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Bureau of Motor Vehicles

myBMV > Titles > Buying or Selling a Vehicle Buying or Selling a Vehicle

A completed certificate of title is evidence of vehicle ownership. In Indiana, all motor vehicles, trailers, mobile homes and recreational vehicles must be titled. If you have recently purchased a vehicle with an Indiana title, or received as a gift a vehicle with an Indiana title, you must title it in your own name within 31 days.

If you are buying a vehicle, ensure that the seller has signed the appropriate section on the vehicle's title and filled in your information as the vehicle purchaser. The odometer information should be completely filled out, as well as the purchase date and selling price fields. The seller of the vehicle should remove the license plate from the vehicle at the time of the transaction. It is your responsibility as the purchaser to obtain a new title and to register the vehicle.

The knowing or intentional failure of the seller or transferor to fill in all buyer information is a Class A misdemeanor or a Class D felony for the second or subsequent offense under IC 9-17-3-7(c)(2)." (A Class A misdemeanor for the first violation; or a Class D felony for the second violation or any subsequent violation.)

A new title costs $15 plus a seven percent (7%) sales tax based on the purchase price indicated on the title. If you buy a vehicle from a dealership which partners with the BMV you may title and register your vehicle at the dealership. If you buy a vehicle from a private individual or from a dealership that does not partner with the BMV, you must visit a license branch or BMV partner location to title your vehicle.

Delivery of the title

When you are purchasing a vehicle, you should confirm the location and possession of the vehicle's title.

If you have purchased the vehicle from a dealer, and have made all required initial payments, the dealer is required to deliver the title to you within 21 days of the date of the sale.

If you do not receive the title within 21 days, you should write to the dealer and request delivery of the title. After receipt of your written request, the dealer has an additional 10 days to provide you with the title. If you have not received the title and choose to return the vehicle to the dealer, the vehicle must be in the same or similar condition as when it was purchased. Upon return of the vehicle, the dealer is required to provide you with a refund of the purchase price plus tax, finance expenses, insurance expenses, and any other amount that you have paid to the dealer.

Selling a Vehicle

When selling a vehicle, you must sign the appropriate section on the vehicle's title and complete the purchaser's information. The odometer information should also be filled out, as well as the purchase date and selling price fields.

As the vehicle's seller, you should remove the license plate from the vehicle at the time of the transaction. It is the purchaser's responsibility to obtain a new title and to register the vehicle. You do not need to return the vehicle's license plate or registration to the BMV. As the seller, you may be eligible for an excise tax refund. To apply for an excise tax refund, please visit any Indiana license branch.

If no money was exchanged during the transaction, you should indicate "GIFT" in the selling price field.

When selling a vehicle, you should confirm with the purchaser the location and possession of the vehicle's title.

You also have a duty to disclose that a vehicle has a salvage or rebuilt condition. Indiana's salvage law applies to vehicles, motorcycles, semis and recreational vehicles that are no older than seven model years from the current model year. If you are a dealer or you sell at least five vehicles a year, you have a legal duty to inform the purchaser of the previous salvage or rebuilt condition in writing before sale of the vehicle. If you do not inform the purchaser about a vehicle's salvage or rebuilt condition in writing, or if you sell a vehicle that should have "salvage" or "rebuilt" on it's title but does not, the purchaser may file a lawsuit to recover his or her actual damages and any attorney fees and costs.

Still Have Questions? Contact the BMV