Filling out and signing over the title, or pink slip, is the most important step when selling your car and buying a car from a private seller.
Both the buyer and the listed owner(s) will have things to fill out and sign on the title document.
In order to get the title transferred and registered in the new owner’s name, it is important that the title is filled out and signed correctly.
This page will provide you with an overview of the process and how to do it right the first time.
After you learn how to fill out the title, be sure to read about:
- Paperwork required when selling a car.
- Paperwork required when buying a car.
- Car insurance requirements when buying a car.
- Transferring ownership when buying a vehicle.
How should a title be filled out?
First things first. There are a few logistical considerations when filling out a vehicle title.
- Only use blue or black ink to fill out the title.
- Do not cross out or white out ANYTHING on the title.
- Any corrections, name changes, or prior transfers need to be taken care of BEFORE the sale occurs.
- If you’ve paid off a lien, you must go through the process of removing the lienholder from the title.
After that, the title should be filled out and signed by both the registered owner(s) and the buyer.
What needs to be signed on a car title?
There are typically a few different places where the title will need to be signed. These include:
- In the assignment or transfer of ownership section.
- In the odometer disclosure statement section.
- In any section that asks for the signature of the buyer or seller.
Certain states may have multiple places for signatures or initials, while other states may just have one signature box for the buyer and the seller to sign.
Be sure to read the instructions and sections on the title you have carefully before making any marks.
How to Fill Out a Title
To fill out a title, the seller will need to complete the following information:
- Assignment of title/release of interest section.
- The odometer disclosure statement section, if applicable.
The seller’s signature should appear on the release of interest section and the odometer disclosure section.
The buyer will need to complete the following section:
- New registered owner section.
The buyer’s signature should appear in the new registered owner section and the odometer disclosure statement section.
If two names are on a car title, can one person sell it?
Sometimes, there may be multiple registered owners listed on a single vehicle.
In these instances, the steps for filling out the title and selling the vehicle will depend on exactly how the owners are listed on the title.
In most states, there are “and/or” rules that apply to co-ownership on a vehicle title.
Here are the general conditions that apply:
- If the co-owners’ names are listed as “and”, then they share ownership in the vehicle equally and must both be present and willing to sell the vehicle.
- If the co-owners‘ names are listed as “or”, then either person is able to fill out the title and sell the vehicle.
Each state has additional processes for removing a co-owner or dealing with the transfer of the title if one of the registered owners is deceased.