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Paperwork When Buying a Car in Delaware

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After buying a car in Delaware, you'll need certain documents from the seller in order to title and register the vehicle in your name.

Use this guide to learn more about what paperwork the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires to properly transfer ownership.

Paperwork for Delaware Car Buyers

Delaware residents have 30 days from the sale date to title and register their car. Dealerships often handle all the necessary paperwork, but when buying a car from a private seller you'll need to title and register it yourself.

Below is the paperwork you'll need to receive from the seller before agreeing to a purchase:

  • The title with each of the transfer sections completed, including:
    • Odometer disclosure.
    • Signatures from the buyer and seller.
    • Purchase price.
    • Sale date.
  • An emissions certificate, if applicable.
  • A bill of sale.
    • While a bill of sale is not required to register your vehicle unless it was purchased from a dealer, it is recommended to show proof of the sale date and purchase price.

DE Vehicle Registration Paperwork

To title and register your vehicle in Delaware, bring the following paperwork with you to the DMV:

  • The vehicle title.
  • A safety and emissions certificate, if applicable.
  • A completed Application for Title (Form MV-212).
  • An odometer disclosure statement.
    • Usually recorded on the title or on the title application.
  • Proof of auto insurance.
  • Lienholder information, if applicable.
  • Payment for all applicable titling and registration fees.

Registering Out-of-State Vehicles

When registering vehicles purchased from a state other than Delaware, you may need to bring the following documents in addition to those above:

  • A safety and vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection.
  • A bill of sale if the vehicle was purchased from a dealer.
  • A manufacturer's certificate of origin if you don't have the out-of-state title to prove ownership.
  • Your current out-of-state license plate(s) and registration paperwork.

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