How To Transfer a Car Title in Missouri

How to Transfer Car Title in Missouri

So, you’re ready to purchase (or sell) a vehicle in MO, and you’re wondering how to transfer a car title in Missouri. As you should. After all, the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) mandates that every vehicle must possess a title unless eligible for exemptions.

That’s where our expert editors come in and do the most up-to-date research for you (so you don’t have to decipher confusing governmental sites).

If you need to know how to transfer a car title in Missouri, we will explain the entire process.

Please note that the information provided in this article is accurate as of the last update, and readers are encouraged to check your state’s official website for the most current details and requirements.

Requirements for Car Title Transfer in Missouri

When visiting the DOR License office, it is imperative to ensure compliance with the following prerequisites for a title transfer:

  1. The original title is duly completed with the back assignment.
  2. The Application for Missouri Title and Registration.
  3. Documentation substantiating proof of insurance.
  4. The certificate of safety inspection.
  5. Disbursement of all applicable fees and taxes.
  6. Presentation of your driver's license.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Missouri If You're a New Resident

As a recent transplant to Missouri, you must comply with the obligation to register and obtain titles for your vehicle(s) within 30 days after establishing residency in the state.

To initiate the process, a visit to your local MO license office is required, accompanied by the provision of the following:

  1. The out-of-state title of the vehicle(s).
  2. A duly completed Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108). When titling your vehicle, mark the "new plates" option if you intend to register your vehicle simultaneously. If you opt not to register immediately, select the "title only" box.
  3. Substantiation of a valid MO vehicle insurance policy.
  4. A Statement of Non-Assessment issued by the assessor's office at your current or intended residence. This document certifies you have no outstanding personal property taxes for the preceding year.
  5. Evidential documentation of a vehicle identification number (VIN) and odometer inspection conducted by an authorized inspection station.
  6. If necessary, proof of compliance with safety and emissions inspection requirements from an authorized inspection station.
  7. Payment for all relevant vehicle titling fees and taxes.

You can acquire a temporary permit to operate your vehicle without license plates while the titling process is completed in Missouri.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Missouri If You're the Seller

When transferring a vehicle title during the sale of a vehicle in Missouri, a series of specific measures must be undertaken.

To transfer the title of the vehicle being sold, it is essential to:

  1. Endorse the vehicle title to the new owner through the appropriate signature.
  2. Conduct a comprehensive safety and emissions inspection on the vehicle, if mandated. Subsequently, furnish the buyer with compelling evidence of the inspection.
  3. If your vehicle bears a lien, furnish the buyer with the notarized Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to Add/Remove a Name from the Title (Form DOR-4809).
  4. Before the buyer takes possession of the vehicle, ensure the removal of your former license plates.
  5. Safeguard the possession of all required documentation to furnish the buyer, thereby forestalling any undue impediments in the vehicle title transfer process.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Missouri If It Is Inherited

In the event of inheriting a vehicle without a designated beneficiary, it becomes imperative to furnish the subsequent documentation and remittance at the local MO licensing office:

  1. A duly completed Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108).
  2. The vehicle title is registered under the name of the deceased individual, which must be duly signed over to you by the estate's administrator or executor. If the vehicle title is lost or damaged, the administrator or executor will apply for a duplicate vehicle title in the estate's name.
  3. Original or officially certified copies of the following:
    • Letters of Administration
    • Letters Testamentary or Small Estate Certificate/Affidavit
  1. Payment covers all applicable fees encompassing vehicle title, registration, taxes, and processing charges. Should the deceased individual have previously settled all taxes related to the vehicle, the executor of the will retains the prerogative to bestow the vehicle as a gift, thereby absolving the beneficiary from any tax obligations.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Missouri If You're the Buyer

Whenever you procure a vehicle, it becomes imperative to process the transfer of the title into your name.

While a dealership will handle this task on your behalf, should you opt for a private seller, the responsibility falls solely upon you. Follow these steps to ensure a seamless process:

  1. Verify that the seller has duly completed the required fields on the back of the title.
  2. Complete an Application for Missouri Title and License. If you intend to register the vehicle concurrently with the title transfer, ensure to select the "new plates" option. Conversely, mark the "title only" designation if registration is not pursued immediately.
  3. Obtain a notarized lien release from the seller, confirming the absence of any financial encumbrances.
  4. Acquire an insurance policy for the vehicle and furnish documentary evidence of coverage.
  5. Facilitate a comprehensive inspection of the vehicle, encompassing safety and emissions. Provide a copy of the resulting certificate as proof of compliance.
  6. A requisite Odometer Disclosure Statement must be procured if the vehicle is less than a decade.
  7. Compile all the above information and remit the corresponding title transfer and registration fees. Title transfer fees amount to $11, accompanied by a state tax of 4.225%. Failure to adhere to the 30-day timeframe incurs an additional charge of $25, escalating daily until it reaches a maximum of $200.

Present the completed documentation and payment to the DMV office to conclude the title transfer process successfully.

Transfer of Car Ownership in Missouri Without a Title

If the seller misplaces the title of the vehicle, it becomes mandatory for them to obtain a duplicate vehicle title.

Without possessing either the original vehicle title or its duplicate, the transfer of title for the vehicle cannot be executed.

To initiate this procedure, you can access the Application for Duplicate Title/Registration Receipt (Form 2519), which can be downloaded.

Fill out the form meticulously, ensuring all required information is provided, and subsequently append your signature. In the case of submitting the form in person, it is vital to have $12 on hand to remit the necessary fee and obtain the replacement title.

If you opt to dispatch the completed duplicate vehicle title form via mail, enclose a check amounting to $12 to cover the replacement fee.

Address the envelope to the location specified on the reverse side of the application form.

Missouri Emission Requirements

Within the jurisdiction of the State of Missouri, the fulfillment of emission testing is necessitated in the following counties as part of the title transfer process:

  1. St. Louis
  2. St. Charles
  3. Franklin
  4. Jefferson

It is important to note that Missouri's specific emission inspection fees may vary among different testing stations.

Hence, it is advisable to engage in comparative exploration to secure the most favorable pricing options available within your respective county.

Moreover, it is noteworthy that all MO emissions inspection fees encompass an inclusive provision for a complimentary retest. This complimentary retest can be availed under the following conditions:

  1. The retest is conducted within 20 business days after the initial emissions test.
  2. The vehicle is taken to the same testing station where the initial emissions test was conducted.

How To Get a Duplicate Title in Missouri

If your vehicle title is stolen, acquiring a duplicate Missouri vehicle title becomes necessary.

If you possess a lien on your vehicle that has been fully settled, you must request a duplicate vehicle title accordingly.

To obtain a duplicate Missouri vehicle title, adhere to the following steps:

  1. Complete the Application for Missouri Title and License (Form DOR-108) and have it notarized. On the title application, mark the designated box indicating the need for a "duplicate" title.
  2. Furnish a detailed explanation outlining the reason(s) for requesting a duplicate vehicle title. If you require the vehicle title to be mailed to an address different from the one listed on the duplicate Missouri vehicle title application, ensure to select the "mail to" box and provide the new address.
  3. If possible, provide the damaged vehicle title, if applicable. In cases where the vehicle title has been destroyed, submit whatever remains of the document.
  4. Submit a notarized Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to Add/Remove Name from Title (Form DOR-4809) if you have successfully satisfied the outstanding lien on your vehicle.
  5. Remit payment covering all essential vehicle titling fees as required.

By meticulously following these steps, you can obtain a duplicate Missouri vehicle title, ensuring the documentation and fees are provided as stipulated.

Cost of Transferring a Car Title in Missouri

Like many other states, Missouri imposes a standard fee for vehicle titling. In addition, the vehicle registration fees in this state are determined based on the vehicle's horsepower.

While paying the vehicle registration fees concurrently with the titling process is not mandatory, you must still remit the title fee, taxes, and any applicable processing fees.

The fees associated with a vehicle title transfer in Missouri are outlined as follows:

  1. Initial titling fee: $14.50 (inclusive of a vehicle title processing fee of $6)
  2. State tax: Calculated at a rate of 4.2225% of the vehicle's cost, augmented by the local sales tax.
  3. Late titling fee: Amounting to $25 on the 31st day, followed by an additional $25 for each subsequent 30-day period (with a maximum penalty of $200).

You can facilitate a seamless and legally compliant vehicle title transfer process within Missouri by ensuring compliance with these fees and adhering to the prescribed timelines.

Overall Purchase Costs for Vehicles in MO

Below, we’ve included an example of how much it would cost to purchase a $30,000 vehicle with a $5,000 trade-in. Hopefully, this will help reduce some of that sticker shock once you’re ready to sign on the line. Note: These are estimates, not firm pricing.

Cost Item
Purchase Price
The price of the car before any deductions.
Trade-In Value
The value of the trade-in, deducted from the purchase price for tax calculation purposes.
Taxable Amount
The amount on which sales tax will be calculated (Purchase Price - Trade-In Value).
State Sales Tax (4.225%)
Calculated on the taxable amount. This does not include local sales tax, which can vary.
Local Sales Tax (Est. 2.796%)
This is an estimate; actual rates vary by location.
Title Fee
Registration Fee
$51.25 (1 year)
Based on the horsepower or vehicle weight. A two-year option is available for $102.50.
Title Transfer Fee
Title Processing Fee
This fee is for the processing of the vehicle title.
Registration Processing Fee
This fee is for the processing of the vehicle registration.
Documentation Fees
The average fee charged by dealerships for processing the vehicle sale paperwork.
Total Estimated Cost
This total now accurately reflects the breakdown of processing fees and does not include potential additional dealership fees, inspection fees, or specific county/city fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I transfer a car title when the vehicle is a gift or inheritance in Missouri?

For gifted vehicles, you need to provide a signed certificate of title with "GIFT" written in the sale price section, a safety and/or emissions inspection certificate if applicable, and a General Affidavit or a written statement indicating the vehicle is a gift. Inheritances require an Application for Missouri Title and License, the title signed over by the estate's administrator, and possibly a Small Estate Certificate/Affidavit, along with payment of all related fees​​​​.

What do I need to do to transfer my car title from another state to Missouri?

If you're a new Missouri resident, you have 30 days to transfer your out-of-state title. You'll need your out-of-state title, a completed Application for Missouri Title and License, proof of insurance, a Statement of Non-Assessment for taxes, and possibly a VIN and odometer inspection, along with any applicable fees​​​​.

What if I lost the original title before transferring it?

To transfer a car title in Missouri if you've lost the original, you must first apply for a duplicate title. This requires submitting an Application for Missouri Title and License, a notarized Lien Release if applicable, and the duplicate title fee of $11. You can apply in person or online​​​​.

How much are the fees for transferring a car title in Missouri?

The initial title fee in Missouri is $14.50, with a state sales tax rate of 4.225% on the vehicle's purchase cost, plus any local sales taxes. If you're late in titling your vehicle, there's a $25 late fee that increases by $25 every 30 days up to a maximum of $200​​.