Transfer Car Title in Michigan

What Is a Title Transfer?Transfer-Title

The title is the legal document indentifying legal ownership of a vehicle. So when a vehicle transfers owners, a title transfer must occur. The transfer needs to occur within 15 days of the sale in order to avoid a $15 late fee. Common reasons for title transfers include:

* Buying or selling a vehicle
* Paying off a loan
* Transferring a vehicle to a family member
* Giving a vehicle as a gift
* Donating a vehicle
* Inheriting a vehicle

Selling a VehicleTransfer-Title

To make potential buyers feel comfortable with your car, get a vehicle history report to show them about your vehicle’s past and to help you decide on a fair price. Once you’ve sold the vehicle, you’ll need to:

* Locate the title
* Fill in the appropriate sections, including the buyer’s name and date of purchase
* Fill out the odometer section
* Sign your name
* Give the title to the buyer to finish the transaction at an SOS branch

If the transaction does not take place at a branch office, or if you cannot accompany the buyer to the office, make a copy of the front and back of the title for your records. It’s also wise to complete a bill of sale, though it is not necessary.

Buying a VehicleTransfer-Title

New Cars
If you bought a vehicle from a dealership, the dealer should handle the title transaction for you. If the dealer fails to do so, call the SOS at (888) SOS-MICH.

Used Cars
Buying a used car is a good economic decision. Search for used cars online to get an idea of what’s available, and check out financing and insurance options on the types of cars you’re considering. Before you make the deal, get a vehicle history report to confirm the vehicle isn’t a lemon.

Then do the following to transfer the title:

* Get the title from the seller
* Verify the seller filled in the appropriate sections, including the odometer reading, sales price, and your name
* Verify the VIN on the title and the VIN on the vehicle match
* Verify the seller signed and dated the title
* Check to be sure there are no outstanding liens on the vehicle
* Sign and date the title
* Visit an SOS branch office
* Pay the 6% use tax and $15 title fee

You can also register the vehicle at this time.

Removing a LienTransfer-Title

Once you’ve paid off your car’s loan, the lienholder will file the lien release paperwork with the SOS. If this fails to happen, call the SOS at (888) SOS-MICH for instructions.

Transferring to FamilyTransfer-Title

For these purposes, the state defines "family" as:

* Parent
* Sibling (including half-siblings)
* Child
* Stepparent, step-sibling, or step-child
* Grandparent
* Grandchild
* Spouse
* Legal ward or legally appointed guardian

When a car is transferred between these family members, the recipient does not need to pay use tax. Aside from that, the process is the same as that for non-family members.

The seller:

* Locates the title
* Fills out applicable sections, including buyer’s name and date of purchase
* Records odometer reading
* Signs the title
* Gives the title to the buyer

The buyer:

* Verifies the seller properly filled out the information on the title, including the odometer reading and signature
* Confirms the VIN on the title and vehicle match
* Confirms there are no outstanding liens
* Signs and dates the title
* Goes to an SOS branch office
* Pays $15 title transfer fee
* May register the vehicle at this time

Gifting a VehicleTransfer-Title

If the vehicle is a gift from a family member, the recipient will not have to pay sales tax. If it is a gift from anyone else, the recipient is responsible for sales tax based on the retail value of the vehicle.

If you receive a vehicle as a gift, follow these steps to transfer the title:

* Get the title from the buyer
* Confirm the buyer included the necessary information, including the odometer reading and your name
* Check that the VIN on the title and on the car match
* Verify the giver signed and dated the title
* Make sure there are no outstanding liens
* Sign and date the title
* Visit an SOS branch office
* Pay $15 title fee and sales tax
* You may register the vehicle at this time

Donating a VehicleTransfer-Title

Giving your vehicle to charity is a good gesture, just be sure to do your research first. Consider consulting a tax attorney to help you maximize your tax credit.

Inheriting a VehicleTransfer-Title

These processes can be quite complex and vary by situation. You may want to consult a probate attorney for guidance, or at least call the SOS at (888) SOS-MICH for details pertaining to your situation.

Here is how to handle the title transfer in the event your spouse left you the vehicle and no probate is involved. Visit an SOS branch office with:

* The title
* A certified copy of the death certificate
* Fill out an heir certification form
* Current registration of license plate number
* $15 fee

Remember to register the car and get proper insurance.

Making Name CorrectionsTransfer-Title

Changing a Name
Go to a branch office with:

* Legal document certifying your name change
* Photo identification
* An Appointment of Agent form, if not everyone on the title is present
* $15 fee

If there is a lien on the title, you will need to show a letter from the lienholder approving the change.

Deleting a Name

* The person leaving the title must sign off on the change on the title
* The current owner(s) must go to a branch office to complete the transaction and pay the $15 fee

If there is a lien on the title, you will need to show a letter from the lienholder approving the change.

Adding a Name
To add your a to a title, visit a branch office:

* Bring proper photo ID
* Sign the title
* Pay $15 fee

If there is a lien on the title, you will need to show a letter from the lienholder approving the change.