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    What is a Title Transfer?

    A certificate of title is a document that shows legal ownership of a vehicle. When ownership changes, the new owner must transfer the title to her name. Utah law dictates that titles must be transferred immediately upon a change in ownership if you plan to drive the vehicle on public streets. Typical reasons to transfer titles include:

    • Purchase or sale of a vehicle
    • Completion of loan payments
    • Transfer of a vehicle to a family member
    • Gift or donation of a vehicle
    • Inheritance of a vehicle
    • Name change

    Selling a Vehicle

    Selling your vehicle to a stranger can be stressful, especially when it comes to negotiating a fair price. Consider ordering a vehicle history report (VHR) to show prospective buyers. When they can see details about the car's history, they'll be able to determine for themselves whether the price you're asking is fair. For more information, see our page on VHRs.

    Once you've found a willing buyer and made a deal, use the following steps to transfer the title and other paperwork to the new owner:

    1. Locate your title and enter the mileage. You'll also need to complete and sign an Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form TC-891), unless your vehicle is 10 years old or older.
    2. Sign and date the title. If a lien holder is listed on the title, you'll need to obtain a lien holder signature before selling the vehicle. If your title is lost or destroyed, see our section on replacing a lost title.
    3. Have the buyer sign and date the title.
    4. Remove the license plates from your car. If you don't remove them, you may be liable for any driving violations or parking tickets the new owner receives.
    5. Give the buyer your current safety and emission inspection certificates, as well as the signed title and current registration certificate. The buyer then has the responsibility of taking the paperwork to the DMV to register the vehicle and officially transfer the title.
    6. Notify the DMV, in writing, that you no longer own the vehicle. Be sure to include the license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), and the vehicle year and make. Sign the notification and mail or fax it to:

    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Suspended Transaction Unit
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130
    Fax: (801) 297-3570

    NOTE: Although it's not required by law, it's a great idea to complete a bill of sale when you sell your vehicle. It can protect both you, the seller, as well as the buyer. Learn more in our Bill of Sale section.

    Buying a Vehicle

    New Cars

    When you purchase a new vehicle, the dealer typically takes care of the title transfer for you.

    If you're still trying to find the perfect make and model, simplify things by shopping online for a new car.

    Used Cars

    Whether you're looking for a classic hot rod or a sensible sedan, buying a used car is a big financial commitment. Before making any deals, it's a good idea to consider auto financing options that work best for you. You'll also be responsible for insuring your new purchase; compare car insurance quotes at our Insurance Center.

    To avoid getting stuck with a lemon, make sure you know as much as possible about the vehicle you're considering. Protect yourself by ordering a Vehicle History Report online.

    When you are ready to make a deal and go ahead with the purchase, here's what to do:

    1. Have the seller sign and date the title. If a lienholder is listed on the title, verify that the lien has been removed. Verify the mileage, and complete your portion of the Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form TC-891). If the vehicle is more than 10 years old, the odometer disclosure is not necessary.
    2. Sign and date the title.
    3. Get the title, current registration certificate, and current safety and emissions certificates from the seller.
    4. Make sure the seller has removed the license plates from the vehicle.
    5. Visit your local DMV to submit your paperwork, including a Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656), and pay $6.00 to transfer the title. You'll also need to pay sales and use tax based on the purchase price, which should be listed on the title being transferred or bill of sale (this is a one-time-only tax).

    You can typically register the vehicle in your name at the same time you're transferring the title. You'll need to pay a registration fee in addition to the title fee and taxes. Learn more in our section on Car Registration.

    NOTE: If there will be a delay in registration for any reason, you can apply for a temporary permit that is good for 15 days. You can obtain that at the DMV with your signed title, proof of insurance, and a picture ID.

    Removing a Lien

    If you financed your car, you'll need to transfer the title once you pay off your loan. Typically, the lienholder will sign off on the title upon loan payoff and will send you the title.

    1. When you receive the signed title from the lienholder, or an unsigned title with a legal document from the lienholder officially releasing you from the lien, you must then apply for a title in your name.
    2. Make an appointment at the DMV or walk in to your local office to submit the paperwork. You'll need the signed title from the lien holder (or legal document as defined above), an Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656), and the $6.00 fee. You can also mail the paperwork and fee to the DMV at:

    Utah State Tax Commission
    Motor Vehicle Division
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

    Transferring to Family

    The definition of "immediate family," according to Utah law, is:

    • Spouse
    • Children living in the household
    • Individuals claimed as dependents for tax purposes

    However, for purposes of title transfers, transferring a vehicle to a family member is viewed the same as selling a vehicle to a third party. The one benefit to a family transfer is that the recipient will not be liable for sales tax. To transfer a title to a family member, follow the steps below.

    1. Have the registered owner locate the existing title and enter the mileage. He will also need to complete and sign an Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form TC-891), unless the vehicle is more than 10 years old.
    2. The registered owner must sign and date the title. If a lien holder is listed on the title, the owner will need to obtain a lien holder signature before selling the vehicle. If the title is lost or destroyed, see our section on replacing a lost title.
    3. Have the new owner sign and date the title.
    4. Remove the license plates from the car. If they're not removed, the original owner may be liable for any driving violations or parking tickets the new owner receives.
    5. The new owner should take the current safety and emission inspection certificates, as well as the signed title and current registration certificate to the DMV to register the vehicle and officially transfer the title.
    6. The original owner should notify the DMV, in writing, that he no longer owns the vehicle. He should include the license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), and the vehicle year and make. After signing the notification, he can mail or fax it to:

    Utah State Tax Commission
    Motor Vehicle Division
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

    Gifting a Vehicle

    Much like transferring a vehicle to a family member, giving a vehicle to someone as a gift is viewed the same as selling the car to a third party. The vehicle recipient will not be responsible for sales tax, however. If you receive a vehicle as a gift, follow the steps below to transfer the title.

    1. Have the original owner sign and date the title. If a lien holder is listed on the title, verify that the lien has been removed. Verify the mileage, and complete your portion of the Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form TC-891). If the vehicle is more than 10 years old, the odometer disclosure is not necessary.
    2. Sign and date the title.
    3. Get the title, current registration certificate, and current safety and emissions certificates from the owner.
    4. Make sure the owner has removed the license plates from the vehicle.
    5. Visit your local DMV to submit your paperwork, including an Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656) and pay $6.00 to transfer the title.

    You can typically register the vehicle in your name at the same time you're transferring the title. You'll need to pay a registration fee in addition to the title fee. Learn more in our section on Car Registration.

    NOTE: If there will be a delay in registration for any reason, you can apply for a temporary permit that is good for 15 days. You can obtain that at the DMV with your signed title, proof of insurance, and a picture ID.

    Donating a Vehicle

    If you wish to donate a vehicle, you'll find many organizations who would be happy to take it. For more information, see our section on donating a car.

    Depending on the circumstance, your donation could be tax-deductible. To make sure you don't miss out on any credits, consult a tax attorney for advice.

    Inheriting a Vehicle

    Utah laws on inheritance of property after someone dies can be somewhat convoluted, depending on the circumstances, so it's wise to consult a probate attorney for advice.

    If you have a rightful claim to a vehicle after a family member dies, you'll need to transfer the title into your name. Call the DMV at 1-800-DMV-UTAH (800-368-8824) for details specific to your case.

    Insuring the inherited vehicle will be your responsibility, so take a look at our Insurance Center to compare quotes online.

    Making Name Corrections

    Changing a Name

    1. Complete an Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656) and check "Corrected Title" at the top.
    2. Take the completed application and a $6.00 title fee to your local DMV or mail the form and fee to:

    Utah State Tax Commission
    Motor Vehicle Division
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

    When you change your name, whether through marriage, divorce, or other reasons, you'll need to update your driver's license and registration as well. Consider obtaining a vital record to simplify the process. Also, check out our section on changing your name.

    Deleting a Name

    1. Have the person whose name you're deleting sign the back of the title to transfer it to you. You'll also need to sign and date the title.
    2. Complete an Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656) and check "Change of Ownership" at the top.
    3. Take the completed application, signed title, and a $6.00 title fee to your local DMV or mail the paperwork and fee to:

    Utah State Tax Commission
    Motor Vehicle Division
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

    Adding a Name

    1. Have the person whose name you're adding sign the back of the title. You'll also need to sign and date the title.
    2. Complete an Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656) and check "Change of Ownership" at the top.
    3. Take the completed application, signed title, and a $6.00 title fee to your local DMV or mail the paperwork and fee to:

    Utah State Tax Commission
    Motor Vehicle Division
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

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