Selling a vehicle

  • Selling a vehicle

    When you sell a car, whether to a family member or a stranger, follow the important points on this webpage to ensure the sale ends happily for you and the buyer.


    Checklist for selling a vehicle:

    1. Locate the vehicle title. If the title is lost, you will have to obtain a duplicate copy. The fee is $15. If you request a same-day title, the fees is $20 or $21 if removing a lien.

    2. Any loans on the vehicle must be paid in full before the title can be transferred. The bank or loan company should provide you with a:

    • Lien termination document, stating that the vehicle’s loan is paid off, or
    • A representative's signature in the appropriate space on the title specifying that the loan has been paid off.

    3. Fill in the seller’s portion of the title, including the odometer mileage, the date of the sale and the vehicle’s selling price.

    • Don't make any changes or cross out names. This invalidates the title.

    4. Sign your name. If more than one owner is listed on the title, each person must sign the title.

    5. It is recommended that you and the buyer meet at a Secretary of State branch office to transfer the title and complete the vehicle sale.

    • If you can’t do this, maintain a record of the sale for at least 18 months. A record of the sale can be a photocopy of the reassigned title or a handwritten bill of sale that includes the year, make, vehicle identification number, purchase price, date of sale and the buyer’s name, address, driver’s license number and signature.
    • If the buyer never titles the vehicle, you aren’t liable for any damages or violations of law caused by the buyer provided that you have kept a written record of the sale.

    6. The vehicle’s license plate and registration stay with you. Remove the license plate from the vehicle before the buyer takes possession of the vehicle.


  • Selling a vehicle part two

    Additional considerations:

    • A 6 percent use tax will be due when transferring the vehicle title to a family member unless the relationship is tax-exempt.
    • The 6 percent use tax isn’t charged when transferring the vehicle title to any of the following: Spouse, father, mother, child, brother, half-brother, sister, half-sister, grandparent, grandchild, legal ward, or legally appointed guardian. Also included are stepparents, stepbrothers, stepsisters, stepchildren, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and grandchild-in-law.
    • Bring the following information to a branch office:
      • The assigned vehicle title,
      • All owners must bring identification,
      • Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance.
    • If more than one person is listed on the title as a new owner, all must appear to sign the title application. If an owner does not appear, their representative with Power of Attorney must appear or they may appoint an agent to sign the application on their behalf by completing an Appointment of Agent form.






    Related Link
    Buying a vehicle