How to Give a Car to a Friend

by Maggie McCormick
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yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from

Giving a car to a friend can help your friend in a time of need, but you shouldn't be casual about the transfer of ownership just because you're dealing with your friend. Until you formally transfer the car into the new owner's name, you are legally responsible for anything that happens with the car. Go through all of the legal steps to transfer your car, so your friend has actual ownership.

Step 1

Contact your local department of motor vehicles to learn your state's rules. While the general steps for transferring ownership of your car are the same, some states have additional regulations. For example, some states require notarization when signing the title over to a friend.

Step 2

Sign the title over to your friend. On the back of the title of the car, there is a section about transferring ownership. You must fill that out with your friend's information. Additionally, you'll have to provide the odometer information if your car is less than 10 years old.

Step 3

Release your liability. You must notify the DMV that you have given the car to your friend. In some states, there is a liability release attached to the title that you can tear off to mail in. In other states, you can release liability online.

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