Imagine this scenario: you just bought a new vehicle from out of state. You live in Maryland, but the title for the vehicle (which proves that you own it) is for another state. This article explains the process of how to transfer a vehicle title to the new state.
What Is a Title Transfer?
A vehicle title is a document that proves you are the owner of that vehicle. It may include names of other owners, or any previous lienholders if the car was bought with a loan.
When the ownership of the vehicle changes, such as when it is sold, or if the owner changes their name, a title transfer must be completed.
The state doesn’t have specific requirements for when a title transfer must take place, but if you’ve just moved to Maryland, you have to register your vehicle within 60 days, and sometimes a title is required to do that.
When Would I Need to Transfer a Vehicle Title?
- When the vehicle is being bought/sold to another party.
- Removing lien information (usually because the loan has been paid off)
- Transfer of ownership among family members
- Giving a vehicle as a gift to someone
- Donating a vehicle to a participating organization
- Inheriting a vehicle from someone else
- Making a name change (such as if you got married and your legal name changed)
A title is the one vehicle transfer requirement when ownership is changing. To transfer the title to the new owner, the “Assignment of Ownership” section on the back of the title must be filled out. The former owner signs and dates it as the seller of the vehicle, and you, as the new owner, signs and dates it as well. The odometer reading and the sales price are often also recorded in this section.
Maryland Bill of Sale
Along with the title, a bill of sale is often completed when a vehicle is sold. Sometimes the bill of sale must be notarized in Maryland depending on the circumstances. Check with your local town official to find out of your bill of sale must be notarized.
When you take the necessary steps to complete a title transfer, you can ensure that the sale of your vehicle proceeds smoothly and that you’re meeting all legal requirements for the state.