Title Transfers in Delaware

How to Complete an Auto Title Transfer in Delaware
  • Seller & buyer sign the title.
  • Take the completed title certificate and other required documents to the DMV.
  • Pay the $35 title transfer fee ($55 with a lien).
  • Continue reading for more details.

New to Delaware?

If you're new to Delaware, you are required to title and register your out-of-state vehicle within 60 days of establishing residency.

You will need to complete your auto title transfer and registration in person at a DE Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. For complete instructions, including title transfer fees, see our Car Registration page.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle

Once a vehicle sale has been made in Delaware, a DMV title transfer must be processed within 30 days after the sale. Failure to complete a title transfer within this time will result in a $35 late fee.

Buying a Vehicle

NOTE: When you purchase a new vehicle from a dealer, the dealer will almost always take care of the auto title transfer for you.

To apply for a DMV title transfer after buying a car from a private seller, you'll need to complete the following sections on the back of the title:

  • “Purchaser's Application" (Section 4).
    • You MUST provide your driver's license number and date of birth.
  • Sign the “Assignment of Certificate of Title" section (Section 1).
    • Make sure the seller has completed this section appropriately.

Make sure the seller has completed all required section, including Section 3 if the vehicle is financed.

NOTE: The Delaware DMV recommends that both you and the seller be present when making the auto title transfer to avoid complications or confusion.

Bring the following items to your local Delaware DMV office when you're ready to make the car title transfer:

  • Completed title certificate.
  • Proof of your auto liability insurance.
  • Your DE driver's license OR 2 documents proving your Delaware residency. (Contact the DE DMV for accepted documents.)
  • Payment for the required fees:
    • Car title transfer fee for vehicles weighing 5,000 lbs. or less:
      • Without a lien: $35.
      • With a lien: $55.
    • Document fee: 4.25% of sale price or current NADA trade-in value; whichever is more.
    • Late fee (if title transfer does not occur within 30 days of purchase): $35.

NOTE: You may not legally drive the vehicle until a new title is issued in your name.

Vehicles Purchased Outside of Delaware

If you bought your vehicle from a different state and it is 7 model years old or newer, you'll need to verify the vehicle identification number (VIN).

When you visit the DE DMV office to apply for the vehicle title transfer, take your vehicle to an inspection lane to have this completed.

You will need to show the above documents to complete the VIN verification.

NOTE: Depending on where you bought the vehicle, some of your title documents may need to be notarized. Check with that particular state's DMV office to learn more about title transfer requirements.

Selling a Vehicle

Once you've sold your vehicle in Delaware, you'll need to complete the “Assignment of Certificate of Title" (Section 1) on the back of the title to complete the car title transfer:

  • If ownership of the vehicle is recorded as “AND" on the front of the title, both sellers must complete this section.
  • If ownership is recorded as “AND/OR," only 1 seller needs to complete this section.
  • You do not need to complete the “Odometer Disclosure" section if the vehicle:
    • Is 10 years old or older.
    • Weighs more than 16,000 lbs. (gross weight) and is used for commercial purposes.
    • Does not have a motor.

Remove the “Sellers Report of Sale" (if applicable) from the bottom of the title and give the completed title certificate to the buyer. In some cases, they may request that you go with them to the DE DMV office to complete the auto title transfer.

Complete the “Sellers Report of Sale" or the back of your registration card and submit it to the DE DMV.

The “Sellers Report of Sale" must include the following:

  • Sale date and time.
  • Your signature.
  • Buyer's name.
  • Buyer's address.
  • Purchase price.

Delaware Title Transfer Fees

  • Auto title transfer fee for vehicles weighing 5,000 lbs. or less:
    • Without a lien: $35.
    • With a lien: $55.
  • Document fee: 4.25% of sale price or current trade in value (whichever is higher).
  • Vehicle registration: $40 for 1 year.
  • Late fee: $35.

DMV title transfer fees and registration fees for other vehicle types, such as commercial vehicles and trailers, will differ. Visit the Delaware DMV website for more information.

Transferring or Inheriting a Vehicle

The documents you'll need to complete an auto title transfer will depend on whether you inherited the vehicle or if it was transferred between family members.

If you have received a vehicle as a gift, you may need to follow a similar process to the car title transfer process above. Contact the Delaware DMV for more information.

NOTE: If you're interested in donating your vehicle to a non-profit organization, read our Car Donation page.

Inherited Vehicles

If you have inherited a vehicle, the executor of the will must sign the existing title over to you in Section 1.

Take the following to the Delaware DMV office to complete the auto title transfer:

  • Original County Register of Wills Office document. (Photocopies are not accepted.)
  • Certificate of title.
  • Payment for the title transfer fees and any other additional documentation fees.

Transfers Between Family Members

To complete a car title transfer for a vehicle that has been given to you by a family member, you will need to submit the following to the DE DMV:

  • The Delaware title signed over to you in Section 1.
  • Proof that you are an immediate family member (if not obvious), such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate.
  • Payment for the $35 title transfer fee.

Military Member Title Transfers in DE

If you are an active-duty member of the military stationed out of state, you may be exempt from some of Delaware's vehicle title transfer requirements.

Contact the DE DMV directly for more information.

To learn more about Delaware licensing and registration exemptions for military personnel, visit our Drivers in the Military page.

Making Changes to a Title

If you've recently changed your name—for reasons like marriage or divorce—you'll need to update your title. Your Delaware driver's license must reflect your name change before you can proceed. (Visit our Name Change page for more information.)

To change the name on your title, bring the following to your local Delaware DMV office:

  • Vehicle title.
    • Record the vehicle mileage on the title and sign it.
  • Delaware driver's license (with updated name).
  • Proof of auto insurance.
  • Payment for the $35 fee. ($55 if there is a lien on the vehicle.)

NOTE: If you have a lien on your vehicle, you will be given a form to forward to the lienholder requesting the title to be sent to the DMV.

Replace Your DE Vehicle Title

If you need to obtain a duplicate title, we've broken down the entire process for you on our Replacing a Lost Title in Delaware page.

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