Paperwork When Buying a Car in Mississippi

Paperwork Required When Buying a Car in Mississippi

When you buy a car in Mississippi, you'll have some paperwork to take care of. Make sure you secure the title, update your insurance policy, and register the car with the Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR) so you can receive your new license plate.

If you buy a car from a dealer, they will take care of the paperwork for you, but if you buy from a private seller, you’ll need to take care of the title and registration yourself.

Required Paperwork in MS

When you buy a car, you will have to register it with the MS DOR. In order to successfully register your car, you’ll need several documents from the seller:

  • The title is the most important document you need to secure.
    • The purchase price must be documented on the title. However, if there is no place on the title to note the price, a bill of sale must be included.
  • You will also need an odometer disclosure statement (provided by the seller of the vehicle).

Transfer a Mississippi Title

The first step in transferring a title is to make sure it is properly filled out. The seller must complete all the information on the assignment of the title, with the exception of your printed name and signature.

You, the buyer, must sign and print your own name on the document.

The purchase price of the vehicle MUST be recorded:

  • In the appropriate space on the title.
  • On a bill of sale.

For more details about transferring a title, see our page, Title Transfers in Mississippi.

Title Fees

The application for a Mississippi title costs $9. Some agents may also charge an additional $1 service fee.

Lost Titles

If the seller does not have the title, they can apply for a duplicate title from the Mississippi DOR. The seller should do this BEFORE you purchase the vehicle.

For more information, see our page, Replacing a Lost Title in Mississippi.

Registering a Car in MS

You have 7 business days to register your vehicle after you buy it. You will register your car and get your license plates from the county Tax Collector’s office.

NOTE: The vehicle has to be registered in the county where you’ll park the car overnight.

Since license plates belong both to the owner and to the vehicle, if you're buying a new car to replace your current one, you will have to surrender your old license plates. You cannot keep your old license plates and put them on your new car.

To successfully register the vehicle, you will need:

  • The certificate of title, appropriately filled out.
  • An odometer disclosure statement.
  • Payment for the $14 registration fee, PLUS taxes.
    • Taxes are based on the vehicle’s value and your county of residence.

See our page Register a Car in Mississippi for more information.

Vehicle History Reports

A vehicle history report is a valuable tool if you are buying a used car.

The report uses a car’s unique vehicle identification number (VIN) to let you know if the car has been stolen or been involved in any major accidents. Information about flood damage or recalls will also be included, if applicable.

A vehicle history report can offer you valuable insight into the condition of the car, especially problems that could be difficult to detect by looking at or even test-driving a vehicle.

Mississippi’s Lemon Law

Mississippi’s lemon law covers vehicles in the state that are used on public streets and transport people or property for the SHORTER of:

  • 12 months from the vehicle’s first delivery to a customer.
  • For the period of the vehicle’s warranty.

If you think your car might be a lemon, the first step is to notify the manufacturer to offer them the opportunity to repair the problem.

For more information, see our page, Lemon Law in Mississippi.

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