questionswhat steps do you need to sell a vehicle to a…


Depends on the state.

In Minnesota, all you have to do is go in together to a county office, sign over the title, pay a fee + sales taxes, and they generate a new title for the new party.

Done it several times in the past selling vehicles via Craigslist.


I'm in PA and we do sort of the same as @tsfisch said. Here you can just go to any place that does title service. I know when I bought my MG I just met the guy I bought it from at our local H&R Block and we did it there. Before going in we agreed on what we were declaring as the sale price and went from there. AAA also does it here.


Make up a bill of sale, you can find fill in the blank templates on line, for each party in case the new owner gets a ticket or abandons the vehicle before the new registration comes in their name.


In Florida (assuming the vehicle is owned outright and there's no lien on it by a financial institution) you just fill out a bill of sale and sign the title over to the new buyer. The buyer's obligation is to take the BoS and title to the local tag agency office, re-register it, and pay whatever sales tax is due on the sale. It's a pretty simple process.

If there's still a lien on it there are two options: seller gets an official check ("cashier's check) from the buyer, deposits it, gives the buyer a bill of sale, and then conveys title when the financing entity conveys it to the seller. If the buyer is financing the purchase, then his financing entity will usually take care of handling the payoff and taking possession of the title.

Either situation, it's a fairly simple process. Just remember that the buyer will be responsible for any sales tax that your state requires.


Make sure you keep a copy of the bill of sale for yourself. Getting one and giving it to them does not protect you at all if you don't get a copy of it for yourself. As has been mentioned, even though you are the buyer in this situation, if you were the seller and something happened, and you can't prove you sold it, you could be held liable for it


Another Michigander, how interesting!

If your almost-father-in-law is actually going to sign the title, then there isn't any further paperwork to be done on your end: just find a buyer, fill out the old title and (optionally) accompany the new owner to the Secretary of State to transfer the title.

It is possible to get some kind of Power of Attorney to enable YOU to sign all the paperwork (instead of your almost-father-in-law), but I forget what it's called. I only know this because I purchased a vehicle from someone who left the country when his visa expired; I never met the actual owner, only his friend who acted as an agent on the owner's behalf.

I would recommend going to the SoS so that you can remove your old license plate (it's cheaper to transfer an old plate to a new vehicle than it is to buy a new plate). The buyer will pay sales tax (6%) at the SoS based on whatever the sale price is listed on the old title, plus a fee to transfer the title.


The buyer also will pay for registration (probably pro-rated to his/her birthdate, I don't remember), but they will need to have proof of insurance or the SoS will not allow them to register the vehicle (and get a plate).

If you do go to the SoS, don't forget to arrange for a ride home if you drive the vehicle there.


I know this is old by now, but just wanted to point out that here in MN, the reason that they recommend (and I mentioned above) that you go with the party to the office (rather than just sign it over and have them do it) is so that you know that the title has actually been transferred. You don't want them sitting on it, and getting in an accident or committing a crime or something with a vehicle that YOU still legally own.

A former coworker had that happen with a boat on a trailer - he was billed several hundred dollars in parking fines because he simply signed over the title to the new owner, and they didn't bother to do anything with it.