How to Complete a Title Transfer
In most cases, a title transfer can be a simple process performed at the specific state's Department of Motor Vehicles and/or tax collector's office. The process is typically as follows:
Step 1: Fill out the title transfer section on the vehicle title.
If you do not have a paper copy of your vehicle title, you can fill out an Electronic Title Transfer on your state's DMV website. Proof of auto insurance, vehicle identification number (VIN) verification and other paperwork (e.g. out-of-state vehicle title transfer or lien-free satisfaction document) may also be needed to fulfill the transfer.
Step 2: Submit a title application.
Depending on whether you fill out a paper or electronic vehicle title transfer, some states may require different processes for title application. If the buyer is out-of-state, for example, he or she will need to submit an application to register the vehicle in that state.
If the seller lost the vehicle title paper copy, this also needs to be reported so that the buyer may complete an Application for Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home or Vessel Title Certificate.
Step 3: Pay all applicable title transfer fees.
Fees vary by situation and state regulations, but both parties can expect to pay fees for registration and plate fees, paper title mail and print fees, lien recording fees, electronic fees and out-of-state transfer fees. Submit all paperwork and fees to your state county tax collector's office.
Step 4: Submit a Bill of Sale and/or Notice of Sale to your state DMV.
It is recommended that sellers keep a copy of their Bill of Sale and also submit a Notice of Sale to their DMV to protect themselves while the title transfer is being processed. Should the new owner commit any violations or get into an accident before the title transfer is finalized, the Notice of Sale with proof of Bill of Sale will prevent the seller from being held liable.
Another precaution would be to have the Bill of Sale notarized to ensure validity of the document. Most legal Notary Public officials may be found locally online, with many offices located near government organizations for convenience.