There are a lot of requirements that go into selling your vehicle privately.
Before you even list the car for sale, you should get ready by gathering and preparing all the paperwork and documents that will be required for a smooth transaction.
This page will cover all the paperwork required when selling a car, how to fill them out, who needs to sign what, and what to do next.
Documents for Selling a Car
The main documents you need to have when selling your car privately include:
- The title, or pink slip.
- An odometer disclosure statement, if applicable.
- A bill of sale.
- A Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability.
As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to make copies of the documents for your records and protection.
In the case of the vehicle title, the buyer should leave with the original.
To get a head start on the transaction, you can start preparing some of these documents as you wait for your buyer.
The most important document in a vehicle sale is the car title.
The title is the main proof of ownership document.
When you get ready to sell the car, the existing title will have a section for the seller and buyer to fill out.
The seller must complete and sign the seller’s section of the title so that it can be transferred.
The buyer will take the signed title with them to the DMV when they apply for a title and registration in their name. These are all part of the paperwork requirements when buying a car.
If you’re lost the title, you should apply for a duplicate title before selling your vehicle.
Odometer Disclosure Statement
If your vehicle falls under the federal odometer disclosure requirements law, you’ll need to fill out an odometer disclosure statement when transferring the vehicle.
In many cases, there will be a section on the title for the odometer disclosure statement.
Otherwise, you can submit a separate odometer disclosure using a form from your state DMV or a generic odometer disclosure statement.
Learn more about odometer disclosure requirements here.
Bill of Sale
Next, you should prepare a bill of sale for you and the buyer to sign.
You can get started by using our free bill of sale template.
Both the buyer and the seller should retain a signed copy of the bill of sale.
Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability
In many states, you’ll also be required to submit a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability.
In states where it is not required, it is still a good idea to do so. In those cases, you can complete a generic notice of transfer form.
Learn more about the notice of transfer and release of liability when selling a car here.
This is a document that the seller will need to submit for themself.
Other Documents to Help with the Sale
Above, you’ve learned about the required documents you’ll need to have when selling your car privately.
There are some additional things that are good to have as well.
Some of these documents may help make it easier to sell your car or help you get the best price for the vehicle.
And, yes, in case you were wondering, it is safe to give out the VIN when selling your car. You can even include it in your car for sale ad.
Other documents that can help when selling your car include:
- A VIN report with the vehicle’s specs by its VIN. (You can use our free VIN decoder to get them).
- A vehicle history report.
- The owner’s manual.
- The vehicle’s service records.
- Any existing warranty documents.