Car titles act as a legal document confirming the ownership of a vehicle. The document is usually provided when the vehicle is purchased, sold, donated or if there is a name change.
If a car title is missing, it can be replaced with an official certificate of title from the state. Typically, the certificate of title contains the signatures of the seller and the lienholder. In some states, the signature of the seller is notarized.
During the car title transfer process, the buyer and the seller are required to complete the proper forms and to pay the appropriate fees. This process is essentially the same as buying a new or used car, although there are a few differences.
Some states require additional forms or information, such as a smog certification. These forms may be available on the state’s DMV website. However, they can take more time to process.
Some states allow the use of eTitle Transfer. This allows a qualified buyer to complete the transfer online. It is a secure system that stores the titles electronically.
Another way to transfer a vehicle is to give the car to a family member. To do this, the new owner must provide the original bill of sale, as well as the new owner’s proof of identity. They also need to fill out a form MV-349.1 (Affidavit for Transfer of Motor Vehicle).
The recipient of a gift may not have to pay sales tax on the vehicle. For this reason, it is important to get acceptable proof of ownership.