Selling a Car in Delaware

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Selling a car in Delaware requires both parties to fill out and sign the certificate of title as well as a bill of sale. The seller must then complete the Seller’s Report of Sale and forward it to the Division of Motor Vehicles while the buyer purchases liability insurance and applies for a new title. 
Selling your car privately is the best way to get a good price, but the process can feel baffling. Every state has its own regulations, forms, and procedures, and failure to follow these rules could result in serious legal and financial consequences. 
Car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry is here to demystify the process of selling a car in Delaware. 
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What you need to sell a car in Delaware

Selling your car privately isn’t hard, but it requires a lot of specific documentation. To get started, make sure you have all the following paperwork ready to go: 
  • Delaware Certificate of Title (or, if you don’t have one, an Application for Duplicate Title)
  • Your signature
  • Signature of any lienholder(s)
  • Signature of the buyer
  • Bill of sale
  • Inspection certificate
  • Odometer disclosure, unless the vehicle is 10 years old or older

Getting a pre-sale inspection

Delaware’s Division of Motor Vehicles provides inspection services free of charge at all four locations. The inspection will include a safety inspection, an emissions inspection, and a test of the fuel system to ensure there are no leaks. 
In general, any vehicle being titled for the first time in Delaware must receive an inspection. However, the newest 7 years of vehicles being titled for the first time in Delaware may only need a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. 

Documenting the sale

To document the sale, you’ll need to fill out a bill of sale in duplicate. You keep the original for at least 5 years, and your buyer will keep the other copy. Delaware doesn’t have a standard form for vehicle bills of sale, but your document should include all the following information: 
  • The name and address of the buyer
  • The date of the sale
  • Your name and address
  • The make, model, year, VIN, and body style of the car
  • The purchase price
You and the buyer should both sign the bill of sale to create a valid record of the transaction. 

Signing the title over

The most important step in any vehicle sale is the title transfer. A car’s title legally certifies ownership of the vehicle, so transferring the title is the only way to officially release you from financial and legal liability. 
You’ll need to complete the Assignment of Certificate of Title (Section 1) on the back of the title. You should include the buyer’s name and address, date of sale, purchase price, and the odometer disclosure. If the front of the title lists multiple owners with the word “AND,” you both need to print and sign your names; if the front of the title says “AND/OR,” only one seller needs to complete Section 1. 
If there is a lien on the title, you need to either pay off the loan or obtain a letter of lien release from your lender before you can sell the car. If you get a lien release, your buyer will need to complete the Lien Section (Section 3) on the back of the title. 

Reporting the sale

You must complete either the back of the registration card or the Seller’s Report of Sale and forward it to the Division of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of the sale. If you don’t complete the title transfer within 30 days, you’ll be charged a $35 late penalty. 
It’s a good idea to go to the DMV with your buyer so that you can submit the necessary paperwork together to certify the sale and the title transfer. Your buyer must fill out the Purchaser’s Application (Section 4) on the back of the title and bring proof of liability insurance along with proof of residency to apply for a new title. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

Congratulations! You’ve successfully sold your car—now it’s time to celebrate by finding a great new rate on your car insurance. 
Unless you really, really love filling out paperwork, you might be dreading the insurance shopping process, but the Jerry app makes it quick and easy by doing all the work for you! Just download the app, answer a few questions, and you’ll be connected instantly with competitive quotes from top companies. 
You won’t need to fill out any more forms or wait on hold with insurance agents—Jerry will even help cancel your old policy so you can get back on the road right away!  
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