Title Transfers in Ohio

How to complete an Ohio car title transfer:
  1. Have the seller assign the current title to you with a notarized signature.
  2. Complete a title application. 
  3. Fill out an odometer disclosure statement (if applicable) with the seller.
  4. Bring the above paperwork to your local county titling office along with payment for applicable titling fees.

Continue reading for more detail on transferring ownership of a vehicle in Ohio.

New Residents to Ohio

Upon moving to Ohio, you have 30 days to title and register your car. The first step to getting an OH title for your vehicle is to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) verified through an out-of-state vehicle inspection at any Deputy Registrar's Office.

Once you have your VIN verified, bring the following to your local county title office:

  • The out-of-state inspection form—provided to you after the inspection.
  • Original title certificate from previous state.
  • If a lienholder currently has the title, you must send them a transfer request form in order for them to send the title to the BMV, and you'll need to bring the lien release when you visit an office to title and register. Contact your local county clerk to obtain this form, and bring a copy of your loan contract or security agreement for the title office.

Follow the instructions listed below to receive your new Ohio car title.

If there is more than one name on the current out-of-state title, all signatures are required for the transfer to an OH certificate. If the vehicle has a lien you will pay an additional fee for the lien notation.

Buying and Selling an OH Vehicle

Purchasing from a Dealer

When you buy a new car from an Ohio dealership, the dealer will handle the vehicle title and registration paperwork for you. By law, your dealer is required to provide you with your new title within 30 days of your vehicle purchase.

NOTE: If you purchased a used car from a dealer, please see Buying from a Private Party below.

Buying from a Private Party

When you buy a used car from an individual, it is your responsibility to complete a vehicle title transfer within 30 days of the purchase.

Submit the following to your county title office:

  • Current and properly assigned car title certificate.
    • The assignment should be completed directly on the title certificate by the seller, and must be notarized.
    • If there is a lienholder, they must be properly noted on the title AND the application form.
  • A completed Application(s) For Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Form BMV 3774: Get Started Now).
  • Proper form of ID (contact your local county title office for more information).
  • Out-of-state inspection form (if applicable; see above).
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement (usually provided on the title certificate, unless your car weighs 16,000 lbs. or more.
  • Payment for any applicable sales tax and vehicle title fees.
    • A $5 late fee will apply if you do not title your vehicle within 30 days.

NOTE: Used car dealers will typically handle the titling process for you. However, if they do not, submit all listed items above in addition to a bill of sale from the dealer. If it was a casual sale, the purchase price must be listed on the title in lieu of a bill of sale.

Selling a Vehicle

When you sell a car, it is the buyer's responsibility to complete the Ohio BMV title transfer.

As the seller, however, you must complete the title assignment on your current title certificate and give it to the new owner. To assign the title:

  • Complete the title assignment section of the title certificate, which should include:
    • Buyer's name and address.
    • Purchase price.
  • Complete the odometer reading, and make sure the buyer acknowledged it with a signature.
  • Provide a notarized signature on the title.

Remember to remove the license plates before completing the sale.

Inherited OH Vehicles

The process for transferring a vehicle title of an inherited car differs depending on how the estate is distributed.

If you are the surviving spouse, you can transfer an unlimited number of vehicles valued up to $65,000 owned by the deceased. You will need the following:

  • The current OH car title certificate.
  • Surviving Spouse Affidavit (available at any title office).
  • Death certificate.

If the estate is subject to probate, vehicle ownership will be established by the court. Contact your local OH title office for specific instructions on titling the vehicle.

As a surviving named joint owner on a vehicle title, you can complete and sign the title assignment and provide a copy of the death certificate if you wish to transfer the title to a new owner.

An odometer statement does not need to be provided for cars that are being transferred to a surviving spouse or through inheritance. 

Lien Releases

After you have fully paid your car loan, your lender will release the lien hold on your OH vehicle title. You should expect your lender to send you the title certificate with a stamp from a clerk of courts indicating that the lien has been released.

Contact your lender regarding any issues that may arise with the lien release.

OH Title Transfer Fees

The following are the basic car titling fees in Ohio:

  • Title certificate: $15.
  • Duplicate title: $15.
  • Out-of-state inspection: $5 (plus $1.50 clerk fee).
  • Lien notation: $15
  • Late fee: $5.

You are also required to pay sales tax on your vehicle before you can have it titled. Contact your county clerk for more information.

Changing Title Information

Adding a Name to a Title

To add a name on a title, simply complete the title assignment as the seller and complete the buyer section with your name plus the name of the person you want to add. Make sure you have the title certificate notarized before bringing it into your county title office.

Removing a Name from a Title

To remove a name from your title, you and the other named owner must complete the title assignment as the seller (with notarized signatures), and complete the buyer section with the information of the remaining owner. Visit your local county title office to complete the process.

Duplicate Titles

If your Ohio car title certificate is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get a replacement by going to your local county title office with:

  • $15 duplicate title fee.
  • $15 lien notation fee (if applicable).


BMV 3774
Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle
Request an original, duplicate, replacement, memorandum, OR salvage Ohio Certificate of Title for your vehicle.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review