Paperwork When Selling a Car in Delaware
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There's quite a bit of paperwork that goes into selling a vehicle; the transaction doesn't stop after the completion of a Bill of Sale. Private sales can go just as smoothly as retail sales if you read up on the required steps first. Also, the DMV encourages you to finish the deal at its offices so its staff can help you with the paperwork.
If you have a lien on your vehicle, you'll need to get the lienholder to release the title to you before you can complete the transaction. Typically you can only get the title released once you settle the debt. If the buyer is also financing the car, his or her bank will often send payment right to your bank.
All transfer information will be recorded on the back of the Certificate of Title. As the seller, you will assign the title to the new buyer. Doing this at the DMV office will reduce the chances of making a paperwork mistake―it sometimes happen.
If your Certificate of Title didn't include a section for report of sale, you can use the Vehicle Transfer Notification, which is available both with buyer information and without buyer information. You can obtain these forms online using the free Adobe Reader.
Trading your vehicle at a dealership is also considered a vehicle sale. Dealers are licensed and trained in titling paperwork and they will handle everything for you.
If you have the title, it's no problem to sell a car without registration papers. But if the title is missing, a lengthy paper trail will need to be processed.
The easiest way to proceed is for the seller to apply for a duplicate title before selling the car. Failing that, however, it's best to take the information you do have, such as the bill of sale, your driver's license, the car's VIN, and its tag number to the local DMV office (along with the appropriate title transfer fees) to process the paperwork.
You must complete a Seller's Report of Sale found at the bottom of the title. Either take this to a DMV office or mail to:
- Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles
- Data Management Section
- P.O. Box 698
- Dover, Delaware 19903
Unless you don't have the vehicle's title or registration certificate, a bill of sale is not required. Although, regardless of the situation, it's always wise to keep a bill of sale for your files. You can easily download a copy from our Bill of Sale page.
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