Paperwork When Selling a Car in Michigan

Paperwork Required to Sell Your Car in Michigan

Before selling your car in Michigan, take special note of the laws you'll need to adhere to for a quick, easy, and most of all, legally sustained process.

The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) requires you, as the seller, to provide certain documents to the buyer in order for the transaction to be successful. Continue reading this page to make sure you have everything in order when you sell your car.

Documents Needed to Sell Your Car in MI

To properly transfer ownership of your vehicle when you sell your car in Michigan, both you and the buyer will need to visit a MI Secretary of State branch office .

You'll need the following documents in order to successfully transfer ownership of the vehicle:

  • Car certificate of title with completed assignment. You will need to fill out the following sections on the back of the car title:
    • Current mileage.
    • Selling date.
    • Selling price.
    • Signature.
  • Michigan bill of sale or "record of sale."
    • Should be valid and the record kept for no less than 18 months.
    • Give a copy to the buyer and keep one for yourself.
  • Lien termination statement (if applicable).

NOTE: Michigan law states that a seller is not responsible for any damages to the vehicle or violation of laws that incurred after the date noted on the bill of sale.

Duplicate Michigan Title Certificate

The car title is one of the most important documents you'll need to sell your car in Michigan. So, in the event that this document has been lost, stolen, or destroyed, you'll need to apply for a duplicate title.

You can apply either online or in person at a MI Secretary of State office .

You'll need the following information when applying online:

  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (SSN).
  • Michigan driver's license or state ID card number.
  • Date of birth and eye color.

Acceptable forms of online payment of $15 include VISA, Discover, and MasterCard debit or credit cards. Note that your payment will include a nominal processing fee.

Only special circumstances will require in-person applications, including if you:

  • Have power of attorney or appointment of agent.
  • Submitted a change of address within the last 10 days.
  • Applied for the same duplicate title within the last 10 days.

For more information, including associated fees, visit our Replacing a Lost Title in Michigan page.

Duplicate Registration in Michigan

Similar to applying for a duplicate car title, you can also apply for a duplicate vehicle registration online. To complete the process, simply obtain the same information and follow the same requirements necessary for a duplicate title.

A duplicate car registration is free. For more information, visit our Replacing a Lost Registration in Michigan page.

Vehicle History Report

You might think you know your car pretty well, but can you truly account for every accident and repair that has been made? Whether you purchased the vehicle used or not, ordering a vehicle history report is an easy way to ensure you're fairly pricing and accurately advertising it to potential buyers.

Learn more about acquiring a detailed vehicle history report using our special guide.

Transferring MI License Plates after a Sale

In Michigan, license plates must stick with their original owners and cannot be transferred to other drivers. Once you sell your car, you can transfer your old license plates to another vehicle that you own. Make sure to update your insurance company on the switch, so you won't encounter problems with your coverage.

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