A car title is an important legal document that is used to prove ownership of a vehicle. If a car is sold, this document needs to be transferred to the new owner in order to reflect the change in ownership. In fact, the new owner of the vehicle cannot complete the registration process until the title has been successfully transferred.
But how do you transfer a title? Here’s everything you need to know:
How to Transfer A Car Title
The process of transferring a car title to a new owner varies from state-to-state. For this reason, it’s best to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state to learn the exact steps you must take to transfer a title. But there are some general steps that are required to complete a car title transfer in nearly every state.
The person who is selling the vehicle must sign the title to release ownership of the car. This signature must be notarized in some states, so make sure you are familiar with the laws in your area. The seller must also fill in the date and purchase price on the title before turning it over to the buyer.
Then, the person who is buying the vehicle must take this signed title to the local DMV to request a new registration and title.
These are the general steps that are involved in the process, but some states may require that the buyer and/or seller submit additional paperwork when transferring a title.
When Will You Need to Transfer A Car Title?
As previously mentioned, the title to a vehicle needs to be transferred whenever the vehicle is sold to a new owner. But if you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, the dealership will typically handle the car title transfer process.
You won’t be required to fill out any paperwork or make a trip to the DMV. The dealership will handle this process, and you will receive the completed paperwork in the mail shortly after purchasing the vehicle.
However, if you are buying a car from or selling a car to a private party, it is up to you to complete the title transfer. Both the private buyer and seller must work together to successfully transfer the title and complete the transaction.
Can You Transfer A Car Title with A Lien?
Before you try to transfer a car title, it’s important to find out whether or not there is a lien on the title. A lien is a claim against assets that can be used to satisfy a debt such as a vehicle loan or car title loan.
If you are still making payments on your vehicle, there will be a lien on your title, which allows the lender to take possession of the vehicle in the event you fail to repay your debt.
Transferring a car title that has a lien on it is a bit more complicated. In this case, you cannot simply sign the title and ask the buyer to submit it to the DMV to transfer ownership. You must reach out to the lien holder and discuss your options.
Tell the lien holder that you are interested in selling your vehicle. Ask them to explain what steps you must take to complete this transaction, satisfy your debt, and get the lien removed so the title can be transferred to the new owner.
How Much Does A Vehicle Title Transfer Cost?
The cost of a title transfer varies from state-to-state. The cost can also vary depending on whether the vehicle is new or used and whether it is an in-state or out-of-state title transfer.
Some states have much higher title transfer fees than others. For example, it costs between $75 and $115 to transfer a vehicle title in the state of Florida. But in California, it only costs $15 for an in-state title transfer and $22 for an out-of-state title transfer.
The buyer is typically responsible for paying title transfer fees. If you plan on purchasing a vehicle, make sure you know how much you will have to pay to transfer the vehicle’s title into your name.
How to Find Help with A Car Title Transfer Near Me
Simple title transfers that don’t involve liens are not complicated, so you should be able to complete them on your own. However, the process of transferring a title is more complex if there is a lien involved.
If you need assistance, feel free to reach out to your local DMV office or visit the DMV’s website. The DMV can guide you through the car title transfer process in your state to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.