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  • Title Transfers in Pennsylvania

    How to Complete an Auto Title Transfer in Pennsylvania
    • The buyer and seller will go together to a DMV title office to fill out the back of the title.
    • The buyer will submit the title, an application, ID, and proof of insurance.
    • The buyer will pay the applicable title transfer fees, sales tax, and registration fees.
    • Continue reading for details about car title transfers in Pennsylvania.

    Buying and Selling a Vehicle

    NOTE: When you buy a vehicle from a Pennsylvania motor vehicle dealer, they will usually handle your car title transfer and registration paperwork for you. Make sure you have PA car insurance, which is required for registration.

    In a private vehicle sale, both the buyer and seller are responsible for completing a DMV title transfer through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

    The seller AND buyer must go to a PennDOT agent together to complete the auto title transfer.

    NOTE: Out-of-state car title transfers have different requirements than PA auto title transfers. See “Out-of-State Car Title Transfers" below for details.

    Selling a Vehicle

    To transfer a Pennsylvania car title, you will need to go to a PennDOT office with the buyer. Take a form of ID, such as your PA driver's license, with you in case the agent needs proof.

    On the back of the title, you must:

    • Record the vehicle's mileage.
    • Print and sign your name in front of the DMV agent.

    After transferring ownership, you have to take your license plates off the vehicle. You can transfer or surrender your license plates.

    DO NOT give your license plates to the buyer.

    Finally, you may want to get a written acknowledgement from the buyer as proof that you completed the title transfer and delivered the vehicle. See the PennDOT factsheet for buyers and sellers for an example.

    Buying a Vehicle

    To have a Pennsylvania car title transferred into your name, you and the seller must go together to a PennDOT agent.

    You will also register the vehicle when you transfer the title. See our Car Registration page for registration fees and other requirements.

    NOTE: The vehicle must have valid safety and emissions inspection stickers OR you must have the car inspected within 10 days of the sale date.

    To complete the vehicle title transfer, you will fill out the back of the title in front of the PennDOT agent with:

    • Your name, address, and signature.
      • ALL owners to be listed on the new title must be present to sign the current title at the PennDOT office.
    • Lienholder information if you're financing the vehicle.

    In addition to the car title, you will also need:

    • The Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration (Form MV-4ST).
    • A tracing of the vehicle identification number (VIN) attached to your application IF:
      • You bought the vehicle from a non-resident.
        OR
      • The vehicle is a truck, motorhome, or truck-tractor.
    • Your PA driver's license or ID card.
    • Proof of car insurance, such as:
      • An insurance card.
      • Your insurance policy declaration page or a copy of it.
      • A copy of a valid insurance binder.
      • A copy of your application to the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan.
    • Payment for title fees and taxes:
      • Title transfer fee: $50.
      • Lien recording fee and title issued: $73.
      • Sales tax: 6% of the sale price or market value.
      • Tax for Allegheny County residents is 7%.
      • Tax for City of Philadelphia residents is 8%.
      • Registration fees.

    Out-of-State Car Title Transfers

    If you buy a vehicle titled in a state other than PA, you'll go in person to a PennDOT agent to complete the auto title transfer.

    To transfer ownership of the vehicle, you need:

    • The out-of-state title, assigned to you by the seller.
    • The Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1).
    • A tracing of the vehicle identification number (VIN) attached to your application.
    • Your PA driver's license or ID card.
    • Proof of car insurance, such as:
      • An insurance card.
      • The declaration page (or a copy of it) of your car insurance policy.
      • A copy of a valid insurance binder.
      • A copy of your Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan application.
    • Payment for title fees and taxes:
      • Title transfer fee: $50.
      • Sales tax: 6% of the purchase price or vehicle's value EXCEPT:
      • Allegheny County residents pay 7% tax.
      • City of Philadelphia residents pay 8% tax.
      • Registration fees.
      • Lien recording and title issued fee: $73.

    NOTE: If the vehicle has a lien with an out-of-state lienholder, contact the lienholder first to make sure you can transfer the title in Pennsylvania.

    New to PA Title Transfers

    When you move to Pennsylvania, you must complete an auto title transfer and register your vehicle within 20 days of becoming a PA resident.

    BEFORE you title and register your vehicle, you must get your Pennsylvania driver's license or ID card UNLESS you have a valid U.S. Armed Forces Common Access Card.

    You will apply for the title and registration at the same time in person at a PennDOT title office. You need:

    • Your current vehicle title.
    • The Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1).
    • Your PA driver's license or ID, or a U.S. Armed Forces Common Access Card.
    • Proof of car insurance in PA, such as:
      • Your insurance card.
      • The declaration page of your insurance policy.
      • A copy of your insurance binder.
      • A copy of your Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan application.
    • A tracing of your VIN OR VIN verification from a dealership or PennDOT agent.
    • The Application for Lessee Information (Form MV-1L) completed by your leasing company IF your vehicle is leased.
      • You may also need a Power of Attorney document from your leasing company.
    • Proof of sales tax paid to another state IF you bought your vehicle within the last 6 months.
    • Payment for fees:
      • Title transfer fee: $50.
      • Auto title transfer with a lien: $73.
      • Registration fee.

    After you title and register your vehicle, you have 10 days to get a vehicle inspection.

    See our Car Registration page for more about registering a vehicle in PA.

    Gifted, Donated, & Inherited Vehicles

    Gifted Vehicles

    If you've received a vehicle as a gift, both you and the donor must complete the DMV title transfer at a PennDOT office.

    For a vehicle title transfer when a car is a gift, you'll need:

    Donated Vehicle Title Transfers

    Many non-profit organizations accept motor vehicles as donations.

    When you donate a vehicle, you'll transfer the PA car title to transfer ownership to the charity, the same way you would complete a private sale car title transfer.

    You'll need to complete the “seller" responsibilities and the charitable organization will complete the “buyer" responsibilities.

    You'll find information about donation benefits and other related topics on our Car Donation page.

    Inherited Vehicle Title Transfers in PA

    If you inherit a motor vehicle from a deceased owner, you must transfer the title into your name in person at a PennDOT title office.

    The car title transfer requirements differ depending on the circumstances of the inheritance.

    If you are the joint owner of the vehicle AND you are the surviving spouse OR you have right of survivorship, you must submit:

    • The vehicle title.
      • DO NOT write anything on it.
    • The original death certificate.
      • Alternatively, the attending doctor or funeral director can complete a section of the form below.
    • The Notification of Assignment/Correction of Vehicle Title Upon Death of Owner (Form MV-39).
      • Be sure to include insurance information for registered vehicles.
    • The title transfer fee:
      • Free if the surviving spouse is receiving the title and was joint owner.
      • $50 if any other person is receiving the title.

    If you are inheriting the vehicle from a probated will, you'll need to submit:

    • The car title transferred to you by the executor of the estate.
    • A Short Form Certificate from the Register of Wills.
    • The Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration (Form MV-4ST), available at PennDOT title agent offices.
    • The appropriate fees:
      • $50 title transfer fee.
        • Free is the title is transferred to the surviving spouse and spouse was joint owner.
      • Sales tax, if applicable.
      • $9 plate transfer fee. (Plate can only be transferred to a spouse, parents, step-parents, parents-in-law, children, step-children, or children-in-law).

    To learn about transferring the title in other situations, including when the will isn't probated or when there is no will, see the PennDOT Fact Sheet for vehicle inheritance.

    Fees for PA Auto Title Transfers

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) charges the following fees for car title transfers and related transactions:

    • Title transfer fees:
      • Transfer of ownership: $50.
      • Transfer to PA from another state: $50.
      • Title transfer resulting from inheritance:
        • Free to surviving spouse who was joint owner.
        • $50 for all others.
      • Lien recorded with title transfer: $73.
    • Title change fees:
      • Name change:
        • Free for name changes resulting from marriage or divorce AND no new title is requested.
        • $50 for names changes for reasons other than marriage or divorce OR new title is requested.
      • Lien removal: See duplicate title fee below.
    • Duplicate title fee: $50.

    When you title a vehicle in Pennsylvania, you may also be responsible for paying:

    Change or Correct Your Vehicle Title

    If you pay off a lien or change your name or address, you can update the information on your vehicle title.

    In some cases, you may choose to get a new title that reflects these changes. Otherwise, you can just notify PennDOT of the change.

    Name Changes on PA Car Titles

    To change your name, you'll need to submit the following to PennDOT:

    • The Application for Correction or Change of Name (Form MV-41A).
      • Complete Side A IF:
        • Your name has changed due to marriage or divorce.
          AND
        • You do not want a new title.
      • Complete Side B IF:
        • Your name has changed for any reason other than marriage or divorce.
          OR
        • You want a new title.
    • Proof of your name change. See the application form for required documents.
    • Your current title IF you're requesting a new title.
    • The appropriate fee:
      • Free if you aren't getting a new title.
      • $50 if you're requesting a new title.

    NOTE: When you apply for a name change, you will get a new registration card, regardless of whether or not you get a new title.

    Contact PennDOT at (800) 932-4600 for ways to submit your application.

    See our Name Change page for helpful information about changing your name on your driver's license.

    Address Changes on Vehicle Titles

    When you move within Pennsylvania, you'll need to update your address with PennDOT.

    Contact PennDOT at (800) 932-4600 for details about changing the address on your vehicle title.

    See our Address Change page to learn how to change your address on your driver's license and vehicle registration.

    Remove a Lien from a PA Title

    When you pay off a lien on your vehicle, you should receive the title from the lienholder with the lien marked as paid or with a separate lien satisfaction document.

    If you want a new title that doesn't show the lien, you'll request a duplicate title from PennDOT.

    Replace a Pennsylvania Title

    If your title is lost, stolen, or damaged, you'll need to apply for a duplicate title by mail from PennDOT.

    NOTE: You can apply for a duplicate title ONLY if you are the vehicle owner and any liens on the vehicle have been paid.

    To get a duplicate car title, you will need:

    Mail your application to the address on the form.

    Learn more about getting a duplicate Pennsylvania title on our page, Replacing a Lost Title.

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