Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by Angel

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What paperwork do you need to sell your car privately in US?

To sell your car privately in the US, you will need to gather the following paperwork:

The car’s title:

This is a legal document that attests to your property of the vehicle. It should be signed by the previous owner and by yourself. In some states, the title will need to be notarized. Be careful the title is clear of any liens and that you have the original title, not a copy.

A bill of sale:

This is a record that serves as evidence of the transaction and contains information like the sale date, the names of the buyer and seller, and the vehicle’s make, model, year, and VIN. You can use a bill of sale template or create your own. The payment of sale must include the selling price, date of purchase, buyer and seller’s name and signature, and the VIN of the vehicle.

Registration and inspection documents:

Depending on the state, you may need to provide the buyer with a copy of your car’s registration and proof that it passed a recent emissions or safety inspection. These documents are often required to transfer ownership of the vehicle to the new owner.

Maintenance records:

If you have them, providing the buyer with maintenance records can help demonstrate the car’s history of regular upkeep. It can help establish the car’s value and give the buyer peace of mind about the vehicle’s condition.

You are obligated to declare any known problems with or accidents involving the vehicle in several states. Legal penalties may occur if issues don’t get reported that are recognized. Tell the truth about the car’s condition and any fixes that are complete.

Temporary permit:

Some states require a short-lived to be issued by the DMV to drive the vehicle during the sale process. This permit allows the buyer to drive the car while they are in the process of transferring the registration.

It is important to note that laws and regulations vary from state to state, so it’s a good idea to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for specific requirements. To avoid any future legal complications, it is also crucial to ensure that all the documentation is full of entirely and precise.

Sign the title and the bill of sale

When you are ready to sell the car, it’s a good idea to have all the paperwork in order, including the title, bill of sale, registration, and other necessary documents. Ensure that the buyer and you both sign the title and that the bill of sale contains accurate information. You might need to engage with the lender to ensure that the title is legally moving if the buyer is financing the acquisition.

It’s also a good idea to have the car cleaned and in good condition when Your display it to potential buyers. It can help increase the chances of a successful sale and get a better price for the vehicle.

When selling a car privately, it’s crucial to be truthful and open about its history and condition. Withholding information or making false statements about the vehicle can lead to legal problems on the horizon. Be prepared to answer questions about the car’s history and provide any documentation to back up your statements.

In addition, it is essential to follow the procedures for transferring the title and registration in your affirm and ensure that the buyer pays all taxes, fees, and other charges associated with the transaction.

Additionally, it is wise to maintain copies of all the paperwork for your records in case any issues arise after the sale.


In summary, to sell a car privately in the US, you will need to gather the title, bill of sale, registration and inspection documents, maintenance records, disclosure statements, and possibly a temporary permit. Consult the DMV for the exact requirements in your state, and ensure all paperwork is accurate and filled out to prevent legal problems.


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