Title Transfer Missouri

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To sell or buy a car in Missouri or to transfer ownership from out of state, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. Missouri’s Department of Revenue sets an $8.50 fee on title transfers, plus registration and processing fees based on your vehicle’s taxable horsepower. 
If you want to buy or sell a car privately, you’ll need to do more than exchange the keys or apply for new plates. A title transfer is the most important step in any private vehicle sale because it legally transfers ownership of the car from the seller to the new owner
Luckily, a title transfer usually isn’t too hard or expensive: you just need to fill out some basic paperwork and pay a small fee. 
To help you sort out the regulations for title transfers in Missouri, car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled a start-to-finish guide to walk you through the process. 
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What is a title transfer?

A car’s title certifies the owner’s legal right to the vehicle. A title transfer is the process of legally transferring ownership of the vehicle from one person to another
There are two basic steps to any title transfer. First, the seller must sign the title, thereby releasing their ownership of the vehicle as well as all financial obligations. Then, the buyer must take the signed title to the DMV and apply for a new title and registration. 
Apart from those basic steps, the process for a title transfer varies from state to state. Some states require additional paperwork or supplemental information, such as an odometer report or a purchase price.

Who does the title transfer?

Any time a car changes hands, somebody will need to complete a title transfer. If you’re buying a car from a dealership, your dealer will likely handle all the necessary paperwork. However, if you sell or buy a car privately, you’ll need to work with the other party to complete the title transfer together. 

Reasons for a title transfer

You might need to complete a title transfer for a number of different reasons. Some of the most common reasons for a title transfer include: 
  • A change of residency
  • Buying or selling a car
  • Donating or gifting a car
  • Inheriting a car
  • Paying off a car loan 
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Car title transfer in Missouri

In Missouri, you have 30 days from either your residency start date (for out-of-state title transfers) or the date of purchase (for in-state title transfers) to complete the transfer of a vehicle’s title. You can complete the title transfer at the nearest Department of Revenue (DOR) location or send your materials in the mail. 
Here’s the basic documentation you’ll need for a title transfer: 
  • Vehicle and driver information: 
    • Driver’s license number
    • Vehicle license plate number
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
    • Vehicle make and model year
    • Purchase date and price
    • Name and address of the legal vehicle owner
  • Proof of vehicle identification number (VIN) and odometer inspection
If you’re transferring a title from out of state, you’ll also need: 
  • Your out-of-state title
  • A Statement of Non-Assessment from your county assessor’s office
  • A safety inspection
  • An emissions inspection 
If you’re transferring a title between two Missouri residents, you’ll need:
The Missouri DOR charges an $8.50 titling fee along with a $6.00 processing fee, plus sales tax if applicable. 

Registering a car in Missouri

Once you’ve transferred the title, you’ll need to register your car. Registration proves that your vehicle is permitted to legally drive on the streets, and it’s an annual process. 
Missouri charges a registration fee based on your car’s taxable horsepower. The registration fees are as follows:
Taxable horsepower1-year fee2-year fee
Under 12$18.25$36.50
12-23 hp$21.25$42.50
24-35 hp$24.25$48.50
36-47 hp$33.25$66.50
48-59 hp39.25$78.50
60-71 hp$45.25$90.50
72+ hp$51.25$102.50
Taxable horsepower is calculated based on vehicle type. You can find your car’s taxable horsepower using this chart from the DOR. 

Finding insurance for your vehicle

Whether you’re transferring a title from out of state or buying a new vehicle, you must have proof of insurance to complete the process. You can save money on car insurance while still meeting the legal requirements by downloading the Jerry app.  
As a licensed insurance broker, Jerry will compare rates from top insurance companies and find you the lowest rate available. Once you’ve chosen the quote that works for you, Jerry handles all the paperwork to get you switched over to your new low rate. 
Jerry users save an average of $879 a year on their insurance—all it takes is downloading an app and answering a few quick questions! 
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You can still complete a title transfer if your car has a loan. You can pay off the loan before you transfer the title, or get in contact with your lender to ask for a lien release. It’s always a good idea to contact your lender to ask how to proceed with a title transfer.
You should see a line on the certificate of title that says “seller’s signature” and one marked “buyer’s signature.” Sign on the line that indicates whether you’re giving up or taking on possession of the car.

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