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Gifting a Car in Connecticut

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In
Connecticut
, you can legally gift a car to an immediate family member, like your parents, spouse, child, or sibling. Gifting the vehicle allows you to avoid the Connecticut Gift Tax and other related fees. To gift the vehicle, you’ll need to transfer the car’s title and register it to the giftee. 
Giving a car to a loved one is exciting and generous, but it’s more complex than you might expect. Whether you’re picking a car out with a loved one or gifting it as a total surprise, Connecticut has legal processes in place that could affect the transfer.
The paperwork and documents involved may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry!
Jerry
has created a complete guide to walk you through the process. Here’s what you need to know about gifting a car in Connecticut, from mistakes to avoid to selecting the right insurance for your gifted car. 
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How to buy a car as a gift in Connecticut 

While the driveway reveal is tempting, the best way to buy your loved one a brand new car is to bring them with you to the dealership and make them part of the buying process. 
There are a few reasons for this. The most important is that the only way to give a car as a gift is if there are
no liens on the vehicle
. You’ll need to pay off any loans to transfer the title in Connecticut
Brand new cars are a huge investment, so it’s also important that the giftee can choose a car that best fits their needs. 
If you want to gift a new car but can’t afford to buy a new car without a loan, making the giftee part of the buying process is the safest way to avoid legal and financial issues down the road. 
Key Takeaway You’ll need the car title before you can give a car as a gift. Bringing your giftee to the dealership with you is the best way to gift a car you can’t purchase outright. 

How to gift a used car in Connecticut 

The easiest way to gift a family member a car is to give them a car you already own. To complete this process, you’ll need to transfer the car’s title to the giftee and register the car under the new title. 

Record the gift with a bill of sale 

While it’s not required to present a bill of sale to the DMV office to transfer the title or register the gifted car under the giftee’s name, it’s a good way to keep yourself protected. 
The bill of sale doesn’t mean that any money has changed hands. It simply acts as a document showing that you’re no longer responsible for the car you’re gifting. Your bill of sale should include: 
  • Fair market value of the vehicle
  • A statement indicated the vehicle was a gift
  • Model and make of the car
  • Odometer reading
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
Make sure both you and the recipient sign the bill of sale. You’ll still need to transfer the car title to legally release your ownership of the car. 

Transfer the vehicle title

You’ll need to gather a few required documents before
making an appointment at your local DMV office
. Here’s what you’ll need: 
  • Connecticut Certificate of Title showing that the car properly belongs to you. If the car is more than 20 years old, you’ll have to fill in a Supplemental Assignment of Ownership form (
    Form Q-1
    ). You’ll be designated as the seller, and your giftee will be designated as the purchaser.
  • Most recent registration certificate (if you have it). 
  • A current Connecticut insurance card in your name for the car. 
  • A completed
    Application for Registration and Title
    (form H-13B). Download the form, fill it out online, and then print it to bring to your appointment. Make sure you indicate that you’re the seller and the giftee is the purchaser. 
  • Proof of
    emissions test
    (only for vehicles model year 2016 and older). The inspection fee is $20.
  • The bill of sale as a supplemental document. 
Once you’ve gathered all the required documents, make an appointment at a Connecticut DMV office, submit your documents, and pay the $25 title transfer fee. Your giftee should receive their title within 30 days. 
Key Takeaway To transfer the car title to your giftee, bring the required forms and documents to your local Connecticut DMV office to process the title transfer. 

Register the car

Once the recipient has the car title in hand, they’ll be able to register their car and start driving! Remember to
cancel your registration with the DMV first
.  The registration process is simple. The giftee needs to go to their DMV office with their Connecticut Title Certificate and
proof of car insurance
that meets the state’s
minimum requirements
.
The base registration fee is $80, and Connecticut requires car owners to renew their
vehicle registration
every two years. The giftee may have to pay additional fees based on the car type, fuel type, or driving record. 

Purchase Connecticut liability insurance—or full coverage

When you’re gifting a car to someone you care about, finding the right insurance policy is probably the last thing on your mind. That’s where car insurance comparison shopping app Jerry comes in handy. 
Jerry
is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you or your giftee. 
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy! So why do all that extra work when Jerry can do it better?
Plus, Jerry users save an average of $887 on car insurance each year! 
This Jerry user was thrilled with their experience, giving the app five stars:
 “I thought my previous insurance rate was fair given the model of car I drive, but after
Jerry
gave me quotes, I realized I could pay only $84 a month for the same coverage through Plymouth Rock. I plan to shop for auto insurance through Jerry from now on!” —Jill I. 
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FAQ

Generally, you won’t have to pay the sales tax, but you may have to pay the Connecticut Gift Tax. You can learn more about this type of tax on the
Connecticut Department of Revenue website.
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear.
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