How To Transfer Car Title in Michigan
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Are you a Michigan resident in the market for a new car? Or perhaps you're inheriting a vehicle from a family member? Either way, one thing is clear - possessing a title in your name is essential to establish yourself as the vehicle's rightful owner.
And when the ownership of a vehicle changes hands, a transfer of the title must occur, involving necessary actions from both the former and new owners.
The title serves as the definitive proof of vehicle ownership. When purchasing or inheriting a vehicle, it must be transferred to your name to confirm the official transfer of ownership from the previous owner to yourself.
But don't worry! We’re covering everything you need to know about how to transfer a car title in Michigan, including the required documents and the processes involved in different transferring scenarios.
From providing necessary information to submitting relevant paperwork and paying required fees, we'll guide you through the ins and outs of car title transfers in the Great Lakes State.
So, if you're ready to take the next step in your car ownership journey, read on and discover everything you need to know about transferring a car title in Michigan!
Table of Contents
- Things Needed To Transfer Car Title in Michigan
- How To Transfer Car Title in Michigan When Procured From a Private Seller
- How To Transfer Car Title in Michigan When Buying From a Dealer
- How To Transfer Car Title in Michigan When You're the Seller
- How To Get Duplicate Title in Michigan (Online)
- How To Get Duplicate Title in Michigan (By Mail or Fax)
- How To Get Duplicate Title in Michigan (Office Visit)
- Cost of Transferring Car Title in Michigan
- Best Car Deals by Category
Things Needed To Transfer Car Title in Michigan
Present the original title (rejecting photocopies or modified titles, such as those with crossed-out names) accompanied by:
1. Your signature
All titled proprietors must affix their signatures during the transfer of the title. In cases where owners cannot personally visit an office to sign, they may authorize an agent to sign on their behalf by completing an Appointment of Agent form.
2. Seller's signature
If the seller does not intend to accompany you to a Secretary of State office, they must duly complete and sign the seller's section of the title.
3. Odometer disclosure statement
Ensure that the recorded odometer reading on the title is meticulously accurate. If the title has insufficient space, complete and submit an Odometer Mileage Statement.
4. Statement from the loan provider
If the vehicle had an outstanding loan, furnish either the lien termination statement or the signed title from the financial institution responsible for managing the loan.
If an active loan is associated with the title, an authorization letter from the lienholder must be submitted along with the title application.
You must bring along your Michigan driver's license or identification card.
How To Transfer Car Title in Michigan When Procured From a Private Seller
After procuring a vehicle from a private seller, you, as the buyer and the seller, bear the responsibility of initiating and executing the vehicle title transfer process in Michigan.
To successfully carry out a Michigan vehicle title transfer following your purchase from a private seller, it is necessary to follow these steps:
1. Obtain the vehicle's title certificate from the seller. The seller assumes the duty of accomplishing the title assignment and appending their signature on the vehicle title.
Additionally, the seller must furnish the odometer disclosure statement. It is essential to note that any alteration made to the vehicle's title, such as crossing out a name, renders the document null and void.
2. Visit your local Michigan Secretary of State (MI SOS) office while bringing along the following:
- A completed vehicle title certificate
- Evidence of a valid Michigan vehicle insurance policy
- A completed Appointment of Agent Form (Form TR-128), if the new vehicle title will list multiple owners and not all of them can be physically present
- Proof of lien satisfaction, if applicable (it is not permissible to transfer a vehicle title in Michigan if there is an existing loan on the vehicle)
- A license plate that can be transferred from your previous vehicle, if applicable (alternatively, you can opt to purchase a new license plate in Michigan)
- Payment for all applicable vehicle title transfer fees
3. Visit the MI SOS office with the vehicle's seller at the time of ownership change. Alternatively, you have a grace period of 15 days after the transaction to complete the vehicle title transfer independently.
You must be aware that you are granted a 3-day window from the date of vehicle purchase, during which you are permitted to operate the vehicle without a license plate.
How To Transfer Car Title in Michigan When Buying From a Dealer
After procuring a vehicle from a dealership in Michigan, it is customary for the dealer to assume the responsibility of managing the vehicle titling and registration procedures on your behalf.
However, you are responsible for remitting all relevant fees tied to the vehicle transaction.
How To Transfer Car Title in Michigan When You're the Seller
After selling your vehicle, it becomes the buyer's responsibility to undertake the vehicle title transfer process.
As the seller, you must complete the title assignment on the existing vehicle title certificate and deliver it to the buyer. It is imperative to furnish specific details on the vehicle title certificate, including:
- Date of sale
- Selling price
- Signatures of all listed vehicle owners on the title
Ideally, you should accompany the vehicle buyer to your local Secretary of State office to finalize the Michigan vehicle title transfer.
If circumstances prevent you from making this trip, it is essential to maintain a record of the sale, which may consist of:
- A clear photocopy of the duly assigned vehicle title certificate
- A document or form encompassing the following information:
- The year and make of the vehicle
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Name, address, driver's license number, and signature of the vehicle buyer
Removing and retaining the license plates from the vehicle is crucial upon concluding the vehicle sale. Do not relinquish the license plates to the new vehicle owner.
How To Get Duplicate Title in Michigan (Online)
Solely the vehicle proprietor possesses the authority to seek a duplicate title.
To procure a duplicate title through online means, you will require the following:
- Your driver's license or identification card
- Your date of birth
- A debit or credit card for payment purposes
To initiate your request, kindly proceed as follows:
- Visit the Online Services platform.
- Locate the section dedicated to Vehicle Transactions and opt for the link labeled "Request a Duplicate Title."
- Create a new account or log into your existing Secretary of State online account.
- Adhere to the on-screen instructions to finalize your transaction.
Expect your duplicate title to be dispatched by mail within 14 days.
How To Get Duplicate Title in Michigan (By Mail or Fax)
This service is exclusively accessible to individuals outside of Michigan and former Michigan residents who misplaced their Michigan title. The sole entitlement to request a duplicate title lies with the vehicle owner.
To obtain a duplicate title via mail or fax, the following items are required:
- Duplicate Title Application
- Termination statement from the lending institution if the intention is to eliminate a secured interest
- Name and address of the lending institution if the aim is to add a secured interest
- Check or money order for payment (for mail requests)
- Debit or credit card or bank account number for payment (for fax requests)
To apply through mail, kindly adhere to the subsequent steps:
- Complete the Duplicate Title Application meticulously and affix your signature. (Please note that digital signatures through Adobe software are not acceptable).
- Dispatch the signed application along with any other pertinent supporting documents, if applicable, along with a cheque or money order payable to "State of Michigan" to the following address: Michigan Department of State Internal Services Section 7064 Crowner Drive Lansing, MI 48918
If you prefer to submit your application via fax, please follow these instructions:
- Fax the signed application and any relevant supporting documents, including your credit card payment information, to the designated fax number: 517-636-5865. (Again, please note that digital signatures through Adobe software are not acceptable).
How To Get Duplicate Title in Michigan (Office Visit)
Exclusive authorization to request a duplicate title lies solely with the vehicle's proprietor.
To acquire a duplicate title during an office visit, the following prerequisites must be met:
- Your driver's license or identification card
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
- A debit or credit card or bank account number for payment purposes
- Appointment of Agent form if you are unable to appear personally. In such cases, you may designate an agent to act on your behalf. For vehicles held under joint ownership, it is sufficient for only one owner to be present. A formal appointment of an agent is not required for the co-owner.
To initiate the ordering process, please follow these steps:
- Make your way to any Secretary of State office.
- Sign the title application and present the required identification.
- Remit the duplicate title fee, which amounts to $15. If you require expedited service for a same-day title, the fee will be $20.
- Anticipate the arrival of your duplicate title via mail within 14 days.
Cost of Transferring Car Title in Michigan
The fees associated with vehicle transactions encompass the following:
- Title transfer fee: $15
- Plate transfer fee: Ranging from $10 to $15, contingent upon whether the vehicle receiving the plate was acquired through a private sale or transferred to a family member.
- Sales tax: An amount equivalent to 6 percent of the transaction value. However, this tax is not levied on immediate family members for vehicle sales.
- Recreation Passport fee: Optional, amounting to $13.
Failure to process the title transfer within 15 days of the sale will incur a late fee of $15.
Various payment methods are accepted during transactions carried out at Secretary of State offices. They include cash, checks, money orders, et cetera.
However, it is essential to remember that supplementary fees may be applicable specifically for credit or debit card transactions.