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What I did recently when I sold my Corbin Sparrow long distance (me in CA, buyer in FL) was:

We agreed on all the terms, and I sent a "sample bill of sale" with all the terms and everything spelled out except "payment received". Then he wired me the money and when I received and transferred it into another account I gave him an actual bill of sale saying "payment received".

In your case though, there's no harm in giving a bill of sale once you have the check... if the check is no good the sale is invalid and so it's not like the buyer can hold onto your car legally if they give you a counterfeit check.

The real concern though is physical possesion of the car. If you are worried about the money getting to you, it would be reasonable to not allow the buyer to take delivery of the vehicle until the check clears.

At any rate, you can and should notify the DMV as soon as the transfer occurs.
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