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  • Title Transfers in Delaware

    What is a Title Transfer?

    If you’ve ever owned a vehicle, you’ve undoubtedly had some experience with a title―even if it was just signing your name on the title. A vehicle’s title, which includes the names of each owner and lienholder, is the document that proves who owns the vehicle.

    Whenever you purchase a vehicle you have 30 days to complete a title transfer. Legal name changes must be reported within 1 month.

    Common situations that call for title transfers include:

    • Buying or selling a vehicle
    • Paying off a car loan and removing a lienholder
    • Transferring vehicle ownership between family members
    • Gifting or donating a vehicle
    • Inheriting a vehicle
    • Making name changes on a current title

    Selling a Vehicle

    You want your potential buyer to feel confident in you and your product―in this case, your used vehicle. Whereas fervently promising the buyer your vehicle is in tiptop shape isn’t always enough, providing a Vehicle History Report (VHR) may get the job done.

    Once you have a buyer, you may need to take these steps to complete the title transfer:

    • Sign and complete the “Assignment of Certificate of Title” section, on the back of the title. Include the:
      • Buyer’s name, address, and signature.
      • Date.
      • Purchase price.
      • Odometer disclosure.
    • Make sure the buyer signs and completes the “Purchaser’s Application,” and the “Lien Section,” if applicable.
    • Complete a Seller’s Report of Sale and the registration card with the buyer and send them to your local DMV office.
    • Give the buyer the title so he can visit his own local DMV office to complete the title transfer.

    NOTE: The DMV requires the Seller’s Report of Sale in lieu of a Bill of Sale, but many sellers and buyers alike prefer completing a Bill of Sale for their own records. Visit our Bill of Sale section for more information.

    Buying a Vehicle

    New Cars

    When you purchase a new vehicle from a dealership, you generally don’t have to worry about the titling process. Your dealer will take care of it for you.

    Used Cars

    Ready to finalize the sale? You may need to:

    1. Make sure the seller completes and signs the “Assignment of Certificate of Title” section.
    2. Complete and sign the “Purchaser’s Application.” If you have a lien, complete “Lien Section.”
    3. Complete a Seller’s Report of Sale and the registration card with the seller. He will send this to his local DMV office.
    4. Make sure you obtain the title from the seller before you part ways. Once you have it, bring it and the following to your DMV office to complete the title transfer:
      • Your driver’s license or two proofs of residency.
      • Proof of liability insurance.
      • The appropriate fees:
        ―$25 to title the vehicle with no lien.
        ―$35 to title the vehicle with a lien.
        ―The document fee, which is 3.75% of the NADA trade-in value.
        ―An additional $25 if you don’t transfer the title within the 30-day time period.

    Your DMV location will also handle the registration process. Refer to Car Registration for information about additional fees, registration periods, and vehicle inspections.

    Donating a Vehicle

    Find tips for donating your vehicle to a qualified charity in our section on vehicle donation.

    Making Name Corrections

    Changing a Name

    You may need to:

    1. Locate the documents that prove your correct name. These may include a marriage license, divorce decree, birth certificate, or other court document.
    2. Visit your local DMV office with the above documents and:

    ―The current title, registration, and proof of insurance.

    ―A MV35 Form for your lienholder. The form is available from the DMV. (If applicable).

    ―The appropriate fee ($25 if there’s no lienholder; $35 if there’s a lienholder).

    Name changes and discrepancies can make applying for licenses, titles, and even car loans tricky, and obtaining a vital record is a wise move for anyone who needs a copy of a record that will prove identification.

    Visit Changing Your Name for additional information about updating your name with the DMV.

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