Michigan Vehicle Titles

Instructions for Signing a Vehicle Title in Michigan When Selling Privately

When selling a vehicle privately in Michigan, it is essential to properly sign and transfer the title to the new owner. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership:

1. Seller’s Responsibility:

– As the seller, make sure you have the original title certificate for the vehicle. If the title is lost or damaged, you must apply for a duplicate title from the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) office before proceeding with the sale.

– Ensure that all liens on the vehicle, if any, have been satisfied and properly recorded on the title.

– Complete any necessary repairs or maintenance on the vehicle before the sale to ensure its good condition.

– Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations regarding vehicle sales in Michigan to ensure compliance.

2. Vehicle Information:

– Check the accuracy of the information on the title, such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), year, make, and model. If any errors are present, contact the Michigan SOS to have them corrected before the sale.

3. Negotiate the Sale:

– Agree on the terms of the sale with the buyer, including the purchase price. It is also advisable to create a Bill of Sale, though it is not mandatory in Michigan. This document helps protect both parties by recording the transaction details, including the buyer and seller’s information, vehicle description, sale price, and signatures of both parties. A sample Bill of Sale template can be found on the Michigan SOS website.

4. Complete the Title:

– On the back of the original title certificate, you will find a section that asks the seller to complete information. Fill out the following details accurately:

a) Seller’s printed name and address.

b) Odometer disclosure statement (if the vehicle is less than ten years old) with the mileage at the time of sale.

c) Date of the sale.

d) Selling price (or gift if applicable).

5. Release of Liability:

– As the seller, it is in your best interest to complete a Seller’s Report of Sale (Form TR-207), available on the Michigan SOS website. Although not mandatory, this form notifies the state that you are no longer responsible for the vehicle, protecting you from potential future liabilities.

6. Delivery of the Title:

– Once the title is fully completed, sign it in the presence of a notary public or an authorized representative at a Michigan SOS branch. Remember not to sign the title until you are in the presence of the required witness.

– After signing, carefully hand over the completed title to the buyer.

7. Buyer’s Responsibility:

– The buyer should take immediate action to transfer the title into their name to avoid any penalties. Within 15 calendar days of the sale, the buyer must visit a Michigan SOS branch office to apply for a new title and registration.

Remember, this guide serves as an informational resource and it is advisable to consult the official Michigan Secretary of State website or contact their office directly for any specific questions or concerns related to vehicle title transfers.

Michigan Department of Motor Vehicles