Archive for June 6th, 2016|Daily archive page

Buying and Selling a Michigan Vehicle

In Michigan, when there is a change of ownership of a car, a title transfer must take place. This includes ownership changes caused by the purchase and sale of a vehicle.


Buying from a Dealer


When you purchase a car from a Michigan dealer, that dealer will handle the titling and registration process for you. You can expect to pay all applicable fees as part of the vehicle transaction.


Buying from a Private Seller


Take the following steps to complete a vehicle title transfer after purchasing a car from a private seller:


  • Obtain the title certificate from the seller. Make sure the seller completes:
    • The title assignment and provides a signature.
    • The odometer disclosure
      • Note that any change to the title, such as crossing out a name, invalidates the document.
    • Visit an SOS office with:
      • The completed title
      • Your proof of Michigan car insurance.
      • A completed Appointment of Agent form (Form TR-128), if multiple owners will be on the new title AND all owners cannot be present.
      • Proof of lien satisfaction, if applicable.
        • You cannot transfer a Michigan title if a loan is still out on the car.
      • A license plate you wish to transfer from your old vehicle, if applicable (otherwise, you will purchase a new plate).
      • Payment for any applicable title transfer fees.

If possible, make the trip to the SOS with the seller when the change of ownership takes place. Otherwise, you have 15 days after the transaction to complete the title transfer on your own.


Keep in mind, however, that you can only drive the vehicle without a license plate in the immediate 3 days of the purchase date.


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