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  • Paperwork When Buying a Car in Oregon

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    Paperwork Required to Buy a Car in Oregon

    When buying a car in Oregon, you must ensure that the seller gives you certain documents that you’ll need for registration purposes. Among those documents will be the vehicle title and bill of sale. You should go through the normal registration process using the title certificate with the transfer signed by seller. For more information, see our Title Transfers in Oregon page.

    Also, Oregon law may require you to get a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) emissions test on the vehicle before registering it. See "Emissions Test Certificate" below.

    Once you’ve completed the inspection, you will submit all of the required paperwork to the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV).

    Paperwork for Oregon Car Buyers

    To transfer the title into your name in Oregon, ensure the seller of the car provides you with specific documents. You will also need these documents to register your car in the state of Oregon.

    You should receive the following paperwork from the seller:

    • Vehicle title: The seller must complete the appropriate sections, and both you and the seller must sign the back of the title.
    • Bill of sale: If the purchase price information isn’t listed on the title, the seller must complete a Vehicle Bill of Sale (Form 735-501).
    • Odometer disclosure statement: If the odometer reading isn’t listed on the title certificate, the seller must complete a separate odometer statement, available from the OR DMV.
    • Lien release: Required if the vehicle was financed by the seller. The seller must show (on the title or with additional paperwork) that the lien has been paid.

    See our page Title Transfers in Oregon for more information.

    Emissions Test Certificate

    As a buyer you may also have a vehicle checked for free at an Oregon DEQ station to ensure the vehicle is functioning properly and will pass emissions testing. Emissions tests are required when:

    • A car’s registration is expired and you live in Portland or Rogue Valley.
      OR
    • A vehicle has NOT been registered in OR.

    Buying a Vehicle Without a Title

    Do not purchase a vehicle that does not have a title. The Oregon DMV holds the seller responsible for providing the buyer with the title. If the seller cannot find their title, they should file for a title replacement.

    If you have bought a vehicle and the seller didn't provide you with the certificate of title, you might be able to have a new title issued to you―but only if the vehicle is not subject to odometer disclosure requirements.

    Buying a Vehicle Without a Registration

    You can purchase a vehicle without its registration. However, it's then your responsibility to register the car with the Oregon DMV.

    Bill of Sale

    Depending on your situation (see our Register Car in Oregon page for more details), a bill of sale may be necessary for registering and titling your vehicle. If needed, you can easily download a copy from our Bill of Sale page.

    OR Registration Paperwork

    To register your car with the Oregon DMV, you need the following:

    • Vehicle title (original).
    • Bill of sale (if the purchase prices isn’t listed on the title).
    • Odometer disclosure form (if the mileage isn’t listed on the title).
    • Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226).
    • Payment for fees:
      • Vehicle title: $77.
      • Vehicle registration: Varies by vehicle type and registration period.
      • License plate: $12 for 1 plate; $24 for 2 plates.

    You can register the vehicle:

    • By mail.
    • In person.

    Make sure to keep a copy of the bill of sale in the glove compartment until you receive your new registration.

    Register by Mail

    Mail all of the required paperwork to:

    DMV Headquarters
    1905 Lana Ave NE
    Salem, OR 97314

    Include a check or money order payable to “Oregon DMV.”

    You should have your license plates in 5 to 10 business days and your title in 3 to 5 weeks.

    Register in Person

    Take all of the required paperwork and payments to your local Oregon DMV office.

    You can often get your license plate or sticker at the office. Otherwise, plates will be mailed to you.

    The vehicle title will also be mailed.

    Transfer Registration

    You can transfer your old plate to your newly purchased car for a $6 transfer fee (you will not have to pay other license plate fees).

    For more information about vehicle registration, see our Register a Car in Oregon page.

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