Paperwork When Buying a Car in Missouri
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To buy a car, you must:
- Have the previous owner sign over the title to you. Never buy a car without a title. If the owner has misplaced the title, they will need to request a duplicate title.
- Protect yourself by creating a Bill of Sale listing all the sale details. Both you and the seller should sign this. Though not required for the buyer, it's a smart idea to insist upon it.
- Proof of a valid auto insurance policy.
- Documents from any needed safety or emissions inspections.
- A paid personal property tax receipt or a statement of non-assessment from your county of legal residence, if you wish to buy new plates.
Payment for all license plate, titling, and vehicle registration fees must be made by cash, check, or money order. For details on estimating your taxes and fees, check out the DOR's website.
Though not mandatory, a bill of sale is a wise document to keep for your records. It serves as proof of purchase and protects your position should any questions arise over your vehicle's sales tax rates. For convenience sake, you can easily download a copy of this important document from our Bill of Sale page.
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