Buying and Selling FAQs in Indiana

We have many sections devoted to the important matter of buying and selling vehicles, including our State Regulations section. After all, next to buying or selling your home, this transaction will likely involve the most money. So, in this section, we'll take a look at some common questions regarding the issue.

What is a bill of sale?

It's a written document that helps to provide proof of transfer of ownership of personal property, such as a car. It will contain important information, including the purchase price of the vehicle, the sale date, a description of the vehicle, and the names of the buyer and seller.

Where can I get a blank bill of sale?

DMV.ORG provides a generic bill of sale.Indiana provides Bill of Sale (Form 44237) .

How long does the dealer have to give me the title?

If you've done whatever is required of you, such as making your initial payment or turning in your trade-in, the dealer has up to 31 days after the sale to deliver the title.

Often, the dealer will hand over the title on the spot. But, if not, the dealer must present you with an affidavit to temporarily take the place of the title.

How can I find out about Indiana's Lemon Law?

We cover this topic in our Lemon Law article. The Attorney General's Office is also a good source of information, and you may reach the Consumer Protection Line at (800) 382-5516.

How much do temporary permits cost?

It depends on the length of the permit. Permits valid 96 hours cost $18, and permits valid 30 days cost $18.

How much does it cost to register my car and get new plates?

There isn't a single answer for this. The total cost will vary according on a number of factors, including where you live and the type of vehicle. The state provides a page about registration fees to help you determine how much you'll owe.

How can I order specialized plates for my new vehicle?

We cover this topic in our license plate section.

I bought my vehicle outside of Indiana. Does that matter?

Yes, it does. All vehicles bought either from a dealer or private seller outside the state will need to have a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection completed.

These inspections are done for free at the license agency. Or, a police officer may charge you a small fee to do the same, using the Affidavit Of Police Officer/Physical Inspection Of an Indiana Resident's Vehicle/Watercraft (Form 39530) (you may download the form and give it to the officer; vehicle information is found on page two of the form).

If I bought my vehicle out of state, how should I deal with the sales tax situation?

Good question.

If you bought it from an out-of-state dealer or private individual and you paid less than 7% for your tax, you will need to pay the difference to the state at a license agency. If you paid more, you will be credited for the difference.

Where can I find more information about registering and titling cars?

An excellent place to start is by looking at our registration and titling sections.


Affidavit Physical Inspection of a Vehicle or Watercraft
An inspector must complete this form if your hull (for boats) or vehicle identification number requires an inspection before the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will issue a title.
Bill of Sale
Use the IN Bureau of Motor Vehicles' bill of sale as proof of purchase for a car or watercraft. Both the buyer and seller must complete this form.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review