Selling a Car in Utah

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Selling a car in Utah? Before you can report the title transfer to the DMV, you need to sign the title, get a safety inspection, and obtain a bill of sale. Don’t forget to transfer your insurance, too!
Yes, it’s annoying that you have to complete so many steps. But it’s important to follow the steps of selling a car in Utah carefully, as it will protect you from legal liability after the sale. Each state has its own laws about transferring ownership of vehicles. Make sure you double check Utah’s laws.
Here’s a quick guide describing how to sell a car in Utah, compiled by car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.

What you need to sell a car in Utah

If you are selling your car to a private buyer, the first step is to organize the necessary documentation. The Utah DMV will need the following items to approve an official change in ownership:
  • Title (signed by you, the old owner)
  • Current registration certificate
  • Current safety and emission certificates
  • Bill of sale
Make sure to remove your license plates. If you don’t, the new driver could incur tickets under your name—and you would technically be liable for paying the fines.

Getting a pre-sale inspection

To ensure that all vehicles on the road are safe, the state of Utah requires that nearly all vehicles get a safety inspection before being sold. Utah uses a schedule to keep track of which cars, trucks, and on-highway motorcycles require an inspection.
  • Vehicles with models four, eight, and ten years old require a safety inspection
  • All vehicles over 10 years old must get a safety inspection annually
Inspections cost between $14 and $40, depending on the type of vehicle.
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Documenting the sale

A bill of sale is a document that includes information about the buyer, seller, and vehicle. It’s the primary item you need to show the DMV that an official transaction has taken place. It can be handwritten or typed/printed in Utah, but it must be in ink (no pencil!). 
You can use the generic form provided by the DMV. If you’re creating your own, here is what the bill of sale should include:
  • Name and address of the buyer
  • Name, address, and signature of the seller
  • Complete vehicle description, including VIN
  • Description of trade-in (if applicable)
  • Trade-in allowance (if applicable)
  • Purchase price
  • Net purchase price (if applicable)

Signing the title over

Do not go through with a sale if the seller says they will “get the title to you” eventually. 
Under Utah law, a seller technically has 48 hours to deliver the title to the buyer. However, it’s much safer—and more efficient—to obtain the title at the time of sale. At the very least, do not pay until the title is in your hands. You need the title in order to title and register the vehicle in your own name. Remember, it must be endorsed (signed) by the seller to be valid.
Here’s how to check if it’s a negotiable title:
  • Does it belong to the vehicle being purchased? Check the make and model and compare the 17-digit VIN on the title to the one on the car.
  • Has it been properly signed off? If the title is in more than one person’s name, both parties may need to sign off. An “or” denotes that either party may sign alone. 
A lost title could delay things, but it’s not the end of the world. The buyer and seller can fill out Form TC-123 to apply for a duplicate title. The fee is $6. 

Reporting the sale

Once the title transfer has been performed, you must report the vehicle as sold to the DMV. Do it online using Utah’s Motor Vehicle Portal or by phone at 1-800-DMV-UTAH. You can also send a written notification by mail or fax containing the following information:
  • Vehicle year, make, and plate or VIN
  • Owner’s signature
Send it by fax to 801-297-3570, or by mail to:
Division of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 30412
Salt Lake City, UT 84130

Finding affordable car insurance

Once your vehicle has officially changed hands, it’s time to think about car insurance again. A new vehicle means that you might be eligible for a lower insurance premium! 
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Your car’s value depends on your vehicle’s make, model, year, and condition. Resources like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book are a good place to start when deciding how much to charge your buyer.

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