Properly signing a car over to the new owner is both required
by law and an important step to protect your identity.
The title to your car is an extremely important piece of paperwork proving that you are, in fact, the owner of the vehicle. When you want to sell your car, it’s important that you properly fill out the title with all pertinent and accurate information. Failure to properly sign over your car’s title can result in troublesome legal consequences for you down the road.
There are several steps that one must take when signing over a title. If you go to your local dealership to sell your car or trade it in for a newer model, generally the dealer and lender will handle most of the paperwork.
When buying a new car, the lender will typically keep the title until you have completely paid off your loan and then it likely will be mailed to you. (It’s a great feeling to receive that in the mail!)
However, if you are buying or selling a vehicle privately, then it is the responsibility of both parties to make certain all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, so there is no confusion as to whom the new owner is on the title. This simple piece of paper releases the seller from any future car obligations once it is sold, as well as making the buyer the new owner.
Below are several tips to consider when transferring a car’s title.
Tip #1: Double Check the VIN
The vehicle identification number (VIN) must be correctly written on the title and match the VIN that is on the vehicle’s windshield. If this doesn’t happen, the buyer could have a problem on their hands when they go to register the car. Before you buy or sell a car, double check what is written on the title matches the VIN on the car. For advice on how to find the VIN on a car, visit our Recall page.
Tip #2: Only Use Blue or Black Ink
It’s important to use a pen with blue or black ink when signing over a used car title. Signatures signed with blue or black pens hold up better over time. Many people prefer to use blue ink because it’s easier to identify an original document as opposed to a photocopy. Also, NEVER use white out. Doing so will void your title.
Tip #3: Write a Bill of Sale
In addition to the title, when you buy or sell a used car, both parties should save a copy of the bill of sale. This document, written by the seller, will show what was paid, the date of the transaction, and show the signatures of both buyer and seller.
Tip #4: Compare the Odometer Reading
The mileage on the vehicle’s odometer should match up exactly with the mileage listed on the title. If the odometer reading is lower than what is on the original title, then this may be an indication that the odometer has been altered. Buyers will think twice before buying the car.
Tip #5: Sign the Right Name
This may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised. If you have gotten married or changed your name for another reason since the original title was issued or signed over to you, do NOT sign the title using your new signature. Instead, sign the title with the signature that matches your name as it was printed on the title.
Tip #6: Sign in the Right Place
In the same vein as the previous tip, both buyer and seller signatures need to be on the correct lines. If the new owner signs in the seller’s signature spot, that is a problem. The title will need to be redone. All parties involved should read the fine print thoroughly before signing their names.
Tip #7: Check for Liens
Even if you’ve owned your car for many years, sellers should check with the Department of Motor Vehicles in their state to make certain that you have no liens against the car before selling. Buyer should always check for liens before purchasing. In most cases, auto liens must be paid before a vehicle title transfer can take place.
Tip #8: Review Again and Again
Check, double check, and check again! Even if you are irritating the buyer or seller, tell them that you want to make sure everything is correct. Explain that if there is a mistake on the title, then it will be much more of a hassle for the both of you in the long run.
How to Sign Over a Missouri Car Title
Life is full of hassles. Fortunately, you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary frustration this time by taking these important vehicle title transfer steps and being cautious and observant when buying or selling a car.
- Flip to the back of your Missouri vehicle title.
- Near the top of the page, on the first line, print the name of the buyer. Next to that, write down the agreed upon sale price of the vehicle in the appropriate box.
- On the second line, print the buyer’s full mailing address. Then, write in the value of any trade-in vehicle in the appropriate box.
- On the third line, write down the following information in the appropriate boxes:
– The date the vehicle was sold
– The vehicle model
– The net price of the vehicle (if applicable – this is the sale price of the car minus the value of the trade-in vehicle
- On the fourth line, write down the car’s current mileage. Be exact.
- On the title where it says “Signature(s) of all purchaser(s),” all persons who are buying the car should sign their names. Next to that, the seller should sign their name.
- On the next line, all buyers and sellers should print their names.
Missouri title sample image courtesy of www.cardonationwizard.com
Want to buy or sell a car without the hassle of going through private dealers?
Stop by Bryant Motors, a new and used car dealership located at 2901 South Limit Avenue in Sedalia, MO, to check out our impressive vehicle inventory of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram models. We also proudly serve Jefferson City, Clinton, Boonville and all of central Missouri. One of our experienced and friendly sales representatives can help you select a vehicle that will be suitable for you and your family. We believe in a hassle-free car buying experience!