How Do You Transfer Over a Car Title?

How Do You Transfer Over a Car Title?

Daniel Hall 22/01/2021 3
How Do You Transfer Over a Car Title?

A car title is a document that proves ownership of the vehicle.

When you sell your car or buy a new one, the car title must be legally transferred to the owner so that they can register it. Traditionally, the car title has been known as the pink slip. However, not all car titles are pink anymore.


The car title is issued to the car’s owner by the DMV. The car title will include information such as the vehicle’s ID number, gas mileage at point of sale, and the type of car.

How Car Title Transfers Work

The transference of a car title essentially involves two steps. The seller has to forfeit ownership of the car by signing the car title. The buyer will then take the signed car title to the DMV and ask for the issuance of new registration and subsequently car title. The process of transferring a car title is different in different states. Some states may require you to have a bill of sale or a form proving transfer of ownership. Others may even require an odometer reading at the point of sale. 

When you purchase a vehicle from a car dealership, they will handle the transfer of ownership paperwork and you will get the car title from the DMV via the mail. You should always check with the DMV the proper way to sign the form. A minuscule mistake might bring up issues with a car title’s transfer of ownership.

The buyer of the car is usually offered a temporary registration by the DMV. The permanent one arrives in the mail a few weeks later. There is also a processing fee that the new owner of the car has to pay at the DMV. The buyer usually has 30 days from the date of purchase to complete the car title transfer but the window may vary from state to state.

Avoiding Delays

We all know how insufferable queuing at the DMV can be. When transferring a car title, the process takes longer and when there are mistakes, delays make it take even longer. You can avoid delays in several ways. The professionals behind recommend registering your car online to spare you the hours you would have spent at the DMV. Another way to avoid delays is to find out which documents are required before you begin the transfer of the car title. That way, you will have everything prepared before you begin the process making it go faster.

You should also pay attention to the details and not make any mistakes when filling in the various documents. You will be required to either fill in a second form or to apply for a new title. What is certain is that the process will be delayed.

Transferring Car Title With a Loan

In some cases, the seller may have an outstanding loan on the car. In such cases, the lending company will have their name on the car title as having an ownership interest in the car.

The loan should be cleared or transferred before the owner can sell the car. The seller should receive instructions from the lending institution on how to handle the car title transfer. However, the process will vary from lender to lender.

The buyer should only accept the car title once there is sufficient proof that the loan has been handled. The buyer should also check the DMV website to see if there is a third party vehicle history report on the vehicle. This should be done to see if the lending institution has been removed from the car title.

Transferring a Vehicle From Two Owners


A vehicle might be co-owned by two people. The car title in such a case should list both parties as to the owners. Therefore, you will have to obtain the signatures of both parties if you are to transfer over the car title. However, there is an important distinction to be made.

If the car title uses the conjunction ‘and’ between the two owner’s names you will need both signatures. On the other hand, if the conjunction used is ‘or’ you only need the signature of one of the owners for the car title transfer.

Registration of the new owner’s name is the final step of the transfer of car title. You should check your local DMV website to see if the name on the car title has indeed been transferred. The letter in the mail should also be sufficient proof of the transfer.

There are various ways to transfer the car title depending on who is selling the car. It also depends on how many owners the car has. You should ensure that you follow instructions and don’t make mistakes to avoid delays.

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  • Kevin Wallace

    Great article

  • Scott Andrews

    Excellent article

  • Aarom Max

    Useful tips, thanks.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.


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