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What Is Needed To Transfer A Vehicle Title?

What is needed to transfer a vehicle title and registration? In the US, transferring a vehicle title involves meeting specific requirements, which can vary slightly from state to state. Despite these variations, most states have very similar requirements.

What is needed to transfer a vehicle title?

If you’re looking to transfer a vehicle title, here’s what you’ll need:

#1: The original certificate of title and signature from the prior owner

The original certificate of title from the prior owner or dealership must be presented at the time of transfer. A title certificate is a legal document, similar to money. You can’t photocopy a $100 bill and take it to the bank and expect it to be deposited; only the original title certificate will be accepted. In addition, the title certificate cannot be damaged or modified, it must be in perfect condition. If there is more than one owner to a vehicle, all titled owners must sign the transfer document. If not, the transfer is invalid.

#2: Odometer statement

Many states allow for the odometer statement to be included on the title application, but not all. If your state’s title application doesn’t have a designated spot for the odometer reading, check to see if your state has a separate document. This step will definitely be required for most vehicles year 2010 and newer, while some older vehicles may not need it at all, depending on the state. 

#3: Lien release

If there was a loan against the vehicle that has not been cleared, you’ll need a lien release document from the lender. Even if the loan is paid off, the record of the loan remains with the DMV until the lien release document is presented by you or your lender. 

#4: State-specific photo ID

When transferring a title, you’ll definitely need to bring your photo ID. However, the ID typically must be from the state where you are applying for the title. If you recently moved to a new state, you’ll need to transfer your license before you can apply for a title. Most states do not issue a vehicle title to non-residents. There are a few exceptions, but basically, they don’t want to register out-of-state residents because it can be a way for people to evade taxes or inspections in their home state. 

#5: Title transfer fees & taxes

In most states, titles are pretty cheap. Michigan, for example, charges $15 for title transfers. But you also have to pay sales tax as well. In Michigan, this is a 6% rate, like many other states. Sales tax is often waived if you’re selling to an immediate family member but check with your state’s DMV first before proceeding. While the title fees can be relatively inexpensive, taxes on a vehicle can get expensive quickly. The amount of tax paid on your vehicle will likely be determined by the book value, not the price you paid for it or the price you think it’s worth. 

#6: Proof of insurance (registration)

To register your vehicle, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance. The title proves who owns the vehicle, while the registration proves who can drive the vehicle, and insurance is required to put your vehicle on the road. It’s not normally required to have insurance to get only a title, but it’s a good idea to do it anyway. Even if you’re not driving the vehicle, it can get stolen from your garage or damaged in a fire, but without insurance, any damages will have to come out of pocket. 

If you have all of these documents ready, you should be in for a smooth title transfer process. Before proceeding, check with your state’s specific requirements to ensure you have everything you need to successfully complete the title and registration transfer. Otherwise, you’ll have to proceed with a more complicated title recovery process. If it’s your car, you deserve a title in your name. 

Want a professional to do it for you?

For as little as $159 for most processes, we will save you the headache and prepare all of the car title paperwork needed to get you a new title. Simply choose the title recovery method you’d like to use and we’ll get started!

Select your title recovery method:

Order Vermont Title LoopholeOrder Deceased Owner Title TransferOrder Bonded Title ProcessOrder Abandoned Vehicle ProcessOrder Prior Owner ContactOrder Lien Release Request LetterPGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vYXBwLmFjdWl0eXNjaGVkdWxpbmcuY29tL3NjaGVkdWxlLnBocD9vd25lcj0xOTQ4ODEyNiZhcHBvaW50bWVudFR5cGU9MjMwNjY0MTAiIHRpdGxlPSJTY2hlZHVsZSBBcHBvaW50bWVudCIgd2lkdGg9IjEwMCUiIGhlaWdodD0iODAwIiBmcmFtZUJvcmRlcj0iMCI+PC9pZnJhbWU+PHNjcmlwdCBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vZW1iZWQuYWN1aXR5c2NoZWR1bGluZy5jb20vanMvZW1iZWQuanMiIHR5cGU9InRleHQvamF2YXNjcmlwdCI+PC9zY3JpcHQ+

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Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

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