Easy Guide to Changing Car Ownership

To complete the official resale of a vehicle, the car title must be exchanged in order for the transaction to be considered legitimate and unquestionable. Changing the car ownership is important for both parties as it ensures the original owner is not held liable for the vehicle in the event of an accident while also solidifying the buyer’s right to the property. If you are on either side of the transaction, here is an easy guide to changing car ownership.

What You’ll Need

Like any other legal form of transaction, changing a vehicle’s ownership status requires completion and submission of a few application forms and documents. Depending on the state you apply for the change of your vehicle registration, the application form can be discrete. For example, at Trail Auto Tag Agency in Miami, Florida, the minimum requirements for processing include the vehicle’s current registration papers and an identification of the current owner, which can be any government-issued ID.

You should also prepare the transfer fees involved. Additional documents are requested if the present registration papers are not under the applicant’s name. In this case, it is best to consult an expert so you can prepare the correct set of documents. This speeds up the process by averting any hassling road bumps.

How It Works

As the current owner, you must maintain the vehicle’s insurance documents until the exchange of vehicle title takes place. Make sure the interested buyer insures the vehicle immediately after the transaction. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires evidence of this insurance to officially transfer the ownership of the vehicle.

If you are trying to sell your vehicle but cannot find the associated title, contact the lending firm and request another copy. If the lending firm no longer operates, the FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation can assist you in acquiring a valid and updated copy.

Protect Yourself When You Transfer Ownership

One critical step when you sell the vehicle is to remove your license plates. If you don’t, anything illegal that occurs with the vehicle could potentially be held against you. Second, make sure you retain important information about the vehicle, such as a copy of the title transfer paperwork and the Vehicle Identification Number. If you can’t accompany the new car owner to the DMV, consider submitting a vehicle transit notification that is available in states like Texas to guard yourself against the possibility that the new owner does not submit the paperwork.

Additional Guidelines

To successfully change the ownership of the vehicle, the buyer must also comply with the requirements set forth by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Arrange for a visit to the DMV with the buyer of the car to make sure you both finish the paperwork. Although requirements are slightly different from one state to the next, you may be requested to submit proof of insurance, bill of sale with the buy price, title paperwork, VIN number, and the latest odometer reading.

There are many reasons why the need to change car ownership is brought up. Whether it’s a good sale price, gift, inheritance, or satisfaction of lien, you must know what steps to follow and how to properly fill out paperwork to avoid future problems and loopholes.


About the author:
A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

This article uses information from Trail Auto Tag Agency.

Anica Oaks

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