How to Notarize a Car Title

Notarizing a car title is often required for private car sales. Generally, all parties sign the title before a notary, but requirements differ by state.
Written by Jacoba Bood
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
If you plan on buying or selling a car through a private sale, both parties might need to sign the title in front of a notary before exchanging it.
One of the upsides of
buying a car through a private sale
is that you might get better value out of the transaction.
But with the potential for great deals comes more responsibility—you need to make you meet the legal requirements for each step of the process. This includes notarizing the title as per your state requirements.
If you’re wondering how to get a car title notarized for a private sale,
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Gather your documents

Don’t forget to bring the
car title
and a few pieces of ID along with you. You might be required to have other documentation on hand, depending on your state.
In some states, you might not be required to notarize a car sale at all. Others will require you to have several documents on hand to notarize a car sale.
Things are more likely to go smoothly if you have all the documents you need organized and at hand on the day of the signing.
When a notary signs your contract, they are giving their guarantee that everybody will hold up their end up of the deal—and the documentation you bring supports this claim on your behalf.
Key Takeaway Remember to bring your ID and the car title. Additional documentation might be required, depending on your state.

Make sure you possess the right to sell

The laws differ from state to state in terms of who has the right to sell. Some states will restrict your ability to sell a car if you’re a minor or have a
on the vehicle.
Take time to cover all your bases and confirm that you have the right to sell before you dive fully into the process.

Where to notarize a car title

Next, find a notary public. You should be able to schedule an appointment with a notary through one of the following businesses. The typical fee is usually $4 to $10, depending on the state you live in.
Banks and credit unions. Most financial institutions will keep a notary on staff who will notarize your documents for a fee.
Pawn shops or UPS Stores. These types of businesses may be able to provide access to a notary for a small fee. Call ahead first to make sure.
Online databases. You can use online notary databases like
Notary Rotary
to find a notary close to you.
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Determine who has to be there

Check your state requirements to verify which parties need to be present for the signing.
Some states, such as
, will require both the buyer and the seller to sign. In other states, like
North Carolina
, only the seller has to be present with the notary. In
, notaries can authorize a sale even if the buyer is not officially identified on the documentation.

Notarize the paperwork

Once you show up for your appointment with all your documentation, the notary will usually walk you through the steps.
You’ll be asked to sign the title in blue or black ink in front of the notary. If the buyer is required to be present, they will do the same. Once the signing is complete, the notary will stamp or sign and seal the title as proof. Then, simply pay the fee and you’re free to go.
Key Takeaway To notarize your car title you’ll need to gather your documents, confirm that you own the title, verify who must be present at the signing, and then head to the notary with your required paperwork.


What states require a title to be notarized?

Not every state requires a title to be publicly notarized before selling, and some states only require one of the parties present. The states that absolutely require public notary are
, and
North Carolina

What does a notarized title look like?

To tell if a car title has been notarized, you can look for a stamp or a seal that says its notarization status. It should say "Notary Public" or something similar to prove that it was notarized.

Finding the best insurance rates

Purchasing or selling a car through a private sale can be a great way to maximize value for buyers and sellers alike. But before you drive away in your new vehicle, you’ll need to have insurance. Driving without insurance is illegal in all but two states—and risky, regardless.
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