How to Transfer Ownership of a Car to a Family Member

A car title, or proof of ownership, needs to be in the name of the current legal owner of the car, so when the car is sold or given as a gift to a family member the title has to be transferred. This article will help you understand the correct way to transfer the car title.

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Can I Transfer My Car Title?

A car title is a document proving ownership of the car, and when the car is sold the title should be transferred to the new owner. This also applies in a family situation and the car’s owner can transfer the title to a family member if they wish. The sale price of the car is not relevant and if you want to, you can transfer the title of a car for the nominal sum of $1.

How to Change Ownership of a Car to a Family Member?

It is important to always change the car title when the vehicle has a new owner. If this is not done correctly by law the previous owner is still responsible for the car. Here are some points about different types of title transfer that you should be aware of.

Simple Transfers

If you own the car outright then just your name will be on the title document. As the owner, you sign the designated section on the title and fill in the required information including sale price, date of sale, and odometer reading. The new owner then fills out their section of the title with their name, address, and signature. They then take the old title to the DMV and are issued a new title in their name.

Transfers Involving Lenders

If you have a loan on your car, the lender will probably be holding the title so you have to speak to the lender if you want to transfer it to a family member. The easiest solution is to repay the loan in full, then you can transfer the title without permission from the lender.

However, if you don’t have the cash to do that, you can consider getting a personal loan to pay off the vehicle, which will give you a clear title for the car.

In some cases, you may be able to transfer the loan to your family member. The new owner then is responsible for repaying the remaining balance of the loan. To do this you still need the permission of your lender.

Transfers Involving Dealerships

Selling your car to a dealership is simple and can be easier than trying to find a private buyer. Dealers handle title transfers regularly, so the process is fast and trouble-free. You just need to sign the title over to the dealership and they will sign the title as the buyer.

Out of State Transfers

If you’re moving to another state or buying a car from another state, you will have to do an out-of-state transfer. The steps required for an out-of-state transfer can vary by state, but common requirements include having the out-of-state title in your name or the name of your family member, filling out a title application in the new state, and sometimes having the car inspected.

Lost Titles

If you have lost your car title, you need to get a replacement title before you can transfer it to a family member. There are online car title service providers who can process car title replacements. You just fill out a form on their site, provide the required information and pay the fees, and the duplicate title will be shipped to you. Alternatively, you can follow the same steps at your local DMV office.

Steps on Gifting a Car to a Family Member

Make Sure You Legally Own the Vehicle

If you’re gifting a car to a family member, the first step is to make sure you are the legal owner of the vehicle. You should do a lien check to see if anyone such as a lender has a stake in the vehicle. This can be done through the DMV or the Personal Property Register.

Complete the Title Transfer Document

The next step is to complete the title transfer section on the back of the title document. You must complete this even with a family member, otherwise, you will remain the legal owner. The family member then takes the title down to the DMV to get a new title in their name.

Some states may require additional documents so you need to check with the DMV for any forms to fill out or additional information you need to provide before a transfer can be completed.

Take the Title Down to the DMV

To complete the transfer of title, you have to go to your local DMV and take the relevant documents proving your ownership and the legal status of the vehicle. Before you visit you should check if any additional documents are required depending on where you live.

What Documents Should I Hand to My DMV?

Copy of the Completed Title

Both you and the family member you are transferring the title to should have filled out and signed the relevant sections of the old title.

Proof of Insurance

Most states require that the car is insured so the family member should have the car listed on their policy.

The Car’s Registration Card

The vehicle registration shows that the car has been registered in the name of the current owner.

Proof of Identity

Both the person transferring the car and the person receiving it have to show valid identification when transferring a car title.

Payment for the Transfer Fee

The title transfer fee depends on the state but is normally around $15 to $20.

Can I Turn My Car Title Into Cash?

When you need quick cash you can get an easy loan by using your car title as collateral. You can borrow an amount based on the value of your car, and this is called a title loan because the lender will hold the title of your vehicle until the loan is repaid. The quickest way to get a title loan is to find a lender near you because they may want to inspect the car.

CocoLoan is such a broker that can provide you with all the Title Loan Near Me information to help you find the best offer. CocoLoan can also help you to get a car title loan online through our lender network. Just fill out the simple online form and you will get an immediate response from our partner lenders who can tell you how much you can borrow based on the value of your vehicle.

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