Paperwork When Buying a Car in Arkansas

Paperwork Required to Buy a Car in Arkansas

In Arkansas, you must acquire, complete, and submit paperwork when buying a vehicle. If you buy a car from a dealership, they'll usually do all of the paperwork for you. However, if you buy a vehicle from a private seller, you'll be responsible for it.

You'll need the vehicle title, a bill of sale, and several other documents before you can title and register the vehicle with the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicle (OMV).

Keep reading for more information about the paperwork you need when buying a car in Arkansas.

Paperwork for AR Car Buyers

When you buy a car in Arkansas, it is important that you secure the following documents. You will get most of these from the seller.

  • The certificate of title with:
    • The signatures of both you and the and seller.
    • All other information filled out.
  • An invoice or bill of sale that shows:
    • The full purchase price.
    • Any trade-in information, including the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the trade-in vehicle along with the trade-in allowance.
  • An odometer statement (for cars less than 20 years old) that has been signed by you and the seller.
  • A separate bill of sale AND conforming odometer statement IF:
    • The AR Vehicle Title Control Number is less than 3003001.
    • The title is from outside of Arkansas.
  • VIN Inspection certificate IF the car:
    • Has an out-of-state title.
    • Has a salvage title.

For more information, see our Title Transfers in Arkansas page.

Additional Documents for Title & Registration

When you go to your local Arkansas OMV office to title and register your car, you will ALSO need to bring:

  • Proof that the vehicle has been assessed for taxes or is listed for assessment that year.
  • Proof that you have paid all personal property taxes, such as:
    • A tax receipt.
    • A payment stamp on the assessment papers.
  • Proof of car insurance.
  • A current registration certificate IF you want to transfer the license plate from your previous vehicle. The transfer fee is $1.

Our page Register a Car in Arkansas has more information about vehicle registration requirements.

Arkansas Registration Fees and Taxes

To title and register a car in Arkansas, you should expect to pay:

  • 6.5% sales tax on the purchase price of the vehicle (7% if you live in Texarkana) for vehicles purchased for at least $4000.
  • Local tax, which varies by city and county.
  • The registration fee, which varies by vehicle type and weight.
  • The $10 title fee.

For more information, contact the Arkansas DMV.

Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report will let you know if the car has been in any accidents, floods, or other major events. Without this information, it can be easy to miss potential damage to the interior of the car, which could cost a considerable amount down the road.

The report also provides an estimated odometer reading for the vehicle, helping you avoid odometer fraud. Odometer fraud occurs when the seller of a vehicle tries to pass the car off as having lower mileage than it actually has. This practice is illegal.

A vehicle history report protects you from sellers who do not know the full history of a vehicle or who intentionally mislead you.

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