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Paperwork When Selling a Car in Pennsylvania

Documents Required to Sell Your Car in Pennsylvania

If you need to sell your car in Pennsylvania, the steps are pretty basic. This page provides you with a brief understanding of the process and provides you with the documents required to sell a car the state of Pennsylvania. If you have further questions, please refer to this helpful guide.

Selling a Car in Pennsylvania

To sell your car in Pennsylvania, you’ll first need to make a comprehensive assessment of its condition. You’ll then need to research its present market value and put some energy into advertising it to potential customers.

There's certainly a real science to doing all this effectively. Given the many different factors involved and the many opportunities for stress, it's all too easy to be overwhelmed by the prospect of selling a vehicle.

Once you’ve touched base with a buyer, you’re ready to actually make the sale and transfer the ownership of the vehicle. As the seller, you’ll need to:

  • Sign over the title with an authorized Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) agent present.
  • Certify the vehicle’s mileage
  • Take off the car’s license plates.

Required Documents

To sell your car in Pennsylvania and complete a title transfer, you’ll need to make sure that “ Section A” on the back of the vehicle's certificate of title is properly filled out. Along with the buyer’s name and address, this section includes the vehicle’s odometer reading at the time of the sale.

For more information about transferring the certificate of title, visit our Title Transfers in Pennsylvania page.

If you've lost your certificate of title, see " Lost or Damaged PA Title" below.

Required Inspections

The buyer of your car must ensure the vehicle receives a prompt safety inspection and—in certain locations—an emissions inspection as well.

Lost or Damaged PA Title

If you’re planning on selling a car in Pennsylvania and you notice your vehicle’s title certificate is missing or damaged, you can obtain a replacement by submitting an Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title by Owner (Form MV-38 O) to your local PennDOT office.

You can download this application or request it directly from a Pennsylvania DOT office. There is a $51 fee for a duplicate title.

For more information, visit our Replacing a Lost Title in Pennsylvania page.

Lost Registration in Pennsylvania

If you’ve lost your PA vehicle registration, you can order a duplicate copy by completing the Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Replacement of Registration Plate, Renewal Sticker or Weight Class Sticker (Form MV-44).

You will need to take the completed form and payment for the duplicate registration fee of $6 to your local PennDOT office.

For more information, visit our Registration Renewal in Pennsylvania page.

Transfer Your License Plates

When you’re selling a car in Pennsylvania, you will need to remove the license plates from the vehicle.

You can either:

  • Have the license plates transferred to another car you own.
    OR
  • Mail them to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV):
    • BMV
      Return Tag Unit
      P.O. Box 68597
      Harrisburg, PA 17106

Forms for Easy Download

Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title by Owner (Form MV-38 O)

Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Replacement of Registration Plate, Renewal Sticker or Weight Class Sticker (Form MV-44)

Optional helpful links:

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