Paperwork When Selling a Car in Missouri

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Paperwork Required to Sell Your Car in Missouri

If you're interested in selling a car in Missouri, you've come to the right place. Here we'll explore the basic requirements the MO Department of Revenue (DOR) lays out for private used-car sales—and provide plenty of links to other helpful resources.

How to Sell a Car in Missouri

To sell your car, you'll need to figure out how to evaluate your vehicle's condition and worth, and then advertise it to prospective buyers. Those are typically the most time-consuming and potentially frustrating steps of the process. See our Guide to Selling Your Car page for tips on how to make this process easier.

Once you've got a buyer interested in your vehicle, it's a pretty straightforward task to officially transfer ownership. You'll provide a little paperwork and make the sale; you, as the former owner, will also remove the car's license plates. That's about all there is to it!

Required Documents in Missouri

To sell your car in Missouri, you'll need to provide the seller with the following documents:

  • The vehicle certificate of title.
    • This should include your signature as well as that of any other registered owners and the buyer. You'll also fill in the car's current odometer reading and the date of the sale.
  • An emissions inspection which is not more than 60 days old.
    • This is required if you reside in the city of St. Louis, or Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, or St. Louis county.
  • A safety inspection certificate that's not more than 60 days old. The Missouri DOR requires that cars receive a safety inspection from an official Missouri safety inspection station.
    • If your vehicle was manufactured within the last 5 years, the safety-inspection requirement is waived.

Depending on the situation, you might also need to provide the following additional paperwork. If you had a lien on the vehicle and it's been satisfied, you'll also give the buyer a notarized Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to Add/Remove Name From Title (Form DOR-4809).

Duplicate Missouri Title Certificate

If you're missing your original car title or it's been damaged or destroyed, you won't be able to sell your vehicle until you've obtained a duplicate. To do so, complete the Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108), which you can fill out and print from the Missouri Department of Revenue's website.

Check the box labeled “DUPLICATE" near the top of the form, specify the reason you need a replacement title, and have your signature notarized. If the original title was mutilated (and still in your possession), you'll need to include it with the application.

If you've had a lien satisfied, you'll also turn in a notarized Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to Add/Remove Name From Title (Form DOR-4809) along with your application.

The Missouri DOR charges an $8.50 duplicate title fee as well as a $2.50 processing fee.

The completed form and payment can be sent to:

Motor Vehicle Bureau
P.O. Box 100
Jefferson City, MO 65105

Your application can also be brought in person to a DOR license office.

Vehicle History Report

When you're selling a car in Missouri, be aware that anyone checking it out can request a vehicle history report to find out more about any past accidents, instances of theft or odometer fraud, and other background details.

You may even consider ordering one yourself to provide to potential buyers. This could speed up the process of selling your vehicle.

You can learn more about these reports on our Vehicle History Reports page.

After a Vehicle Sale

After you sell your vehicle you are required to notify the Department of Revenue (DOR) within 30 days. Newer vehicle titles are issued with a tear-off section to report the sale. If you have an older title that does not have the tear-off section,  you can report the sale by completing a Notice of Sale (Form 5049) and mailing it to the address on the form or submitting a Bill of Sale (Form 1957) to the DOR. 

Failing to report the sale of a vehicle can incur a fine of up to $200.

Remember to remove the license plates from your vehicle before you complete the sale, as they remain with the owner, not the car. You will be able to transfer your license plates to another vehicle you own. Contact the MO DOR for more information on what to do with your plates.

Forms for Easy Download

Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to Add/Remove Name From Title (Form DOR-4809)

Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108)

Notice of Sale (Form 5049)

Bill of Sale (Form 1957)

Optional helpful links:

Forms

1957
Bill of Sale
The DOR's bill of sale, used as a proof of purchase after transferring ownership of a vehicle. Must be notarized when used to show proof of ownership OR if dealing with a rebuilt vehicle.
5049
Notice of Sale or Transfer
Notify the Missouri Department of Revenue that you've sold OR transferred ownership of a vehicle.
DOR-108
Application for Missouri Title and License
Missouri DOR's application for an original title AND/OR registration, duplicate title, registration renewal, OR transfer of license plates.
DOR-4809
Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to ADD/Remove Name from Title Form
Notify the Missouri DOR of a change (addition or removal) of a lien on your vehicle title. Must be notarized AND completed by the lienholder.

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