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    What is a Title Transfer?

    A certificate of title acts as evidence that you own a vehicle. If you are the proud owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, semi trailer, mobile home, recreational vehicle, or recreational trailer, you must have it titled. You'll need to title your vehicle within 31 days of purchasing it. Failure to do so will result in a $21 fine.

    Reasons why you might need to transfer a vehicle title include the following:

    • Selling or buying a vehicle
    • Obtaining a new title after a loan is repaid and the lienholder's name can be removed
    • Giving a vehicle as a gift
    • Supporting a charity by donating your vehicle
    • Inheriting a vehicle
    • Deleting, changing, or adding names on the title

    Selling a Vehicle

    Many drivers decide to sell their vehicles privately instead of working with a licensed dealership to complete the transaction. However, this can be tricky because both the buyer and the seller are in search of a bargain. To show potential buyers that your asking price is fair, consider ordering a vehicle history report. For additional information, please see our section on VHRs.

    Once your vehicle has sold, the following steps are necessary to complete the title transfer process:

    1. Remove the license plates from the vehicle.
    2. Sign and date the title as the seller. If you have misplaced or damaged your title, see our section on Replacing a Lost Title to learn how to request a duplicate.
    3. Complete the odometer statement.
    4. Have the buyer sign and date the title.
    5. Fill out a Bill of Sale.

    Buying a Vehicle

    New Cars

    One of the more convenient aspects of a new car purchase is that the dealership will have a representative available to help you with all of the paperwork needed to complete the title transfer process.

    Used Cars

    You will need to obtain a valid car insurance policy for your purchase. To make this task easier, visit our Insurance Center to obtain quotes from a variety of carriers.

    To avoid the stress and headaches associated with purchasing a lemon, remember to request a vehicle history report online to make sure you know as much as possible about the history of the car you want to buy.

    Once you've found the perfect vehicle, follow these steps to transfer the title:

    1. Have the person selling the vehicle and date the title.
    2. Have the seller complete the odometer statement.
    3. Sign and date the title under the buyer section.
    4. Complete the Bill of Sale.
    5. Visit a state Bureau of Motor Vehicles license agency. You may go to any branch to apply for your title.
    6. Provide all of the title transfer paperwork, plus verification of your Social Security number.
    7. If there is a lien on your vehicle, such as when you borrow money to buy it, the license branch will request your title from the lienholder. You must provide lienholder (usually the lender) information.
    8. Provide payment for all necessary fees. In most cases, titles cost $15. Sales tax is 7% and is only paid at the license branch if the vehicle was purchased from a private individual.

    Generally, you will receive your Indiana title in the mail anywhere from one to four weeks from the application date. Speed service titles, available for pickup on the next business day, can be purchased for an additional $25 fee.

    NOTE: The signed Certificate of Title provides proof of legal ownership. If the seller can't provide this document, he/she may not be authorized to complete the transaction. Never provide payment for a vehicle until you have a properly assigned title.

    Removing a Lien

    Today, many drivers apply for a loan to purchase their vehicles. When a lien is outstanding, the lienholder's name must be on the title. After the loan is repaid, however, the title needs to be reissued in the driver's name alone. In most cases, the lienholder will take care of all the paperwork needed to complete this process.

    Transferring to Family or Gifting a Vehicle

    If you are receiving a vehicle as a gift from a family member or friend, you may need to:

    1. On the back of the title, under the space marked purchase price, write "Gift."
    2. Have the current owner sign and date the title after completing the odometer statement.
    3. Sign and date the title under the spot reserved for the buyer.
    4. Bring the title to the license agency.
    5. Provide payment for the $15 titling fee to receive a new title in your name. Speed service titles, available for pickup on the following business day, are provided for an additional $25 fee.

    Donating a Vehicle

    If you enjoy volunteering your time to support your favorite charity, you may want to consider donating your vehicle as well. This is a simple way to benefit a worthy cause while earning yourself a significant tax deduction. See our section on car donation for more information.

    Inheriting a Vehicle

    To transfer a title following the death of the vehicle owner, you may need to:

    1. Bring it a title application, the title, and a copy of the death certificate with you to a license agency.
    2. Pay $15 to receive a new title. Speed service titles are available for an additional $25 fee.

    Making Name Corrections

    Changing a Name

    You may need to:

    1. Complete either a or a One-and-the-Same-Person Affidavit (Form 13637).
    2. Bring this form and the vehicle title to the nearest license agency.
    3. Pay $15 to receive a new title.

    If you need documentation to complete the title transfer process, you may wish to order a vital record. To learn more about how to update your driver's license, see our section on Changing Your Name.

    Adding a Name

    1. Both the current title holder and the person whose name is to be added must sign the title application. (An attorney representing one of the parties may sign the application, after an affidavit or Power of Attorney (Form 1940) has been filed. Another option is to have the new party sign a notarized affidavit allowing the name to be added. The title owner will also need to sign the form.
    2. Complete an Application for Certificate of Title (Form 44049).
    3. Bring the title to the nearest license agency.
    4. Pay $15 to receive a new title.

    Deleting a Name

    1. Both the current title holder and the person whose name is being removed must sign off on the transaction. The party whose name is being removed may file an affidavit or Power of Attorney (Form 1940) allowing their attorney to sign the title for them.
    2. Bring the title to the nearest license agency.
    3. Pay $15 to receive a new title.

    True or False

    Doctors don’t work with the same urgency to save your life if they know you’re an organ donor.

    True False


    Every doctors first priority is to save your life regardless of your organ donation status.

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