How To Transfer a Car Title in Pennsylvania

How to Transfer Car Title in Pennsylvania

Before buying or selling a car in Pennsylvania, you should know how to transfer a car title.

Transferring titles requires a lot of paperwork, and you must complete them accurately and smoothly to ensure ownership change.

The dealer (seller) is responsible for transferring the car title in Pennsylvania. Although as the buyer, you will need to be around to sign some documents and provide your name in the given spaces.

Read on to learn more about transferring a car title in Pennsylvania.

Key Takeaways

The basic process of transferring a vehicle title in PA includes

  • application
  • signing titles
  • provide proof of identification
  • completing odometer disclosure
  • title registration and insurance
  • remove license plates, apply for new ones
  • pay fees and tax

Can You Transfer a Car Title Online in PA?

Partially. All car title transfers in Pennsylvania, PA, must be handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Transport, and this can only be done by an agent in their office.

However, a few parts of the application can also be done online in Pennsylvania. You can also renew your title online but not transfer a car title online.

Do Both Parties Need To Be Present To Transfer a Title in PA?

Yes. Both parties need to be present to transfer a title in Pennsylvania, PA.

The seller:

  • Signs and print their name on the title
  • Records the name and address of the buyer.
  • Provides odometer mileage disclosure

The seller must do all of these things in the presence of an authorized PA (PennDOT) agent.

A tax status application may apply, but the seller will have to remove the registration plate and transfer to another vehicle or return to the Pennsylvania Department of Transport, depending on the circumstances surrounding its transfer.

The buyer:

  • Provide a means of identification. This can include but is not limited to a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license, photo ID card, etc.
  • Provide an address
  • Make provisions for insurance
  • Sign and print their names on Section D of the certificate of title.
  • Buyers must verify the odometer reading as disclosed by the seller.

An inspection might apply in certain situations, depending on the circumstances surrounding the process of transferring a car title.

What Documents Do You Need To Transfer a Car Title in PA?

Here are some of the documents that you will need to transfer a car title in PA:

  • Proof of Identification from the seller and buyer. This can include a driver’s license.
  • Odometer Statement
  • Certificate of Title
  • Insurance Documentation
  • Safety inspection, including emission inspection (primarily for used vehicle)

How To Transfer a Car Title in Pennsylvania

Here's an overview of the step-by-step process to transfer a vehicle title in PA:

1. Initialize Application

First, start the application. All parties involved must understand that they need to be present during the title transfer. You can use this period to gather all the requirements/documents from the buyer and the seller.

2. Sign Titles

You cannot sell a vehicle in Pennsylvania without a title. The certificate of title is what both parties will use to initiate the title transfer.

The seller must fill in the buyer's details, name(s), and address. The seller will also sign and print their name in the spaces provided.

While the seller handles the signing and completion of section A of the title on the back of the title, the buyer will have completed section D, but in front of the title. The buyer will need to sign and print their name

All parties must notarize the signing and transfer of title in the presence of an authorized agent.

Transferring the Title for a Used Car in PA

For a used vehicle, Form MV-4ST, “Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration,” should be attached to the application.

What if the original title is lost?

If the title is lost, the seller must apply for a duplicate title, pay the necessary fees and satisfy the lien, if applicable.

3. Proof of Identification

Then, all parties involved in the transfer must tender proof of identification. Some of the documents that the buyer should provide as proof of identification include:

  • Valid Pennsylvania photo driver’s license
  • A valid Pennsylvania photo identification card
  • Valid Pennsylvania photo exempt driver’s license
  • A valid Pennsylvania photo-exempt identification card
  • Valid Pennsylvania 15-day temporary Internet driver’s license
  • Identification card renewal credential and expired DL/ID
  • A valid Pennsylvania camera card
  • Pennsylvania expired identification credential
  • Valid U.S. armed forces common access card.

You simply need to provide one that matches and perfectly describes your identity. The proof of identification provided must be listed as the same name as provided in the form.

Proof of ID for new residents

New residents filling out for title transfer will have to apply for a driver’s license or a photo ID car which they must provide during the application for title transfer.

4. Odometer Disclosure

The seller must fill in accurate details of the odometer, and the buyer must confirm and verify the odometer disclosure as provided by the buyer.

5. Title Registration and Insurance

The buyer can proceed with title registration and finalizing things with any preferred insurance company before the title is transferred.

The buyer can apply for a new title and registration card from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

6. Application and Removal of Registration Plate

The title transfer is almost completed, as the seller will need to remove their license plates while the buyer proceeds with applying for a new license plate.

As the buyer, you can transfer your title from another vehicle to the new vehicle you just bought. The seller will remove the previous license plate and decide if they wish to transfer it to another vehicle.

7. Fees and Tax

You must pay some fees and necessary taxes to transfer your car title. The cost of transferring car titles in Pennsylvania ranges from $58 - $86 depending on if you are paying for an out-of-state transfer, a title with a lien, or just a title transfer for a vehicle bought from an individual seller.

If the car title transfer is for a car that was given as a gift, then the MV-13ST (1 - 19) must be collected, filled, and submitted.

Additionally, Pennsylvania car sales tax is 6% of the vehicle purchase price.

How Long Do You Have To Transfer a Title in Pennsylvania?

You must transfer the title within 20 days from the day of purchase.


The process of transferring a title in Pennsylvania isn’t as hard as it seems. You must understand the process and follow it carefully.

Don’t forget that all title transfer applications are done in the PennDOT office, and you must complete your application within the specified day.

To find out about the title transfer process in another state, read our detailed guides!

Frequently Asked Questions

What documents do I need to transfer a car title in PA?

You need:

  • Proof of ownership document
  • Application for the Certificate of Title- Form MV-1
  • Odometer reading
  • Proof of identity (PA Driver's license)
  • Proof of insurance

Can you transfer a PA car title without a notary?

No, Pennsylvania requires that title transfers be notarized.

Do both parties need to be present to transfer a title in Pennsylvania?

Yes, both the buyer and seller must be present to transfer a car title, as well as a licensed notary.

How much does a car title transfer and registration cost in PA?

The average cost to transfer a title and register plates is $192 in PA.