Paperwork When Selling a Car in Michigan
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1. Start Your Quote:
Head over to a Secretary of State branch office with the buyer, if you can arrange it. On your title, fill in:
- The vehicle mileage
- The selling date
- The selling price
- Your signature
If you co-own the car, both owners need to sign. If there's a lien on it, you'll need to pay off the loan and have the lienholder sign the title also, or attach a lien termination statement.
The buyer will fill in their name, address, and signature.
It's also not a bad idea to fill out a bill of sale that lists all the sale conditions.
When the deal is finished, be sure to remove your license plates (the buyer can drive home without a plate) and cancel your vehicle's insurance.
Selling a vehicle with the title is much easier than attempting the transaction without one. If you're the seller and you can't find the title, you can always apply for a duplicate title.
But you can sell a vehicle without the title. However, you will need to meet all of the following conditions:
- The buyer and seller must go to a Secretary of State branch office together.
- The seller will need to provide proof of the vehicle identification number, or VIN (the vehicle's registration card is a good way to handle this).
- The title must be on file in the Secretary of State's database.
- The title must be free of any liens.
You don't need to show the registration at the time of the sale (unless the title isn't available and you need it to provide proof of the VIN). However, showing it to the buyer may facilitate the sale by demonstrating that you've kept up with your vehicle paperwork.
There is no policy for notifying the state. Although the SOS strongly encourages signing-off the title to the buyer at your local SOS office. If you opt not to, make sure you keep a photocopy of the front of the title after it's been filled out.
Though not mandatory, you should always keep a bill of sale on file. You can easily download a copy from our Bill of Sale page.
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