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  • Title Transfers in Arkansas

    What is a Title Transfer?

    A vehicle’s title is the important document that lists the vehicle’s owner and any lien information. Whenever this information changes in any way, a title transfer must take place. A title transfer basically updates the information and keeps the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) up to date. The OMV charges penalty fees if the title transfer doesn’t take place within 30 days of the changes.

    You must conduct a title transfer whenever you:

    • Buy or sell a vehicle
    • Paying off your car loan
    • Transfer ownership to or from a family member
    • Gift a vehicle
    • Donate a vehicle
    • Inherit a vehicle
    • Make name changes on your current title

    Selling a Vehicle

    Buyers are attracted to private vehicle sales because of the money-saving options they present; however, you can assure your buyer you’re selling a quality product when you present a Vehicle History Report (VHR). The VHR provides information about the vehicle’s history and lets the buyer know the kinds of problems the vehicle has experienced―if any―and that you’re an honest salesman.

    Follow these steps to transfer the title to the buyer:

    1. Complete, sign, and date the current title as the “seller,” and have the buyer do the same as the “buyer.”
    2. If applicable, provide the buyer with a Permission to Issue a Replacement Title form.
    3. Provide the buyer with an Odometer Disclosure Statement if the vehicle is less than 10 years old (see below).
    4. Complete, sign, and date a Bill of Sale with the buyer (see below).
    5. Give the buyer the above documents, including the title, so he can continue the transfer process at his local revenue office.
    6. Complete a Notice of Transfer of Ownership of a Motor Vehicle and mail it to the address on the form.

      NOTE: Check the control number on the back of the title. If it’s less than 3003001, you must supply the Bill of Sale and Odometer Disclosure Statement above. If it’s 3003001 or greater, the Bill of Sale and Odometer Disclosure Statements on the back of the title are sufficient.

      Buying a Vehicle

      New Cars

      Titling a vehicle you’ve purchased from a dealer is usually a much less-involved process because dealers normally handle these transactions for their customers.

      You can shop for new cars online before you head to the dealership to make sure you’re getting the best deal for you.

      Used Cars

      Vehicles aren’t purchases to make on a whim. Spend time browsing affordable used cars and checking the VHRs to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. Of course, take note of the expenses that come after you purchase the vehicle and look for budget-friendly auto finance options and a car insurance policies.

      Follow these steps to transfer the title with the seller:

      1. Once the seller completes, signs, and dates the current title as the “seller,” do the same as the “buyer.”
      2. Obtain a Permission to Issue a Replacement Title form, if applicable.
      3. Check the control number on the back of the title. If it’s less than 3003001, and the vehicle is less than 10 years old, make sure the seller provides you with a separate Odometer Disclosure Statement. If not, the Odometer Disclosure Statement on the back of the title is sufficient.
      4. Check the control number on the back of the title. If it’s 3003001 or greater, complete a separate Bill of Sale with the seller. If not, the Bill of Sale on the back of the title is sufficient.
      5. Obtain the title and any other applicable documents from the seller and bring them to your local revenue office with the following:
        • A completed Vehicle Registration Application (this also serves as the title application).
        • Any lien information of your own.
        • The required title fees and taxes, which vary by location.

      NOTE: You’ll most likely register the vehicle at the same time you title it. Please refer to Car Registration for information about registration requirements, such as showing proof of insurance and paying additional fees.

      Removing a Lien

      Paying off your loan means you can remove lien information from your title. More often than not, your lienholder will handle this process for you. The steps may be situational, but you can expect the following:

      1. Your lienholder will send you or the OMV a completed Official Release of Lien and possibly your title.
      2. Once you or the OMV receives this release, you’ll either visit your revenue office with the release and any required fees, or the OMV will send you your title.

      NOTE: If you’ve paid off your car loan and this process doesn’t seem to be underway, contact your lienholder or local revenue office.

      Transferring to Family

      Tax requirements vary by location. If one family member is transferring vehicle ownership to another family member, without any monetary gain, check with the local revenue office regarding taxes.

      To transfer a title between two family members:

      1. The former owner must provide a Permission to Issue a Replacement Title form, if applicable.
      2. Once the former owner completes, signs, and dates the title as the “seller,” the new owner must do the same as the “buyer.”
      3. If the control number on the back of the title is less than 3003001, and the vehicle is less than 10 years old, both parties must complete a separate Odometer Disclosure Statement. If not, the Odometer Disclosure Statement on the back of the title is sufficient.
      4. If the control number on the back of title is 3003001 or greater, complete a separate Bill of Sale with the seller. If not, the Bill of Sale on the back of the title is sufficient.
      5. The former owner must complete a Notice of Transfer of Ownership of a Motor Vehicle and mail it to the OMV address listed on the document.
      6. The new owner must collect the title and all other applicable documents and bring them to his local revenue office with the completed Vehicle Registration Application (this also serves as the title application) and the required title fees and possibly taxes, which vary by location.

      NOTE: The new owner can handle the registration process during the same trip to the revenue office. Visit Car Registration for details about registration requirements, including proof of insurance and registration fees.

      Gifting a Vehicle

      Depending on the exact situation and location, recipients of gifted vehicles may or may not have to pay taxes. It’s best to check with your local revenue office.

      As the recipient of a gifted vehicle, you can expect to follow these steps:

      1. Obtain a Permission to Issue a Replacement Title form from the gifter, if applicable.
      2. Make sure the former owner completes, signs, and dates the title as the “seller” before you do the same as the “buyer.”
      3. If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, make sure you and the gifter properly complete the Odometer Disclosure Statement on the back of the title. (If the control number on the back of the title is less than 3003001, you must both complete a separate Odometer Disclosure Statement.
      4. Make sure you and the gifter properly complete the Bill of Sale on the back of the title. (If the control number on the back of title is 3003001 or greater, complete a separate Bill of Sale with the seller.)
      5. Collect the title and all other applicable documents and bring them to your local revenue office with the completed Vehicle Registration Application and the required title fees and possibly taxes, which vary by location.

      NOTE: You can save yourself some time when you register the vehicle during the same revenue office trip. For more information about registration requirements and additional fees, check out Car Registration.

      Donating a Vehicle

      There are various paths you can take when you donate a vehicle. Please visit our section on vehicle donation for details.

      Vehicle donation often brings tax benefits and a wealth of paperwork, so don’t forget to consult a tax attorney before you seal the deal.

      Inheriting a Vehicle

      When a vehicle owner passes away and family members, co-owners, or executers of the estate are ready to conduct a title transfer, the process will vary depending on the exact situation. This is one of the many reasons it’s beneficial to see help from an experienced probate attorney.

      As the deceased’s heir, you can at least be prepared to take these steps:

      1. Gather any legal documents involving the death of the previous owner and the vehicle itself. These may include a will, a death certificate, proof of power of attorney, executer of estate paperwork, and an Affidavit of Inheritance.
      2. Head to your local revenue office with the title, the above documents, and the required fees and taxes (which vary by location).

      It may be easier on you to handle the registration process while you’re handling the titling process. If so, be sure to review Car Registration before heading out as you’ll need to meet registration requirements, pay additional fees, and show proof of insurance.

      Making Name Corrections

      Changing a Name

      1. Gather the documents that support your name change or correction. For example, the revenue office may request a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or divorce decree.
      2. Visit your local revenue office with the title, the applicable documents, and the required fees.

      Birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and other such legal documents come in handy when you need to prove your legal name. If you don’t have these vital records available, you can order replacements.

      Please visit Changing Your Name for more information about keeping the OMV updated with your name change.

      Deleting a Name

      1. Properly complete, sign, and date the title with the person who’s name is leaving the title.
      2. If the person is someone other than your spouse, complete a Vehicle Registration Application.
      3. Visit your local revenue office with the title, possibly the application, and the required fees.

      Adding a Name

      1. Properly complete, sign, and date the title with the new additional owner.
      2. If the person is someone other than your spouse, complete a Vehicle Registration Application.
      3. Visit your local revenue office with the title, possibly the application, and the required fees.
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