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  • Paperwork When Selling a Car in Idaho

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    Selling a vehicle can lift a huge burden from your shoulders, as long as you do so properly. Follow through on the following:

    Sign Over the Title

    You must title the vehicle in your name before you hand it over to a new owner. Simply sign the line that read "seller's signature" and write in the date that reads "date sold." The only way to avoid having to give the buyer this title is if you possess a dealer's license that was issued to you by the Idaho Transportation Department.

    If you can't find the title, you'll need to file for a duplicate title.

    Fill in the odometer reading (the number shown on the odometer), unless it is a boat. In the case that the number has been "flipped" or "turned over," you must check the box that reads "in excess of mechanical limits." If the value shown on the odometer does not accurately reflect the correct number of miles (if the odometer does not work properly, or there was a period of time that it did not work), check the "not actual" box.

    Should you discover there is no place to write in the selling price on the front of the title, create a bill of sale. Otherwise, simply jot down this info in the appropriate space.

    Give a Bill of Sale to the Buyer

    This document must include a statement of sale ("I hereby sell ... "), the vehicle's year, make, model, and vehicle identification number, the buyer's name, the selling price, the seller's signature, and the date. Keep a signed copy of the bill of sale for your own records. Jot down the time and date the transaction took place as evidence of when you handed over ownership and control of the vehicle.

    File a Release of Liability Statement

    You are required to file a Notice of Release of Liability and fork over a $3.50 filing fee within five days of delivery of the vehicle you are selling or transferring. Do so whether you are selling the vehicle to an individual or simply trading it in to a dealership.

    This removes you from being liable should the new owner damage a person or property by way of negligent operation of the vehicle after you handed over the keys. Filing a release of liability also lifts any responsibility that may fall on your shoulders regarding motor vehicle infractions that take place after the purchase was made. This covers parking tickets and abandoned vehicle infractions.

    In the case that the vehicle has been abandoned and nobody has claimed it from the tow yard within a week from the tow date, if you did not follow through on the release of liability, you are looking at an infraction as the owner of record.

    The citation requires you to pay all related fines and court costs, and if you fail to pay up, your license will be suspended. So be sure you properly file this release.

    You'll most likely find a release-of-liability form as a tear strip on the bottom of the title, and on the back of vehicle registrations. You can download one and you can also contact the Idaho Transportation Department or pay a visit to your county driver's license office to pick one up.

    Keep Your License Plates

    You paid for them, so you should keep them. You can even transfer them to another vehicle that you own.

    Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability

    All you have to do is complete the Release of Liability section on the vehicle's title and take it to your local DMV office. Make sure the title contains all other pertinent information including the odometer reading and buyer's name.

    Bill of Sale

    The seller will need a bill of sale. You can easily download a generic copy from our Bill of Sale page.

    True or False

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