Buying a used car in New Orleans is more than just turning over the money to the seller. You'll need to be provided with several documents so that the deal becomes legal. Here's what you need from the seller to ensure that the deal is closed.
First, there's the car title. Like a deed to a property, it's the most important document in the transaction since it becomes the contract that the entire deal is based on. Check it thoroughly to see if it's complete. A car title needs to have the following: the signatures of both you and the seller, the date of sale, an odometer reading of the car, a notarization, and a sales price. If anything is missing, it's best to ask why.
Second, you'll want to get a bill of sale. Just like a receipt, this is legal proof that you paid an amount of money for the car. A complete bill of sale has the car's price, the vehicle identification number, the purchase date, and the contact info of the buyer and the seller. Additionally, the car's year, make, and model should be mentioned.
Finally, a vehicle history report, though not required, would be desirable. This document will inform you of the car's history of accidents, and would thus help you decide on the car's future.