To change the ownership of a car, you must complete a vehicle title transfer and submit it to your state’s motor vehicles agency.
Things You’ll Need
Purchase price (if any)
Vehicle identification number
Make, model and year of the car
Current odometer reading
Legal names and addresses of the buyer and seller or donor
Signed vehicle bill of sale
Buying the Car
Most states require a vehicle bill of sale, which reflects all of the details of your purchase. Many states require a state-specific bill of sale, such as California and Florida, while others will accept a generic form.
From a Family Member
Even if the car is a gift, you will still need all of the vehicle title transfer information associated with buying a car. However, there is usually no sales tax required on vehicle transfers between family members in most states. Family members are defined as spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and partners.
From a Nonfamily Member
Generally the same procedures apply as those for gifts from family members, and sales tax is not required.
Inheriting the Car
Usually, you will need to provide the motor vehicles agency with proof of your identity and your relationship to the car owner, as well as a statement of facts and other relevant documents such as a will, death certificate or any court papers.
At the End of a Lease or Loan Payoff
While you owe money on — or are leasing — your car, the finance company will be listed on the title as the lien holder. The finance company usually takes care of the transfer, and you will receive a lien-release document in the mail. You need to submit the document to your local motor vehicles agency office either in person or by mail.
Change of Name
You will need proof of the name change in the form of an acceptable legal document, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order to give to your local motor vehicles agency office.