How to Transfer a Car Title in Connecticut

The proof of who owns a vehicle lies in the car’s title – whoever’s name is on the title owns the car. Obviously, that means that if you decide to sell your car, or buy a car from a private seller, the title must be transferred to the new owner. Other instances when you’ll need to know how to transfer a car title in Connecticut include if you choose to give your car to a family member, or if you’re inheriting a car.

What you need to know to transfer a car title in Connecticut

The state of Connecticut has very strict requirements for transferring a car title, and the steps differ for buyers and sellers.

For buyers

Buyers will need to have some specific information before heading to the DMV. If you’re buying a car from a private seller, you will need the following:

  • The title, with the seller’s signature and date, as well as your own signature and date.
  • A completed bill of sale that includes the buyer’s name and address, the seller’s name and address, the amount of the sale price, the seller’s signature, the date on which the car was purchased, as well as the VIN, and the car’s make, model, year and color.
  • The completed Application for Registration and Certificate of Title.
  • Valid state-issued ID.
  • The payment for the title transfer/title fee, which is $25. You will also be responsible for paying a lien fee of $10. If a new title is needed, it will cost $25. Adding a lienholder to a title costs $45, and a title record copy search costs $20.

Common mistakes

  • Not getting a completed bill of sale from the seller.

For sellers

Like buyers, sellers have specific steps that must be taken to transfer a car title in Connecticut. They are as follows:

  • Complete the back of the title and sign and date it.
  • Create a bill of sale including all the information mentioned in the section for buyers above.
  • Make sure to sign and date the bill of sale.
  • Take your license plates off the car and return them to the DMV, with your registration certificate.

Common mistakes

  • Not signing and dating the bill of sale.
  • Not completing the fields on the back of the car title.

Gifting a vehicle

The state of Connecticut allows a vehicle to be gifted, but only to immediate family members. The steps involved are identical to the standard buying/selling process with one difference. The recipient must complete the Motor Vehicle or Vessel Gift Declaration and submit it along with all the other paperwork at the DMV to transfer the title.

Inheriting a car

If you are inheriting a car, you’ll need to complete the same Application for Registration form as others. The car will have to be assigned by the estate’s executor, though.

For more information on how to transfer a car title in Connecticut, visit the state’s DMV website.


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