Buying and Selling FAQs in Louisiana

Can I sell my vehicle if I've lost the certificate of title?

According to Louisiana law, you must have the certificate of title for your vehicle in order to legally transfer ownership to another person. If you have lost or damaged the title, you'll need to apply for a duplicate from the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) before completing the transaction.

To request a duplicate title, you must be either the current registered owner of the vehicle or an authorized representative. Bring a completed Vehicle Application (Form DPSMV 1799) to your local Louisiana OMV to request a copy of your vehicle's certificate of title. A duplicate title costs $68.50, plus an $8 service charge.

What should I do with my license plates when I sell my vehicle?

You should return your license plates to your local LA OMV office before canceling your vehicle's liability insurance. If you fail to do this, you may be assessed penalty charges.

How do I get a title for my newly purchased vehicle?

If you purchased your vehicle from a Louisiana dealer, the dealer will collect the appropriate fees and taxes before completing your title paperwork. If you purchased your vehicle from a private party, however, you have a few days from the date of purchase to apply for a new certificate of title in your name.

To apply for your new title, bring the following documents to your local OMV:

  • The title from the last registered owner, notarized and assigned to you.
  • A notarized bill of sale, if the title doesn't have a place to enter the vehicle's selling price.
  • A declaration of liability insurance.
  • An odometer statement, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
  • The mortgage document, if you have a loan for your vehicle.

What fees and taxes do I need to pay after buying a vehicle?

After buying a vehicle, you'll pay title, tax, and registration fees. A title costs $68.50, plus an $8 service charge, you will pay an additional maximum fee of $18 for a title not obtained through the OMV. Other fees will vary according to the vehicle you have purchased and your OMV location. For additional information, contact the Louisiana OMV at (225) 925-6146.

How do I complete the registration process if I've purchased an imported vehicle?

In Louisiana, drivers who are registering an imported vehicle must follow the same process as any other driver. However, it's important to make sure your vehicle has the correct vehicle identification number (VIN). Some imports have typographical errors in the number. If there is an error in the number, you'll need to contact the vehicle's manufacturer to have it corrected before completing the registration process.

For additional rules and regulations concerning buying a car from outside the country and importing it, visit the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

What are temporary tags?

Temporary tags allow you to legally drive your vehicle on Louisiana roads while you wait for your license plates to arrive. Generally, you'll receive temporary tags if you purchased your vehicle from a dealership and had the dealer complete the registration process on your behalf.

Temporary tags are cardboard license plates that can be displayed in your vehicle for up to 60 days. However, you should remove any temporary tags after your permanent license plates arrive.

What should I do if I think my newly purchased vehicle is a lemon?

If your newly purchased used vehicle has a significant defect that affects its value, safety, or use, the car can be classified as a lemon. In this case, the state's lemon law may entitle you to a refund or replacement.

Although Louisiana's lemon law is designed to protect drivers who purchase used vehicles, problems can also occur with new cars. If you're having trouble with a brand-new vehicle, you may be eligible for protection under Louisiana's consumer protection and redhibition law.

For additional information, call the Auto Fraud Section of Louisiana's Department of Justice at (877) 297-0995.


DPSMV 1799
Vehicle Application
Office of Motor Vehicles application for a Louisiana vehicle title and registration.
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