DMV Car Title Transfer Guide
How do I transfer a car title and what do I need to complete the vehicle title transfer process? Good questions.
Whenever you buy or sell a car or change your name after marriage or a divorce, you need to transfer your vehicle title.
A title transfer will change the title of ownership to your current name or to the name of the person to whom you sold or gifted the car. A car title transfer is a document proving who is the legal owner of the vehicle.
How To Transfer A Title In Each State
The title transfer process varies from state to state, so you’ll have to contact your DMV title transfer agency to find out what the specific requirements are.
Most state DMV’s have websites that guide you through the steps and provide downloadable title applications though you will need to mail this in or take it in-person to your local DMV.
After purchasing, gifting, or selling a car, you must complete an auto title transfer at your state’s DMV office or website.
What Do I Need To Transfer A Car Title?
Here’s a list of required documents in order to facilitate the transfer process:
- Completed Title Transfer Application Form, Signed and Notarized.
- Proof of Car Insurance Coverage.
- Insurance Policy Documents with Name and Date.
- All Vehicle Documents from Seller, Including Bill of Sale.
- Driver’s License or Government Issued State ID
- Required Title Transfer Fees. Additional Fee for Instant Title Transfer (In Applicable States).
If you inherit a car from your spouse and the will goes through probate, you’ll need to provide a court certificate or certificate copy of the will.
Title Transfer When Buying A Car
If you buy a car from a car dealer, the dealership will usually handle the DMV title transfer and vehicle registration paperwork for you.
Required Title Transfer Documents
Required documents vary in each state and depending whether you are buying, selling, gifting, transferring, or inheriting a vehicle.
Below are examples of what you need to transfer a car title in the states of New York and North Carolina.
In New York, it is the responsibility of the seller to transfer car title documents. The seller must fill out the Transfer of Title by Seller form along with the odometer reading, date and sales price.
In addition, the seller must provide a Statement of Transaction and create a bill of sale with both signatures, year, VIN and make of the car. A vehicle history report must be provided and include repairs and details about accidents.
To transfer a title on a car in the state of North Carolina the seller must provide a completed, notarized bill of sale, complete a Title Application, fill out an Odometer Disclosure Statement, complete a Damage Disclosure Statement, complete an Eligible Risk Statement and submit proof of liability insurance.
If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title.
Title Transfer Deadline
Most states have a deadline to complete a title transfer. If you go over the deadline, there will be a late fee added to the transfer fees.
Typically, a new title is mailed out within two weeks. Overall, completing a title transfer is relatively seamless process as long as you have all required documents and properly navigate the process, especially acquiring a bill of sale if purchasing a new vehicle.