Paperwork When Selling a Car in Wisconsin
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Before accepting payment from the buyer for your car, be sure that all of the paperwork is in order. This includes:
- The vehicle's title. You CANNOT sell a car without a title in your name. When handing over the title, be sure to include the odometer reading, price, brand disclosure (if applicable), the buyer's name and address, the date and your signature.
- A lien release document (if applicable).
You must remove the plates from the vehicle, unless it's a truck registered at 10,000 pounds or more, a farm truck registered at 16,000 pounds or more, a moped, a trailer or a recreational vehicle trailer. In these instances the plates stay with the vehicle. If you do remove the plates, you can transfer them to another vehicle you own.
NOTE: Though not mandatory, the DMV recommends creating a bill of sale or using the state's Record of Sale form for your records. It also advises photocopying both sides of the title.
You cannot sell a vehicle without a title; it's your responsibility to produce the title.
If you can't find the title, complete a Wisconsin Title & License Plate Application and pay a $20 fee to replace it, or pay $45 to title the vehicle in your name for the first time.
Once you have the title, you'll sign the document over to the buyer.
While you're not required to give the registration paperwork to the buyer, doing so can help facilitate the sale by showing the potential buyer that all your records are in order.
You are not obligated to notify the DMV of your sale.
Though a bill of sale is not mandatory, the state advises keeping a copy for your files. You can download a form from our Bill of Sale page.
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