Title Transfer Delaware

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A title transfer allows you to officially transfer ownership of a car in Delaware. This can be done by mail or by visiting your local DMV and usually requires paying a $35 fee.
You might think that a car officially changes owners when the seller receives money from the buyer, but things are a little more complicated than that. You’ll need to complete a title transfer and complete a few forms to make sure you are compliant with state law. 
Below is a full rundown of everything you know about title transfers in Delaware, courtesy of the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.

What is a title transfer?

Car titles tell the state you live in that you are the owner of a given vehicle. By transferring the title, you're also transferring the ownership of a car.
Both the buyer and the seller play a role in this transfer:
  • First, the seller signs the title to release ownership of the car.
  • Next, the buyer takes the signed title to the DMV, where the state will dictate a new title and registration in the buyer's name.
The exact process of transferring a title can vary between states. Some states require you to fill out extra paperwork, while others ask you to provide additional information about your vehicle—like the odometer reading or the car’s original price.

Who does a title transfer?

If you’re buying or selling at a dealership, it's up to the dealers to handle all of the paperwork—they’ll usually send your vehicle title to the DMV by mail. 
In a private sale, though, the buyer and seller complete the transfer process together.

Reasons for a title transfer

Title transfers mainly happen when people are buying or selling cars, but this isn’t the only time a transfer is required. You’ll have to transfer a title when donating a vehicle or paying off a car loan, for example.
Other reasons for a title change include:
  • Change of residency
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a car

Car title transfer in Delaware

In Delaware, the law requires that you register and title new or out-of-state vehicles within 60 days of establishing residency.
In the event of any title transfer, here's what you'll need to do:
  • First, get the vehicle's title or request a duplicate title.
  • To fill out the form, you'll need the following information:
  • Full legal name and address of the buyer and current owner
  • Date of sale (month, day, and year)
  • Price the buyer paid for the vehicle
  • Signatures from both the buyer and seller (in the case of multiple new owners, make sure the additional parties also sign the transfer of title)
  • You'll also need a few additional documents:
  • Proof of Delaware identification
  • Proof of Delaware residency
  • Proof of Delaware auto insurance
  • Pay any requested transfer fees
Delaware has a few additional requirements to complete the transfer:
  • An odometer declaration that is signed, dated, and timed by the buyer and seller
  • Proof of liability insurance from the new owner
  • Proof of sale section on their registration (to be mailed to the DMV by the seller)
Once you have all of your documents together, it's time to head to your local DMV and tell the representative that you'd like a title transfer. The transfer fee is $35.

Registering a car in Delaware

Once you've completed your title transfer, you'll need to complete your vehicle registration, which all Delaware car owners are required to renew annually.
In Delaware, a registration fee will run you $40.
Delaware requires the following vehicles to be registered before hitting the road:
  • All motor vehicles
  • Truck tractors
  • Trailers
  • Motorcycles 
  • Mopeds
  • Mobile homes 
  • House trailers
Off-highway and all-terrain vehicles are required to be registered but don't need a title.
Failure to produce a title for Delaware-registered cars within 30 days of purchase will result in a $35 late fee.

Finding insurance for your vehicle

Once you have the title and registration handled, you're going to need insurance for your vehicle.
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Having an outstanding loan will make it harder to transfer a title. In any case, you'll need to make a call to the lender and ask them how to sell the car before proceeding.
Having a lien won't make your ability to get a title transfer any more difficult, but it will make things a bit more expensive. Instead of paying $35 for the title transfer fee, you'll have to pay $55, but you can still complete the process normally.
Find the line that says “seller’s signature” and sign there. In the case of multiple owners, have all parties sign on the same line. The same goes for the buyer’s signature.

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