Title Transfer Indiana

To transfer your car title in Indiana, you’ll need to bring the necessary documentation to the BMV and pay a $15 titling fee.
Written by Kevin Martinez
To officially transfer ownership of a vehicle in
, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. You can do this by going to your local Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office and paying the $15 title fee.
  • If you buy a used car from a dealership, they’ll typically handle the title transfer for you.
  • When buying a car from a private seller, both parties have steps to complete to transfer the vehicle’s title.
  • Indiana residents need to complete the vehicle’s title transfer and registration within 45 days of purchase to avoid penalty fees.

What is a title transfer?

A car title is what legally declares who owns the vehicle. So when you
transfer the title of a car
, you’re essentially transferring its ownership. 
Transferring an Indiana certificate of title consists of two steps—one for the seller and one for the buyer:
  • The seller must release ownership of the car by signing the title
  • The buyer must take the signed title to the DMV, where the state will issue a new title,
    license plate
    , and
    vehicle registration
The process may vary between states: Some require additional paperwork to complete the title transfer process, such as a bill of sale or transfer of ownership form. You may also need to provide basic vehicle information like the sales price and current
odometer reading

Who does the title transfer?

The responsibility for the title transfer depends on whether you’re buying (or
) a vehicle privately or from a dealership. 
  • If it’s a private purchase: It’s up to the buyer and seller to complete the Indiana title transfer process
  • If you’re buying a car from a dealer: They handle all the paperwork and mail the vehicle title from the state DMV

Reasons for a title transfer

There are various reasons you might need to complete a title transfer for a vehicle. The most common include a change of residency or buying or selling a car. 
Here are some other reasons for a title change:

Car title transfer in Indiana

In Indiana, the vehicle buyer can complete a title transfer online through the
BMV’s virtual portal
or in person at a local branch. It must be done within 45 days of the change of ownership or you will be subject to late fees.
Here’s what you need to do:
  • Complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement—Form 43230
  • Provide proof of payment of the 7%
    sales tax
    or remittance—note that new residents of Indiana are not charged sales tax when transferring a vehicle’s certificate from the initial state to Indiana
From there, follow the instructions from the
BMV Virtual Office
. The title transfer fee is $15.
Once you’ve submitted all required documentation, the BMV office will process and mail your new title within 21 calendar days. 
Key Takeaway: The Indiana BMV’s website and branches will walk you through the title transfer process from start to finish—and there’s no lineup!

Registering a car in Indiana

After a title transfer, you’ll need to
register the vehicle
. Registration is proof that you can legally drive on the streets and is done annually. 
In the state of Indiana, the standard vehicle registration fee costs $21.35 per year. You’ll also need to pay the following:
Plate Fee
This is based on what type of plate your vehicle has—personalized, distinctive, authentic, or transport driver plates.
Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Fee
This fee is part of the state’s road funding package, which must be paid every year upon renewal of registration.
Supplemental Hybrid or Electric Vehicle Fee
Depending on whether you have a hybrid or electric vehicle, you may have to pay an additional fee. Gas cars do not have to pay this fee.
Depending on your municipality, other fees may apply based on county of residence, driving record, and a vehicle excise tax.
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A title transfer is more challenging if the vehicle is still financed. You’ll need to call your lender and ask how to sell a car that has a loan and how the transaction should be handled.
The title will have a line that says “seller’s signature.” If two people are on the title, both will need to sign on the same line, and there is a separate line for the buyer’s signature.
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