How to Transfer a Car Title in Oregon | YourMechanic Advice

How to Transfer a Car Title in Oregon

The state of Oregon requires that all vehicles have a title, and that the title show the name of the current owner. When a car is bought or sold, the title must be updated to reflect the new owner’s name. The same holds true for vehicle donations, inheriting a car, or gifting one to someone. When it comes to how to transfer a car title in Oregon, there are some important steps to follow, and they vary depending on the situation.

Buyers and car title transfers in Oregon

If you’re buying a car from a dealership, they’ll handle the transfer process. However, if you’re buying a car from a private seller, things are different. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the title is transferred into your name. To do this, you’ll need to:

  • Make sure that the seller completes the back of the title and signs it into your name. By completing the back of the title, the seller is releasing their interest. This can also be done with a bill of sale.

  • Make sure the seller gives you a lien release. Note that if there is a lien on the car, the owner cannot sell it. The lien holder must handle the process instead.

  • The odometer reading must appear on the title, or it must be noted on an Odometer Disclosure Statement, which can be obtained from the DMV. Note that this applies to vehicles less than 10 years of age.

  • Complete an Application for Title and Registration.

  • Get insurance on the car.

  • Bring this information as well as the money for the title transfer and registration fee to the DMV office (title transfer fees are $77). Alternatively, you can mail all of it to the following address:

Oregon DMV
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, OR 97314

Common mistakes

  • Not getting a lien release
  • Not ensuring that the mileage is recorded

Sellers and car title transfers in Oregon

If you’re a private seller, you’ll need to complete several steps:

  • Sign the title over to the buyer.
  • Release your interest in the car by completing the back of the title or with a bill of sale.
  • Give the buyer a lien release.
  • Make sure that the odometer reading is recorded on the title or on an Odometer Disclosure Statement (available from the DMV).

Common mistakes

  • Not providing a lien release

For inheriting and gifting a car

If you are gifting a car, simply follow the steps listed above. If you’re inheriting a car, you’ll need to take additional steps, and these will vary depending on the situation.

  • If your name is on the title, you’ll need to show the death certificate and the current title to the DMV, as well as the other documentation mentioned above.

  • If the estate is probated, you’ll need a copy of the letter of testamentary, the current title, a interest release form signed by the executor, the Application for Title and Registration, and the odometer reading.

  • If the estate is not probated, you will need an Inheritance Affidavit, the title, the application, a lien release and the odometer reading.

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


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