How Do I Endorse a Car Title?

by Si Kingston

A car title is a legal document indicating the current owner(s) of a particular vehicle. The title includes the full name and address of the owner(s) at the time the vehicle has transferred. The title also includes information pertaining to the vehicle, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the year, make and model of the vehicle. Although the owner's name may be on the title, another person may have registered the vehicle. Without a car title, a buyer can't be sure that all owners have signed over the right to the vehicle.

Notarize the seller's signature. This is not required in all states. For example, California doesn't require notarization, but Oklahoma does. If the signature must be notarized, the seller(s) must sign the document in the presence of a notary and show appropriate identification. There is usually a fee for this transaction. If no notarization is required, go to step 2.

Sign the seller's name in the appropriate place. If more than one owner is featured on the title, all owners must sign the title. The exception is if there is an "or" between the owners names (e.g., Bill Moore or Sandy Moore). An "or" allows either owner to sell the vehicle without the signature of the other. The word "and" between two parties requires the signature of both parties.

Print the buyer's name, address, the current odometer reading, purchase amount (or gift, if applicable), driver's license number and the date of transfer in the appropriate section. The name of this section varies slightly per state, but Florida titles designate this section as the "Transfer of Title by Seller" section. The buyer can then sign his or her signature in the designated field.

Copy the buyer information in the release of liability, or bill of sale, section of the title. This section of the title should be torn off and will remain with the seller. It may also be submitted to the department of motor vehicles to indicate that the vehicle has been sold. Be sure to include the buyer(s) name, address, the date of purchase, the buyer's signature and vehicle information such as the year, make, model and VIN.

Tip

  • check Once a vehicle has been paid off, the finance company should notify the appropriate motor vehicle department and a new title in just the owner(s) name should be issued. If a new title has not been received and you want to sell your vehicle, contact the finance company and request a lien release. This release is a notarized document indicating that the vehicle is paid off and free of any liens or encumbrances. The buyer then needs only your signature on the title and the lien release to get a new title in his or her name only.

About the Author

Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera car image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com