Paperwork When Buying a Car in Indiana
When you buy a car in Indiana, you'll need documents from the seller in order to title and register it at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
Use this guide to learn more about the paperwork required by the BMV when buying and registering a vehicle.
Paperwork for Indiana Car Buyers
The paperwork you need to submit to the Indiana BMV varies based on whether you purchased your vehicle from a dealership or from a private party.
If you buy a car from a dealership, the dealer will most likely provide the BMV the necessary paperwork required to title and register the vehicle. Otherwise, make sure to obtain a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) to submit as your proof of ownership.
For vehicles purchased from a private seller, you'll need certain documents before ownership can be legally transferred. Here's the paperwork you'll need to receive before completing the sale:
- The vehicle's title with all transfer sections completed, including:
- The buyer and seller's signatures.
- An odometer disclosure.
- The purchase date.
- The selling price.
- An emissions certificate, if applicable.
- Emissions tests are required for certain IN counties. Visit our guide to Indiana vehicle inspections for details.
What if the Title is Missing?
If the seller has lost the vehicle title, the process will differ based on the vehicle's value.
If the vehicle is worth:
- $5,000 or less:
- Submit the following forms:
- Affidavit of Ownership for a Vehicle (Form 23037).
- Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form 43230).
- Physical Inspection of a Vehicle (Form 39530).
- These forms can be downloaded from the IN BMV forms library.
- A notarized Indiana bill of sale.
- Submit the following forms:
- More than $5,000:
- The seller will need to apply for an Application for Certificate of Title for a Vehicle (Form 205) before completing the sale.
IN Vehicle Registration Paperwork
After buying a vehicle, visit your local BMV office to title and register it within 31 days of the sale date.
Here's the paperwork you'll need to bring with you:
- A completed vehicle title.
- All transfer sections must be completed.
- Insurance documents.
- An odometer disclosure statement.
- Lienholder or lease documents, if applicable.
- A completed:
- Application for Certificate of Title for a Vehicle (Form 205).
- Affidavit of Police Officer/Physical Inspection of an Indiana Resident's Vehicle (Form 39530).
- A law enforcement officer or licensed agent must complete this. Download this form from the IN BMV forms library.
- Proof of paid sales or use tax.
- You will need a Certificate of Gross Retail or Use Tax Paid (Form 48842) to fulfill this requirement.
- Payment for applicable fees due, including:
- Title fee: $15.
- Registration fee: $21.35.
Registering Out-of-State Vehicles
In addition to the documents above, you may also need to provide the following paperwork when registering a car bought in a state other than Indiana:
- Current out-of-state registration and license plates.
- A Certificate of Gross Retail or Use Tax Exemption (Form 48841) if you already paid sales tax in another state.