How do I put a car in my name?

I'm going to buy a new used car from a private seller. How do I make sure the car is in my name?

Answer
Congratulations on buying a new car!
To ensure the car is in your name, you should contact your local DMV and find out what you need for a title transfer. Each state has different requirements, so it helps to know beforehand to make the sale easier.
In most cases, the seller needs to sign the title over to you. After that, you will take the title to the DMV to register the vehicle in your name. Depending on your state’s requirements, the DMV may also need:
  • The current odometer reading
  • A bill of sale signed by both parties
  • Notice of transfer
  • Most recent emission test results
After the DMV approves your paperwork, you’ll get temporary registration papers until your official ones come in the mail.
You’ll also want to be sure that you have the proper car insurance on the car. Most states require you to have at least the state minimum insurance requirement before you can register the car.
If you’d like help finding car insurance, use the Jerry app. Jerry pulls quotes from the top 50 companies in under a minute and delivers the best deals right to your phone for free.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Nov 02, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.
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