Buying and Selling FAQs in Oregon

Whether you're buying or selling, transactions involving vehicles can seem daunting. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about buying and selling cars in Oregon. 

What should I do if I've bought a vehicle in another state?

You can download the following document outlining the procedures to buy a vehicle from another state:

See below for a general overview of what you'll have to do if you are thinking about buying vehicle in another state.

For new vehicles: If you are an Oregon resident, you will have to provide the DMV with a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO). The DMV will then title your vehicle and register it for a 4-year period, as well as issue license plates for the vehicle.

Check the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) fee list to see how much you will have to pay. Note that fees vary depending on the class of the vehicle.

For used vehicles: If you are an Oregon resident, you will have to transfer the title to your name and register the vehicle with DMV. The registration period on used vehicles in Oregon is 2 years.

You will also need a VIN inspection, which you can do at any DMV full service location. If the vehicle is out-of-state, a state police inspection will serve as your VIN inspection.

What should I do if I wanted to sell a vehicle to a person living in another state?

In terms of seller responsibility, you must sign the title over to the buyer. From that point forward, the buyer takes responsibility to retitle the car and register it in his or her state.

What do I do if I want to buy a vehicle located in another country?

You would take much of the same steps as you would if you bought a vehicle from another state, but you will have to make sure that it passes federal regulations. Here's what the DMV needs:

  • Original document declaring ownership of vehicle from the country in which the vehicle is titled and registered.
  • VIN inspection.
  • DEQ inspection, if applicable.
  • If any documents contain a language that uses a non-English alphabet such as Japanese, Greek, or Arabic, you must provide a certified translation.
  • Vehicle must pass U.S. Federal Safety and Emissions Standards, unless it is exempt. You must provide proof.
  • Appropriate fees for titling, registration, inspections, etc.

The Oregon DMV provides a detailed document, Title and Registration Procedures outlining the procedure to buy a vehicle from another country.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also provides helpful FAQs for importation and certification of vehicles.

Are there any fees or taxes involved with buying a vehicle from another state or country?

You'll most likely have to pay fees associated with registration, titling, and VIN and emissions inspections, if applicable. Currently, Oregon does not charge additional taxes for vehicles coming from out of the state.

What do I do if I need temporary tags? How long are they valid?

If the tags from the vehicle you purchase have expired, you can apply for a temporary permit if you provide the DMV with proof of VIN. Call your local DMV office for details.


Application for Title and Registration
Request a new Oregon title OR registration, registration renewal, plate transfer, OR replacement registration from the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division.
Certification of Liens on an Imported Vehicle
Use this DMV form to verify all liens have been removed on an imported vehicle you intend on titling and registering in Oregon.
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