How to Sell Your Car

So, you listed your car for sale, found a buyer, and you’ve both agreed on a price. Now what?

The first step is to collect any required paperwork.

Title – You absolutely MUST have the title to your car in order to sell it. The title is proof of ownership. If you can’t find your title, you’ll need to get a new copy of it before you can collect payment for your car. provides detailed instruction by state for receiving a copy of your title if you do need to acquire a copy.

Lendor – If you still owe money on your car, you need to contact your lender for approval to sell. They may have a required process for you to follow and you may have to close the deal at your bank.

DMV – Yeah, you do have to fill out DMV paperwork, but the good news is you can do this online. Simply visit your state’s DMV website and search for selling a vehicle. You need to find out what paperwork is required to transfer ownership. Also, be sure to check and see if your state expects that you keep the license plates when sold or if you should leave them on the car.

After you’ve gotten your paperwork in order, then sign and date the title and give the buyer the bill of sale

Some states require you to file a “release of liability” form to prove the car was out of your possession as of the date of sale.

Lastly, don’t forget to cancel your auto insurance policy or switch it over to your new car.

Lisa Lippiner covers driving news for, making the roads safer one test taker at a time.

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