How to Fill Out a Car Title Transfer

Two Methods:Selling a VehicleBuying a Vehicle

If you're participating in the sale of a vehicle, either as the buyer or the seller, you will need to fill out the title transfer to pass ownership of the car to the new owner. The rules vary from state to state, so it's important to find out the specific paperwork and regulations in your area before moving forward with the sale. In general, however, the steps are essentially the same. You can learn what information you'll need to gather, and how to approach the transfer process in a few easy steps. See Step 1 for more information.

Method 1
Selling a Vehicle

Depending on the state that you live in, the seller may or may not need to obtain the title transfer from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to fill out the necessary information and start the process of transferring the title to the new owner. In some states, however, this process is completed after the sale by the buyer. Research the regulations in your state to learn about your role in the process.

  1. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 1
    Obtain the appropriate title transfer form from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in your state. The form and regulations for each state are different, and in some states you don't actually need to obtain a transfer form until you've completed a Bill of Sale, after which the buyer will apply for the title with the BMV.
    • You can find the specific rules and regulations in your state regarding title transfer here.
  2. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 2
    Sign the title itself with the buyer. On your title, you to fill out the basic information of the sale of the car. That includes:
    • The names of the buyer and the seller
    • Signatures
    • Date of sale
    • Price
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
    • If you're selling a car that doesn't have a title, you'll need to apply for a duplicate before you can sell the car. Visit the BMV in your state and apply for a new title for the vehicle.
  3. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 3
    Remove the lien from the vehicle, if necessary. If your vehicle has a lien on it, the lienholder needs to sign that title as well and in some states, you might need to apply to have the lien transferred, or you'll need to pay off the lien before selling.
  4. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 4
    Fill out the odometer reading on the transfer form. In some states, you'll need to provide the reading on the odometer as well if the vehicle is less than 10 years old, which means you need to get the title transfer form at the BMV yourself.
    • Typically, if the car is older than 10 years, your responsibility as the seller will only be to provide a Bill of Sale and let the buyer acquire the title on their own.
  5. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 5
    Complete the Notice of Transfer or Bill of Sale. A separate form is required to notify the BMV that the process has been completed, called the Notice of Transfer in some states and the Bill of Sale in others, though they're slightly different. This usually needs to be completed about 5 days after the sale as been completed.
    • If you choose to give away a vehicle, instead of selling it, to a family member or friend, the process is exactly the same. Provide the title, fill out the necessary information, and let the recipient of the car pay the transfer fees and register the car under their name.

Method 2
Buying a Vehicle

If you're buying a used car from someone, it's very important to make sure to verify all the information on the title, preferably being present as the seller fills it out and provides you with honest information before completing the sale of the used car. Once the transfer and the Bill of Sale is complete, it's your car.

  1. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 6
    Obtain the title from the seller and verify the information. Sign and date the form and ensure that any liens have been paid off and that the title has been filled out correctly before completing the purchase. Verify the mileage, as filled out on the title. The form needs to include:
    • Both names and the date of sale
    • odometer number
    • VIN number
    • any other information necessary to the sale of the car
  2. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 7
    Obtain and fill out the title transfer form if the seller hasn't already. Depending on the state you live in, the seller might have already gotten the form, or it might be on you. Visit the BMV in your state to obtain the transfer form, fill it out, and file it.
  3. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 8
    Pay the title transfer fee. In some states, a small fee is associated with the title transfer, when you fill out the forms and drop off the title at the BMV. It's usually not more than $15 dollars or so.
  4. Image titled Fill Out a Car Title Transfer Step 9
    Register your new car. Now that you've transferred the title and gotten your new, register it in your state with the BMV and put on the new tags.


  • It is always best if both buyer and seller can visit the BMV or DMV together in order to ensure that the title is transferred to the new owner properly.

Sources and Citations

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