A vehicle’s title is proof of who owns it. Whenever you’re dealing with a change of vehicle ownership, whether you’re buying, selling, gifting, inheriting, or donating it, the title must be legally transferred to the new owner so they can complete the vehicle registration process. If you need to transfer a car title in Louisiana or Texas, there are a few crucial steps you must follow to ensure the process goes smoothly.

How to Do a Car Title Transfer in Texas

Need to do a car title transfer in Texas? We’ve outlined all the steps you need to take, whether you’re buying selling, gifting, or inheriting. 

If You’re Buying a Vehicle:

The State of Texas recommends that both buyer and seller visit the DMV together to streamline the title transfer process, but it’s not a requirement. If you’re purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, you will need to do the following:

  1. Make sure the seller has filled out all fields on the back of the title (including vehicle mileage and the price of the car), signed it over to you, and that it is notarized. (Psst! ABC offers notary services! Come on in and we’ll help you out.)
  2. Complete the form for Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U). Verify that the form includes the price of the vehicle.
  3. Request a copy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), which is proof of inspection and is required if a record of current inspection is not in the state database.
  4. Get insurance on the vehicle and be able to provide proof of insurance.
  5. Ask for a lien release if the seller does not own the vehicle outright.
  6. Get power of attorney if you are purchasing the vehicle for another person.
  7. Write down the name and address of the seller, the date of sale, and vehicle information, including the VIN.

Bring all of this information with you to the DMV. If you are unable to provide proof of liability insurance at this time, you may apply for title only. Be prepared to pay a transfer fee, as well as county and local fees. You may also be required to pay a new inspection fee. Failure to transfer a title within 30 days of the date of sale can result in delinquent transfer penalties.

If You’re Selling a Vehicle:

Selling a vehicle in Texas is a bit less complicated. The State of Texas recommends that buyer and seller visit the DMV together to complete the transfer, but this isn’t necessary. If you are selling a vehicle to a private seller, take the following steps:

  1. Fill out all fields on the title and sign it over to the buyer.
  2. Verify that the title includes the correct mileage and price of the car.
  3. Complete the form for Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U) with the buyer. Verify that the form includes the price of the vehicle.
  4. Give the buyer a lien release if you do not own the vehicle outright.
  5. Submit a Vehicle Transfer Notification through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) within 30 days to remove your liability.

You must submit the Vehicle Transfer Notification within 30 days of the date of sale. Once it is filed, you will not be held responsible for parking tickets and other violations committed by the buyer. To notify TxDMV of the sale, you’ll need the following information:

  • License plate number
  • Expiration date (as shown on vehicle’s registration)
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Driver’s license number or company EIN (as shown on vehicle’s registration)
  • Name and address of buyer
  • Date of sale
  • Selling price of vehicle (if applicable)

If You’re Gifting or Donating a Vehicle:

Gifting or donating a vehicle is the same process as outlined above, and requires the same forms and transfer fees. However, the recipient will have to pay a $10 gift tax and complete the Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Gift Transfer form.

If You’re Inheriting a Vehicle:

Inheriting a vehicle is a bit more complicated. If you’re working with a will, the vehicle is included in the probate process and will be disbursed by the executor. If there is no will, the surviving spouse or an eligible heir can fill out the Affidavit of Heirship for a Motor Vehicle form.

For more information about how to transfer a car title in Texas, visit the state’s official DMV website.

How to Do a Car Title Transfer in Louisiana

Doing a vehicle title transfer in Louisiana? Keep reading for instructions, whether you’re buying, selling, gifting, or inheriting.

If You’re Buying a Vehicle:

If you’re purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, you will need to do the following:

  1. Verify that the seller has completed all fields on the back of the title (including the vehicle’s mileage, selling price, and date of sale), signed it over to you, and that it is notarized. If the title does not have enough space for all the information needed, a bill of sale is required.
  2. Complete the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections Vehicle Application.
  3. Ask the seller for an Odometer Disclosure Statement if the vehicle is fewer than 10 years old.
  4. Get insurance on the vehicle and be able to provide proof of insurance.
  5. Request a lien release if the seller does not own the vehicle outright.
  6. Get power of attorney if you are purchasing the vehicle for another person.
  7. Write down the name and address of the seller, the date of sale, and vehicle information, including the VIN.

You have 40 days after the date of sale to visit the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) to title and register your vehicle. Be prepared to pay a transfer fee and a sales tax. You will also need to pay a credit/debit fee if you aren’t paying with cash, and, depending on which OMV branch you visit, a handling fee.

If You’re Selling a Vehicle:

There are a few steps you’ll need to take if you’re selling a car to a private buyer in Louisiana:

  1. Complete all fields on the title (including the vehicle’s mileage, selling price, and date of sale), or bill of sale if there is not enough room on the title.
  2. Give the buyer a lien release if you do not own the vehicle outright.
  3. Complete a Notice of Vehicle Transfer through the Louisiana OMV website to remove your liability.
  4. Remove the licenses plates from the vehicle.

To report your vehicle as sold, donated, or traded, you’ll need the following information handy:

  • License plate number
  • Expiration date (as shown on vehicle’s registration)
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Driver’s license number or company EIN (as shown on vehicle’s registration)
  • Name and address of buyer
  • Date of sale
  • Selling price of vehicle (if applicable)

If You’re Gifting a Vehicle:

The process of transferring the title for a gifted vehicle follows the same steps outlined above.

If You’re Inheriting a Vehicle:

There are a few specific steps you’ll need to take if you’re inheriting a vehicle:

  1. Obtain a court order if a court-ordered distribution is occurring.
  2. If you are working with the Louisiana Department of Revenue (DOR), you’ll need an Affidavit of Small Succession, which is only available through the DOR.
  3. Be able to provide copies of the death certificate and will.
  4. If you are not working with the DOR through this process, you will need to complete an Affidavit of Heirship.

For more information on transferring a car title in Louisiana, visit the state’s OMV website.

Simplified Title & Notary Services with ABC

Transferring a vehicle title can still be a confusing process, even if all the steps are outlined. Avoid the hassle and frustration of visiting the DMV or OMV, only to learn you’re missing pieces of information, by taking advantage of ABC Insurance Agencies’ Title Services and Notary Services.

At ABC, our friendly agents are experts in title transfers, requirements, and laws in Louisiana and Texas. Plus, our locations also serve as notaries, so we can help you make changes to your title—and any legal documents, for that matter! Just call 1-800-708-0123, click, or come in to meet with a friendly agent near you.

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The information provided in this blog is designed to give helpful advice on the topic discussed. It is not intended to provide legal or any other type of advice and is not meant to be a thorough discussion of every issue that a person should consider or may encounter. ABC is not responsible or liable for the availability of links to websites or resources, or for any content, advertising, products, services or other materials on or available through these websites or resources or your reliance thereon. Any references to third party rates or products are subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. ABC Insurance Agencies-members of the National General Insurance Group, Winston-Salem, NC.

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