Buying and Selling FAQs in Ohio

Buying and selling a vehicle in Ohio is a major transaction; however, it doesn't have to be a stressful one.

For answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about these processes, read on.

What should I know about a bill of sale?

A bill of sale is 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. A bill of sale is needed whenever you buy a car from a private seller (as opposed to a dealer).

During a buying and selling transaction, a bill of sale goes to a county clerk's office along with the title. It will help determine how much sales tax you owe the state on your vehicle purchase.

DMV.ORG conveniently provides a generic bill of sale.

If I'm buying a car from the dealer, will they give me the title?

It depends. The dealer will either give it you, or if you have a loan, to the lienholder.

Either way, the dealer has 30 days after the sale to take care of the matter.

I bought my car from someone from another state. Is there anything special I need to do?

Yes, you'll need to have an inspection completed that will verify the vehicle's information. All deputy registrar's branches offer this service for $5.

I'm going to buy a vehicle from another country. What do I need to do?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration specializes in this department. Begin by checking out the Vehicle Importation Regulations.

How much do temporary tags cost?

They can be purchased for $20.

How long are the temporary tags valid?

They're good for 45 days.

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

It depends. The total cost will vary according to a number of factors, including the type of vehicle you are registering.

If I buy a car from a private seller, can I pay the sales tax due at the title office with a credit card?

The title office accepts cash, checks, and money orders, and certified checks, traveler's checks, and agency vouchers.

I'm selling my car to someone. Do I need to fill out the back of the title and, if so, when?

Yes, you'll need to fill out the back, but wait to do so until the vehicle has been sold. Make sure to write down the purchase price and odometer reading. Be sure to sign your name as listed on the title, and have your signature notarized. It's a good idea to make a copy of the assigned title for your records.

I'm buying a car from someone. When should they fill in the information on the title?

Wait until it can be witnessed by a Notary Public or a deputy clerk, as the seller's signature will need to be notarized. Remember, as the buyer you're responsible for making sure to obtain the title from the seller.

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

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

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