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A car’s title is proof of who owns it. When ownership changes, the title must be transferred to the new owner. This is true for buying or selling a car, and it applies to other types of ownership changes, including receiving or giving a car as a gift, or inheriting a car. When it comes to how to transfer a car title in Louisiana, there are several things that need to be done correctly.
Louisiana car buyers
If you’re buying a car from a private seller, you have 40 days to gather the required information and money for fees and taxes, and then visit the OMV. You’ll need to follow these steps:
- Make sure that the seller completes all the information on the back of the title. This should include the car’s mileage, as well as the price you paid for the car and the date.
- Make sure that both you and the seller sign the title, and that it is notarized.
- If the title does not have room for all the information needed, a bill of sale is required.
- Make sure the seller provides you with an Odometer Disclosure Statement if it’s newer than 10 years.
- Make sure to get a lien release from the seller.
- Complete the Vehicle Application.
- Make sure to get insurance on the car and to provide proof of coverage.
- Have the money to pay the transfer fee. This will be $18.50, with a possible handling fee depending on the OMV branch you use. You’ll also need to pay sales tax, as well as an in-person credit/debit fee if not paying with cash.
- Not getting a lien release
- Not signing with the seller and having the title notarized
Louisiana car sellers
For sellers, there are other steps that need to be taken before the title can be transferred to a new owner. These are as follows:
- Make sure to provide all the required information on the title, or in a bill of sale if there is not enough space on the title.
- Make sure to give the buyer a lien release.
- Complete the online Notice of Transfer at the OMV website. You’ll need to provide the car’s license plate number and expiration date, as well as the VIN, your driver’s license number, the buyer’s information, the date of the sale, and the price.
- Remove the license plates from the car.
- Not getting a lien release
Inherited and gifted cars
For gifted cars, the process of transferring the title is the same as above. However, for an inherited car, there are some specific steps needed.
- You’ll need a court order if court-ordered distribution is occurring.
- If the DOR is handling the situation, you’ll need an Affidavit of Small Succession (available from the DOR only).
- You’ll need a copy of the death certificate.
- You’ll need a copy of the will.
- You’ll need an Affidavit of Heirship if the court or the DOR are not handling the situation.
For more information about how to transfer a car title in Louisiana, visit the state’s Office of Motor Vehicles website.
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