The state of Ohio requires that all vehicles have a title that shows the current owner. When ownership changes, whether buying, selling, inheriting, donating, or giving away, the title must be changed to reflect this change, and to remove the name of the current owner and reissue the title under the name of the new owner. The state requires some specific steps, and you will need to know a few things to transfer a car title in Ohio.
Buy from a private seller
It is important to note that the buying process at a dealership and through a private seller is different. The dealer will take care of the title transfer for you, even if you are buying a used car. However, if you are buying from a private seller, it is your responsibility to manage the title. This is what you need to do:
- Make sure the seller completes the back of the title completely, including the odometer reading. The title must also be notarized.
- Unless the car is inherited or weighs more than 16,000 pounds, an Odometer Disclosure Statement must be included in the title.
- Get a lien release from the seller.
- Have insurance in the car.
- Take this information to your local title office, along with $ 15 for the title transfer fee.
- Not ensuring that the title is completely filled
Sell a car
If you are the individual selling a car, understand that although it is the buyer’s responsibility to handle the transfer of title, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is possible to do so. You should:
- Fill in the back of the title accurately and be sure to notarize it.
- Make sure the buyer signs on the odometer reading.
- Remove your plates.
- Give the buyer a lien release.
- Failing to ensure that the title is notarized after signing
Inherit and give away a car in Ohio
Giving a car as a gift in Ohio requires the same steps outlined above. However, inheriting a car is a little different.
- Surviving spouses can inherit up to two cars from the deceased.
- A surviving spouse affidavit must be completed and returned (available only through the title office).
- A death certificate must be provided in all inheritance cases.
- If the will is being tested, the court will decide the ownership of the vehicle.
- Joint owners named in the title can complete the transfer themselves (and must present a death certificate when sending it to the title office).
For more information about transferring a car title in Ohio, visit the state’s BMV website.