How to Title a Car as a Gift to a Child

by Heather Woodlief

Sweet 16 is a hallmark age for most children, not so much for the possibility of a kiss anymore but for a driver's license instead. A driver's license and a car are tangible expressions of independence. It can be very tempting to give a car to a teenager, but deeding a car to a minor can be quite complicated.


Consult your state's department of motor vehicles. Laws vary from state to state regarding minors owning vehicles. A title is considered a legal contract; some states don't allow a minor to have his name on a deed.


Ask your state's licensing agent about options. Some car dealerships will allow a parent and child to co-sign a sales agreement so that both names can be on the title.


Consult the insurance agency the child will be using. Legal agencies don't always verify the ages of a name before issuing a title, but insurance companies do. Many insurance companies will not sign a minor without an adult's signature, too.


Exercise patience if your state won't allow the minor's name to be on listed the title. As the owner, you may allow the child to drive the car as a gift until he turns 18. At that time you and the young adult may visit the county licensing agency to transfer the title to its new owner.

About the Author

Heather Woodlief started writing professionally in 1998. Her published works have been featured in "Family Fun" magazine, "Fit Pregnancy," "Cat's Magazine," "Children's Ministry" magazine and "iParenting."

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