Selling a Car in Wisconsin

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Selling a car in Wisconsin is straightforward. You will need the vehicle title, odometer disclosure statement, and title brand (if applicable). Wisconsin does not require a bill of sale, but it’s a good idea to complete one.
It’s important to follow the rules carefully if you’re selling a car in Wisconsin. The process is easy, but it’s also easy to miss a step. If you do, you could end up legally responsible for someone else’s driving mistakes. 
Ready to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about selling a car in Wisconsin, compiled for you by car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.

What you need to sell a car in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin DMV requires the following items to sell a car: 
  • Title, properly assigned
  • Odometer disclosure
  • Title brand (if applicable)
  • Lien release (if applicable)
Wisconsin requires neither a bill of sale nor a safety inspection. However, it’s a good idea to complete a bill of sale and make a copy for both the buyer and the seller. This helps provide legal protection, even if you don’t file it with the DMV.
You can sell up to five vehicles titled under your own name within a 12-month window in Wisconsin. 
Before you hand over your keys, remove your old license plates and switch over your car insurance. 

Getting a pre-sale inspection

Wisconsin does not require a safety inspection as a condition of purchase. However, dealerships will perform a used vehicle inspection and add a disclosure sticker. Private buyers should ask for a vehicle inspection prior to purchase, too.
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Documenting the sale

A bill of sale is not required by Wisconsin to officially sell a vehicle, but it is a good idea. You can use the instructions on form MV2928 and to document the sale, making copies for both the buyer and the seller.
A bill of sale typically includes information like:
  • Purchase price
  • Odometer reading
  • VIN
  • Buyer and seller names and information

Signing the title over

To be legally valid, a title must be properly signed by all parties. 
Start on the back of the title. Buyer(s) and seller(s) must write down their legal names, addresses, and then sign. The back of the title should also note the date of sale and odometer reading. This will help the buyer transfer registration and get a new plate.
Now, find the spot for signatures of the selling party (or parties). If the title has more than one name and there is an “and” between their names, both parties must sign. If there is an “or” between their names, only one party is required to sign. 
If you are selling the vehicle as junk, write “junk” across the title.
Lost the title? Sellers can apply for a replacement using form MV2119, sign the replacement title, and give it to the buyer. The fee is $20 for both online and mail-in orders. You’ll get the replacement in seven to 10 days. The original becomes valid once the replacement title is issued.
There is a special situation with additional requirements. If there is a lien on the title, the lienholder must release interest before the sale can be completed. Either the seller must pay off the remaining balance or the lienholder must provide a release of interest.

Reporting the sale

Note that in Wisconsin, sellers have 30 days from the date of sale to report the sale of a vehicle. Submitting a report of sale is not only a legal requirement but it’s a really smart decision. This document protects you from being held responsible for someone else’s bad behavior. Don’t miss this step!

Finding affordable car insurance

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Resources such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book can help you figure out what your car is worth so you can determine a fair price based on its make, model, year, and condition.

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