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How to Transfer a Car Title as a Gift

by Kayar Sprang

To give or receive a car and its title as a gift means the selling price is zero. No money trades hands. There is no compensation for the car. It is simply given for free to another person. Whether you give or receive a car, its title needs to be transferred to the new owner in a timely manner. The new owner must have the title in order to get a registration and license plates.

1

Get the title for the car from the previous owner. She should have signed the title over to your name and had her signature notarized.

2

Receive a bill of sale from the giver of the car if there is no title. Basically, a bill of sale is a dated, legal document that identifies the previous, as well as the new, legal owner. The current odometer reading is also listed. A bill of sale also states the selling price of a car. The sales tax that's due on the car (if applicable depending on the state you live in) may be calculated by the price listed on the bill of sale. Without that number, the sales tax may be calculated by using the car's fair market value.

3

Take the car title or the bill of sale to your local county clerk of courts title office. Since the car was a gift, there will be no sales tax owed. You need to apply for a new car title and registration. You'll be required to show proper identification and proof of residency. You'll also need to pay the fees with cash or by check.

Tip

  • In a few states, a bill of sale must be notarized in order to be considered valid.

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About the Author

Kayar Sprang has been a professional freelance writer and researcher since 1999. She has had articles published by clients like Kraft Foods, "Woman's Day" magazine and Mom Junction. Sprang specializes in subjects she has expertise in, including gardening and home improvement. She lives on and maintains a multi-acre farm.

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