Cars & Vehicles Car Buying & Selling & Rentals

Documents Needed When Selling a Used Car

    Vehicle History

    • Vehicle history documents, such as maintenance receipts or recall records, are not mandatory to sell the car, but they can help prove the car was taken care of and may add value to the asking price. A buyer may feel less hesitant to purchase a used car that was regularly maintained. In many states, the latest smog certification is required for registration.

    Title or "Pink Slip"

    • You must provide the buyer with the documents he needs to file for a transfer of title through the state's DMV. If you own the car free and clear, the title is in your name; if you have an existing loan, the title may be in the lender's name. In some states, the title is transferred by simply entering your signature on the back of the title, along with the sales price and date of sale. Some states require official title transfer paperwork to be filled out. Every state varies on title transfer requirements.

    License Plates

    • When the new owner registers the vehicle, he will be given registration stickers for the license plate, so the original plates must be affixed to the car before the sale.

    Vehicle Identification Number and Certified Odometer Reading

    • Many states require a certified statement of your car's odometer reading. This is to protect the owner against odometer roll-back fraud, which is prevalent in the used car industry. In some states, you also need to submit a certified statement of the car's VIN, or vehicle identification number.

    Loan Statement

    • If you have a loan on your vehicle and have an outstanding balance on the loan, the prospective buyer must pay off the balance due before you receive anything that's left. The buyer needs your most recent auto loan statement or coupon book.

    Bill of Sale

    • A bill of sale or receipt may be necessary to prove the sale. In any case, it's prudent for both parties to have a copy of the receipt that indicates sale date and price.

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