit or loan, your account balance, and payment history.



Federal law requires that when selling a car, lenders collect information about where you live and proof of residency. If your driver’s license is up to date or the address provided on your loan application matches the address on your credit report, this may be sufficient for most lenders. However, if you have recently moved, you may need to provide additional documents. You can use the personalized mail you received in the last month, for example. :

  • Electricity bill
  • Mortgage Statement
  • Rent contract
  • credit card or bank statement
  • property invoice
  • Medicaid or Medicare Performance Records
  • Home contents or renters insurance

You cannot use a PO Box because a physical address is required. The only exception is Army Post Office Box (APO) or Fleet Mail (FPO). You can also use the address of a next of kin.


When you finance the car through a dealership, the dealership provides all vehicle information to the lender. If you are working directly with a lender or purchasing a car from a private seller, you will need to obtain or complete a sales order, which must include:

  • Price
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Year, make and model
  • If you are buying a used car, obtain the above information from the seller, along with the car’s mileage, original title, and car warranty disclosures.


If you are changing cars, you should bring your ownership and registration information with you to speed up the transaction. Proof of Ownership proves that you own the vehicle and lists all lien holders. You may also be required to provide an odometer statement and, depending on the state, a smoke certificate and disclosure of damage to your property. If you do not have these final forms, the dealer will usually provide these forms for you to fill out.



After signing the vehicle purchase agreement, you will be asked to provide proof of insurance. The insurance you have must meet your state’s laws and meet any other lender requirements before you can take the vehicle out of the shop.

If you have an existing auto insurance policy, your new car may even be covered by your existing policy for a certain grace period, so check it out.



When requesting the purchase of the car, choose one of the following options as a payment method:

  • Money
  • Personal check
  • Bank check
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Pre-approved loan
  • Personal loan

If you want to use a credit or debit card, ask the car dealer if they accept this form of payment and if there is a limit on the amount that can be charged. Check with your card issuer if there is a limit to the amount you can pay in a single transaction.

For personal loans, keep in mind that getting this type of credit before an auto loan is approved can affect how much you’re able to finance, as loan applications and credits show up on your credit report and affect your credit rating. DTI.