Michigan DMV Title Transfer Guide
How To Transfer A Vehicle Title In Michigan
In Michigan, car title transfers are done through the Secretary of State’s office with various locations around the state. You have to have a title in order to register a vehicle so you can get tags and drive it legally.
The process surrounding how to transfer a car title in the state of Michigan is relatively simple.
Title Transfer When Buying A Car
Basic title transfer requirements involve having the seller complete the sellers part of the title, and you complete the buyers part. Bring that, or both, into the SOS office, fill out a form and pay the title transfer fees. Michigan is a little unique in that it requires you to prove you have insurance when you get the title, instead of during the registration process.
Both processes may be done at the same time, and often are.
If you need any help as far as how to fill out transfer of title form, you may visit a local SOS site, or go to their website.
How Much Time Do You Have To Get A Title Transfer Done?
If you are buying or selling a car, you have 15 days from the sale date to get the title transferred. If you are moving from another state, you have 30 days to transfer your title to Michigan.
How Much Does It Cost To Transfer A Car Title?
There is a basic $15 fee for a title transfer in Michigan. How much is a title transfer can depend on other factors though, and there may be additional costs. You may get an instant title by going in person to a SOS office, and there is an additional $5 charge for that service.
If you do not go the instant route, you will have no additional charge and it will be mailed to you within 15 days. There is a $20 late fee if you do not get your title transferred in the allowed time.
What Do You Need To Transfer A Car Title In Michigan?
You will need a copy of the title, filled out by the seller, and it must be signed and dated. If you are buying a new or used car from a dealer, the dealer will take care of the title transfer, though you will have to pay the fee. You will have to fill out a DMV title Transfer form as well.
If you are moving to the state you may use your current title as proof of ownership, and your driver’s license as proof of identity. You may have to show evidence of your current evidence. You will have to apply in person at a local SOS office.
All owners listed on the title must sign the title over. If you are making payments on an out of state car, you may use your out of state registration as proof of ownership and register your car.
Private Sale Title Transfer
In a private sale, the seller and buyer must sign the title. You must also have a signed odometer disclosure statement. You may not make corrections. Any name or date crossed out will make the document invalid. If corrections are needed you will have to apply for a duplicate title.
You must also provide proof of insurance when you are at the SOS office when getting at a title. You may not transfer a title within the state if there is a lien against the car – meaning payments are being made. You will have to have a release note from the lien holder.
You may drive a car in Michigan for three days after the sale without tags, as long as you have the bill of sale available.
The seller should provide the mileage, sale date, sale price and signatures. Once the sale is complete, the tags go with the person, so the seller keeps them.
Requesting A Duplicate Title In Michigan
Requesting a duplicate title may be done at the SOS office, and you may do so by mail. You will have to fill out a request for duplicate form and say why you need the duplicate. The cost is the same as for an original title. You ma also do this online, and the new title will be mailed within 14 days.
You may make this request here.
What Is An Instant Title?
In Michigan, you may get a title instantly at a local SOS office. If you have lost your title and need one immediately, you can get one with proof of ownership of the car and personal identification with no waiting. If there are two names on the title, only one of the people has to be there.
There is the normal duplicate charge, plus an additional $5.
How To Transfer Ownership Of A Car Without A Title
You must have a title to register a car in order to drive it legally in Michigan. You may try to contact the previous owner and get them to file for a duplicate title, which may be the easiest way. If that does not work, you may have to go to probate or to the courts and get it done that way.
Sometimes a salvage title can be acquired, and in that case, the primary part of the car that remains is the car that will be titled.
My Car Title Signed But Never Transferred. What Do I Do?
If the seller signed the title, you as a buyer may then get it titled, and that should be fairly easy. If you have waited beyond the 15-day limit you will have to pay a $20 late fee.
If you are the seller, and the car you sold has never been registered, you should contact the SOS to look into getting your name removed from a car you no longer own. There will be some paperwork involved.
How To Transfer A Car Title To A Family Member In Michigan
If a car is a gift, you will not have to pay any sales or use tax if you are a family member.
The only difference is a form you fill out, and the basic cost of title transfer remains You do not have to show proof of relationship, but the SOS can ask, and if you cannot prove it then, you could be liable for a hefty fine.
Relatives you may give a car to include spouses, parents, stepparents, in-laws, siblings, children, grandparents and grandchildren.
How To Transfer A Car Title When Owner Is Deceased
If the estate is not in probate, and there is no will, the state of Michigan has an order of survivors of who a car may be given to after someone passes away. First is a spouse, then children, then parents, ten siblings and finally the next closest of in.
Property is split evenly when there are more than one child or more than one sibling. The person inheriting the car may title the car in the normal process, or give the car to another person who can then go through the title process.
If there is probate, the executor or person with power of attorney, may act as a seller, or sign as a seller and assign the title to another person.
Michigan DMV Hours And Contact Information
If you have more questions or need more information, call the SOS office at (888) 767-6424. If your situation is different than those listed, it is always a good idea to directly contact the Michigan DMV location nearest to you and speak with a representative.
For Michigan DMV hours of operation, to find the closest DMV to you or for other questions regarding how to transfer a car title in the state of Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of State official website by clicking here.
Common Questions About Michigan Title Transfer
Are there any questions about transferring a car title that we didn’t cover?
We are constantly updating our content and welcome your feedback. Leave us a comment and let us know any other questions you might have regarding how to transfer a car title in the state of Michigan.