How to Transfer a Car Title to a Relative

by Diana Prince

A title certificate is used as the official proof of ownership for a vehicle. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires any person purchasing a vehicle or even just receiving one as a gift, to first have the title signed over to their name. Transferring ownership of vehicles is a common process, one which must take place in order to legally sell a car, give it to a friend or relative, or donate it to charity. If you plan to sell or give your vehicle to a relative, you can transfer the car title to their name easily.

Fill out the "Transfer By Owner" section on the back of the title.

Print your name and address as the seller, the name and address of the buyer/receiver and the date of transfer in the appropriate boxes on the back of the title certificate.

Sign on the "Seller's Signature" line in order to complete the transaction. Once you sign on this line, the vehicle immediately belongs to the new owner.


  • Take your time when filling out the form on the back of the title. The title is considered void if any information is marked off or changed. If you do happen to make a mistake, you must obtain a duplicate title and fill out the new form properly before you can transfer the title.
  • If the vehicle in question is eight model years old or newer, you must complete the damage disclosure statement, located on the back of the title certificate. If the vehicle in question is 10 model years old or older, you must complete the odometer disclosure statement on the back of the title certificate.
  • If the vehicle is being given as a gift, make sure to note this in the appropriate box on the back of the title certificate.

About the Author

In 2000 Diana Prince began writing as a journalist for the school newspaper. Later, she took on a lead writing job at a locally published newspaper. Her work has appeared in various magazines and online publications. She has a degree in cosmetology, a certification in personal training and nutrition and holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and journalism from McMaster University.

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