How to Transfer a Car Title in British Columbia

by George Lawrence J.D.

Ontario's Ministry of Transportation (MTO) handles matters involving car registration and title. If you recently purchased a used vehicle, inherited a vehicle, or were given a used vehicle, you need to follow the proper procedure to put the car's title into your name. Once the process is complete, put the car title in a secure place. The document proves that you own the car.

Locate an MTO office near you. Call 1-800-387-3445, the clerk will tell you which locations are near you.

Fill out the "application for transfer" on the back of the vehicle permit. When you take over a used vehicle (whether by sale or otherwise), the prior owner should give you the vehicle permit.

Obtain a safety standards certificate. These certificates are issued by government-approved service stations and are obtained after a mechanic inspects the car for safety. You should have obtained this certificate prior to taking over the car; if the car is unsafe to drive you cannot register it in Ontario. If you do not have this certificate at the time you are trying to register the car in your name, have the car inspected by an approved mechanic (call the number in Step 1 to find one near you) and obtain a certificate. Certificates are valid for 36 days after inspection.

Obtain the vehicle information packet for the used car. This step is only necessary for private sales. Skip this step if you have inherited the car or were gifted the car. The packet contains information about the car such as vehicle identification number, plate number, the year and model, the color, and its engine specifications.

Purchase insurance for the vehicle.

Bring the vehicle permit, the information packet (if necessary), the safety standards certificate, proof of insurance, and your identification to your nearest MTO branch. Submit the materials to the clerk and pay a transfer fee (CA$20 as of 2010).

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.

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