When you decide to sell your car, you should know that the process is not complete before transferring a car title or certificate of title to the buyer. The new owner should get a car title, a document that proves who owns the car. In all states, a vehicle should have a title for it to be driven legally, and this is the main reason you should have this vital document. However, there are certain things that you need to know, so read on to learn how to transfer a car title.

Car Title Transfer: How it Works

Transferring a certificate of title involves two steps of which one is for the seller, and the other is for the buyer. The seller must sign the title and release it to the buyer after all payments are cleared. To get a new registration and title, the buyer should take the signed title to their local DMV. Various states require certain paperwork to complete the process of car title transfer.  

Documents Required When Transferring Title

There are different forms that you should complete if you want to transfer the title of the vehicle. However, states differ, so you should check the DMV website for more details. The following are some of the documents that you should submit to facilitate the transfer of vehicle title. 

  • Your legal name
  • Physical address
  • Bill of sale
  • Odometer disclosure
  • Application for title
  • Smog check 
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Registered license place
  • Make, year, model, body type, color, and transmission.

Without proper documentation proving ownership of the car by the seller, it may not be possible to transfer its title to the buyer to become the new owner. If your vehicle still has an outstanding lien, you should pay it off first to get the title from the lender. Without clearing your lien, it may be difficult to sell the car, but it is possible. You should contact the lender first. If the vehicle is jointly owned, both parties must sign the title.

Performing the Real Title Transfer

Transferring a car title to the new owner is standard procedure in all states, but you may need to check with your local DMV. When you buy a vehicle, get the seller’s current title and make sure it has a notarized signature. You will need to submit these details to your local DMV for title processing. If you feel that you cannot perform ownership change, there are different options you can consider. 

Utilize the Services of an Agent

The process of changing the title and obtaining vehicle registration is time-consuming, and you may spend several hours standing in different lines. To avoid such a scenario, it is beneficial to enlist a reliable agent who can handle the seemingly challenging exercise for you. Expert agents at Quick Auto Tags state that there is no need to go to the DMV since there are people who are ready to handle the task if you want to enjoy peace of mind. The advantage of hiring an agent is that you get same-day service, and your title is delivered to your doorstep. You need to call your agent and provide relevant details to process the transfer of title. 

car dealership shaking hands for a done deal

The Dealership Handles the Task for You

When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, you don’t need to worry since they can process the car title transfer for you. The dealer handles all the paperwork if you pay for the car, but there are certain fees to expect. The dealer will send the car title to your lender if you are financing the vehicle through a loan. However, when you buy a car from a private seller, you may handle the title transfer process at the DMV on your own. You should gather the necessary documents first, then begin the ownership change procedure.   

Avoid Delays

Before you sell your car, it is essential to visit your local DMV’s website to get all the details required and where you sign the title. Errors can slow the process that can lead to unnecessary delays. On the other hand, the buyer should not delay changing the title since this can result in penalties. If you sell a car, make sure the buyer changes ownership; otherwise, you will be liable for anything that may happen while still in your name. 

Transferring a car title to the new owner is pretty easy and straightforward, but there are certain things you should know. The seller must sign the title and provide the required documentation before you begin the actual transfer. Your dealership can change the title for you, or you can hire an agent to handle the task for you.