How to transfer ownership of a car

When transferring ownership of a car, you will need a clear title. Sometimes people try to sell a car that has a lien on it and the buyer is unable to register the car without having the title cleared. The responsibility of clearing the title lies with the owner who is transferring the title to another person. Clearing the title of the car and transferring it to another person can take a matter of minutes or, in some cases, it can take days.

Clear the title from any liens. This is done when the car has been taken off a loan as collateral. Some financial institutions will not give a clear title without receiving the money owed on the loan. In this case, the buyer may have to meet you at the agency to pay the money and receive a document clearing the title.

Sign the title as a seller and date it. Write in the mileage of the car as the seller. It is important that the mileage is accurate to transfer the title.

Give the title and the lien release paper to the buyer. The buyer will then take the title and clear lien document to the motor vehicle to have the title transferred into his name.

Signing the title releases the seller from any further occurrences with the car. This is important before allowing the car out of your presence.

Taking the title to the motor vehicle department for registration is the responsibility of the buyer once he has all the paperwork and the title to the car.


Try to clear the title before selling the vehicle if possible.


Always sign the title before letting someone take the car. Always take your plates off the car once the title is signed over to someone else.

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About the Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.

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