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- What is it?
- Why it's important
- When do I need one?
- Finding the form
- Filling out statement
- Penalty for dishonesty
- Finding right insurance
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An odometer disclosure statement declares the mileage on your vehicle. They are required when buying a new car or selling a used one.
You’ll typically need to fill out an odometer disclosure statement to declare mileage on any vehicle that’s less than 10 years old. This is required in every state, and the statement is updated when a vehicle is sold. It also includes whether or not the odometer reading is accurate.
Car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about odometer disclosure statements, including the nitty-gritty of what they are and when you’ll need one.
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What is an odometer disclosure statement?
An odometer disclosure statement declares the mileage on your vehicle and certifies that it is correct (aka, it has not been tampered with).
You’ll have to complete the odometer disclosure statement before you finalize a new car purchase or used car sale.
Your mileage is the (usually) six-digit number below your speedometer. A vehicle with high mileage car will probably sell for less than one with low mileage.
If you’ve recently sold a vehicle, you would’ve had to disclose your mileage using a generic form. Different states might have specific ways for you to report your mileage. On a California vehicle title, there is a section for odometer disclosure.
If your vehicle title has been lost, stolen, or misplaced, you’ll need to apply for a duplicate title. When you do this, you can also update your mileage in the odometer disclosure section.
Why an odometer disclosure statement is important
If an odometer is tampered with, it could mean you’re buying a car with far more wear and tear than you expected.
Since it’s possible for drivers to manually roll back the numbers on their odometer, odometer fraud has been a problem in the used car market.
Fortunately, there are federal laws in place to make sure every vehicle’s mileage is updated when it’s sold and this information is stored in a database.
You can verify the mileage on a vehicle you want to buy by getting a vehicle history report from websites like Carfax or Bumper.
Key Takeaway Knowing the exact mileage of the used car that you’re buying can give you a better understanding of how much it’s worth.
When do I need an odometer disclosure statement?
Reporting your mileage is required by law for most vehicles when they are being bought or sold. If you don’t declare your mileage, you can face fines or even imprisonment.
But there are different requirements for each state. In California, you don’t have to disclose mileage for vehicles that are more than 10 years old.
You don’t need to disclose your mileage if you’re driving a commercial vehicle with weight limits. Vehicles sold by an auto manufacturer directly to a dealership and transferred vehicles that have never been sold also don’t require disclosure statements.
Where do I find the odometer disclosure form?
Each state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has its own way of declaring mileage. If your state doesn’t have a specific form, you can use the federal form provided on eForms.
If you need assistance with your odometer disclosure statement, contact your local DMV.
Here are the required forms for each state:
|Alabama||Form MVT 5-5|
|Arkansas||Bill of Sale|
|California||Pick up REG 262 from a local DMV office|
|Illinois||Form VSD 333.4|
|Kentucky||Form TC 96-5|
|Louisiana||Form DPSMV 1606|
|New Hampshire||Form TDMV 12|
|New Jersey||Form OS/SS-UTA|
|New Mexico||Form MVD-10187|
|New York||Form MV-103|
|North Carolina||Form MVR-180|
|North Dakota||Federal form|
|Ohio||Form BMV 3724|
|Rhode Island||Federal form|
|South Carolina||Federal form|
|South Dakota||Form DMV-611|
|Virginia||Form VSA 5|
|Washington||See instructions on the licensing site|
|West Virginia||Form DMV-43|
How to fill out an odometer disclosure statement
You’ll typically need to include the following information in your odometer disclosure statement:
- Personal information for the vehicle buyer and seller
- Date of vehicle certification
- Vehicle year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Accurate mileage as of the certification date
On the form, you’ll probably see a few options to choose from that indicate how accurate your odometer is. You won’t be penalized for saying that the mileage isn’t accurate, or that your odometer has reached its limit and restarted.
As long as you make sure to accurately report any discrepancies to the best of your ability, you don’t have to worry about having an inaccurate odometer.
MORE: How to track gas mileage
What is the penalty for a fraudulent odometer disclosure statement?
Under the federal odometer law 49 U.S.C. Chapter 327, you can be penalized if you’re caught committing fraud by purposefully altering your mileage. You’ll be subject to fines of $1,500 or three times the cost of damages for the vehicle buyer, depending on which is more. You’ll also be responsible for any legal fees.
If you bought a used vehicle and you did not tamper with the odometer, make sure you have all the title transfer documents.
You should be ready to contact any previous owners to verify the true mileage. The condition of the car isn’t a good indicator of whether the odometer has been altered.
Your odometer might be different from the true mileage for reasons you can’t control. But if you know that the mileage isn’t accurate, you must disclose this in your statement.
Key Takeaway You could be fined $1,500 or more for tampering with the odometer.
Finding the right insurance for your used vehicle
If you’re buying a used car, you’ll want to make sure it has adequate insurance coverage. Jerry is a great way to save money on insurance costs without losing coverage. It only takes 45 seconds to sign up and the app will make comparing rates hassle-free.
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