Paperwork When Selling a Car in Wisconsin
Paperwork Required to Sell Your Car in Wisconsin
Have a used car in the Badger State that you’re intending to sell? Read on for information on the basic requirements for pulling off a transfer of ownership in Wisconsin.
Before you dive into the state regulations on title transfers here, you might want to review our handy guide that will inform you about the early steps of the car-selling process:
- Appraising your vehicle’s worth.
- Setting a good sale price.
- Advertising the car.
- Negotiating with potential buyers.
Once you’ve made it through that process and identified a buyer, you’ve really done most of the hard work. The official transfer of ownership simply involves signing off on the car title, providing any other requisite paperwork, and removing the license plates.
The main document you’ll be dealing with when you’re selling a car in Wisconsin is the vehicle title. Here’s what you’ll fill in on the title in the designated area:
- The date of the sale.
- Your signature as well as the signatures of any other registered owners (that is, if “and” separates the multiple names—if the names are separated by “or,” only one of the owners needs to sign).
- The buyer’s name and address.
- The current odometer mileage, unless your vehicle is 10 years old or older.
- The sale price.
- The brand disclosure section, if applicable.
- For example, certain cars that have been classified as “salvaged” need to be branded. Find out more about brand disclosures at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) website.
If your car title has had a lien, you’ll also need to provide the buyer with a lien release furnished by the lien holder.
While it’s not required by state law, you may decide to document the vehicle transaction with a bill of sale. The Wisconsin DMV provides a downloadable Wisconsin Bill of Sale (Form MV2928) on its website for your convenience.
If you’re missing your vehicle title or it has been damaged or destroyed, you’ll need to get your hands on a replacement before you can successfully sell your car in Wisconsin. The WI DOT makes the process easy and straightforward by providing multiple avenues for applying for the replacement.
You can do so online by completing the online replacement title application, or you can fill out the Replacement Title Application (Form MV2119) and mail it or bring it in person to the Wisconsin DMV.
If applying online, you’ll pay a $20 application fee along with an online convenience fee. If you go in person to a Wisconsin DOT office, you’ll pay a $5 counter service fee on top of the $20 application fee.
For more information, visit our Replacing a Lost Title in Wisconsin
We’ve put together an informative guide to vehicle history reports, which buyers may be using to assess the car you've put up for sale. As the seller of a used vehicle, it’s a good idea to understand what such reports cover and how buyers use them.
It may even be useful to order your own report to provide to potential buyers.
The license plates stay with you and not the vehicle when you make a used car sale. If the plates aren’t expired, you can transfer them to another car registered in your name or that of your spouse or domestic partner. Find out more about the license plate-transfer process on the Wisconsin DMV website.
Bill of Sale (Form MV2928)
Replacement Title Application(Form MV2119)
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