Can I Transfer the Title of My Car?
If the car is entirely yours and has your name on its title, then you can absolutely make a transfer to anyone else.
In addition, where the names of joint owners are separated by “or”, either person can validly transfer the title. For example, a car that is jointly owned by a couple or where the lender’s name appears on the title is still transferable. In such a case, both parties with a name to the title must agree to the transfer.
It’s worth noting that the transfer process differs across states. While you may be covered on the general, necessary steps, it’s advisable to run through additional rules imposed in your location.
When Should I Transfer My Car Title?
A car title transfer is necessary every time the legal ownership of a vehicle is about to change. Failing to have a valid title transfer means the recipient of the vehicle has no claims of ownership and may face future legal complications. Below are popular circumstances requiring a transfer of title.
- An outright gift or donation
- After the sale or purchase of a vehicle
- Free transfer of ownership to a relative
- Inheriting a car
- Correcting wrong names in the car title
- After full payment of a car loan
How to Transfer a Car Title to a Family Member?
Before proceeding to transfer, you must ensure that the intended recipient ticks all legal boxes. For instance, the recipient must be a full adult or must fall within the definition of a family member, in the case of a family title transfer.
Also, it’s important to have all documents ready for the process. Besides the general requirements, the methods for car title transfer vary across states. So, you may need to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state to find out the full process.
Here are the general documents and processes that are necessary for your car transfer.
Odometer Reading and Disclosure Statement
The first step to a valid title transfer is to conduct an odometer reading. This result will be added to the Assignment of Title. However, for cars produced less than ten years ago, you are required to take an odometer disclosure statement.
Document Assigning Title by Original Owner
An assignment of title is a form, typically available on your state’s DMV website, which indicates the details of the original owner and recipient. On the form, you’re to indicate the transfer date and both parties have to sign off the transfer as valid.
It is vital to include your odometer reading statement here. Also, check with your state’s DMV for the qualifications of those who can fill and sign an assignment of title.
Proof of Vehicle’s Certificate of Title
Known as the Certified Copy of Title in some states, you can apply for a certificate of title if the original is unavailable. When making this application, you must provide a government-issued ID and append your signature.
You may have to pay a fee if the certificate is to be delivered to the recipient in person or by mail. Some states may also require proof of ownership from the seller, such as a dealer’s certificate of sale or a signed-over title certificate from previous owners.
Fill out and Notarize a Motor Gift Transfer Document
You’ll need to wrap up the process with a motor vehicle gift transfer document. In this form, you must provide accurate vehicle information as well as the certification of both the donor and recipient. Also, this document must be sworn to in the presence of a notary public and filed with the public authority of your state.
If the car is passed on by a family member, trust, or nonprofit, then the recipient should pay a gift tax.
How Can I Apply for a Title Loan?
Leverage your car title to qualify for a title loan with US Installment Loans. Simply follow these three easy processes to submit your details and get quick financing with your car as collateral.
- Fill out our online form and provide the details about your car. Your vehicle’s information and paperwork will be used to assess its value and how much money you are eligible to borrow.
- We will automatically forward your information to our lenders. They will review your information and determine if you’re eligible.
- Our lenders who are willing to offer you title loans will then send representatives to inspect the vehicle, and collect documents.
- Once you have signed the agreement with the lender, you can expect to receive your cash in your bank account within a few days.
How Much Do You Want?
What if the Car Is Inherited?
Unlike most transfers conducted by an outright gift or a sale, a transfer of title arising from an inheritance takes a special twist. You’ll need to apply for an additional form known as the Affidavit for Transfer without Probate or Affidavit of Heirship.
However, there are conditions before undertaking this process. Firstly, the owner of the vehicle must have been deceased for 40 days or more. Also, the value of the entire property of the deceased person must be $150,000 or lower.
Car insurance is also vital for inherited vehicles. If you’re a spouse of the owner or you’re listed on the initial policy, the original insurance will cover you. Otherwise, it is important to process a new insurance policy.
How Much Does It Cost to Transfer a Car Title to a Family Member?
Under most laws, a family transfer involves a spouse, child, sibling, parent, or grandparent. In some states, recipients of immediate family title transfers do not have to pay sales tax. Nevertheless, you will still be required to pay a vehicle title transfer fee.
The amount charged for a transfer depends on the DMV regulations and rules. Also, in some states, this fee will include surcharges, while others will generally require you to pay surcharges in a different arrangement.
Generally, the fee for a family transfer is $15. If the transfer is not completed in 30 days, an additional penalty of $10 will apply. Besides, some states make it compulsory to pay renewal fees if your vehicle registration has expired.
When processing necessary documents for the transfer of title, the recipient is also expected to pay a gift tax. This ranges from $10 to $50 in most states.
Why Is It Important to Have a Car Title?
Perhaps the most vital document after purchasing a new vehicle or receiving a car gift is the car title. This paperwork proves that you or any other person whose name is on the title is the legal owner of the car.
Not only is the car title important, but it is also unique. There can only be one car title per vehicle, and the details contained in it vary across states. Wonder why it’s essential to have a car title? Below are three pivotal reasons for everyone to hold a car title.
Proof of Ownership
In case of legal disputes or verification, a car title is indisputable evidence that a car belongs to you. It also protects you from adverse claims of ownership by malicious third parties.
Should you wish to sell off your vehicle or pass it on as a gift in the future, you’ll need the car title to facilitate this process. The title is necessary at any state’s DMV to pass ownership to a new recipient of the vehicle.
Short of cash and need urgent short-term financing? You can use your car as collateral for a title loan. You have to hand over your car title to the lender when getting such loans.