Gifting a Car in Idaho

To gift a car in Idaho, you must have a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate and follow the standard procedure for obtaining a vehicle title transfer.
Written by Zachary Morgan
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
, giving a car as a gift can help you avoid the taxes and fees attached to a private sale. You’ll still have to pay the fees for title transfer and
, though, as well as obtain a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate to verify that the car is a gift.
There are few gifts more generous than a car. U.S. infrastructure was built with the automobile in mind, and whoever is lucky enough to receive one as a present will certainly find a use for it. A car is a more complicated gift to give than most, though, particularly since every state has a different set of rules regulating the process.
That’s why
created this guide to ensure all your bases are covered for your gift-giving process. In this article, you’ll learn about how to give a car as a gift in Idaho, mistakes to avoid, and the amount of money you’ll save by gifting instead of selling.
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How to buy a car as a gift in Idaho

The easiest way to gift a car is to simply bring the person who will be getting the car to the dealership with you. This way, they can be directly involved in matters of shopping and financing.
This is important because a car can only be given as a gift if there are no
on it. Any outstanding loans must be paid off before the title can be transferred.
If you’re gifting a car to a family member who just got their license but can’t afford a car themselves, take them to the dealership with you. It will be easier for them to get the car they want, and you’ll dodge any potential legal or financing issues.
Key Takeaway If you’re giving a new car as a gift, make the process easier by bringing the recipient to the dealership with you.

How to gift a used car in Idaho

If you’re committed to giving the gift as a surprise, the best way is to transfer a car you already own. Whether it’s an old junker or a newer model that’s fully paid off, you’re able to give it as a gift provided that there are no outstanding loan payments.
If you want to help someone by giving them a car you don’t need, the process is the same. Follow these steps to legally give a car as a gift in Idaho.

Negotiate the terms of the gift with your recipient

After the hugs, tears, and “thank yous” have subsided, take some time with your recipient to discuss the details of the gift. There will still be title transfer fees to pay, as well as the upkeep costs of car ownership.
In Idaho, there are two fees associated with a title transfer: a $14 transfer fee and an $11 fee for smog testing, for a grand total of $25.
It’s important to determine who will pay for the title transfer. Furthermore, someone will also have to pay for car insurance, maintenance, fuel, and any other necessary costs for the vehicle.
Here’s a table of the fees you and your recipient should consider.
Idaho average
Title transfer
Registration fee
$45 to $140 (depending on the car)
$307 (liability only) $1,045 (full coverage) per year
$1,186 per year
$1,837 to $3,000 per year

Record the gift with a bill of sale

Even though the car is being given as a gift, you still need to record the transaction with a
bill of sale
. An
Idaho bill of sale
will protect you from potential legal fallout in the future by acting as a legal record of the exchange. Make sure it is signed by you and the recipient to demonstrate that you both agreed to the terms of the gift.

Transfer the vehicle title

The title transfer is the most important part of the car gifting process. It is what officially grants ownership of the vehicle to the recipient.
Both you and the recipient need to fill out and sign the vehicle title. If the original title has been lost or destroyed, you can fill out a
Duplicate Idaho Title Application
to get a new one. Don’t forget to signal in the relevant box that the car is being transferred as a gift
In addition, you’ll need to complete a
Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
for purposes of tax exemption. Idaho only offers tax-exempt title transfers to direct family members (parent/child, grandparent/grandchild, and brother/sister) and members of Native American tribes.
When all the title paperwork is complete, take it to the DMV. You’ll be registering the vehicle there, as well, so make sure to bring the proper
with you. Make sure you complete the title transfer and registration process within 10 days of gifting the vehicle

Purchase Idaho liability insurance—or full coverage

The final step in the gifting process is to make sure that the gifted car is covered with a
valid Idaho car insurance policy
. Once that’s done, there’s nothing left standing between your recipient and the open road!
is an awesome tool to find rates personalized to your specific needs! I’m literally still sitting at the dealership and already finalized my new insurance so I can drive my new car off the lot.” —Charity R.

How to find affordable car insurance in Idaho

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Absolutely not! Under Idaho law, you don’t have to pay taxes on a vehicle you receive as a gift from a family member.
The DMV has a gift process for a reason—it’s the most legitimate way to transfer a car as a gift in Idaho, and the safest bet if you’re not planning to sell the car for a fair market price.
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