What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car?

What paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car? woman peaking over laptop surrounded by paperwork

Selling a car online or in person can feel like a complicated process, especially when it comes to the paperwork. But gathering the right paperwork ahead of time makes it quick and easy to complete a sale and transfer ownership of the vehicle to a new buyer.

That car paperwork can even come in handy when you’re selling your car. Being able to show prospective buyers that you have all of the necessary used car paperwork is a great way to generate interest and build buyer confidence — all of which makes a sale more likely.

So what paperwork do you need to sell a car? Well, that depends on what state you’re in if you want to be specific, but take a look at our general list below.

Vehicle History Report

A savvy buyer will choose to look up your vehicle history report before they agree to a sale. But it’s useful for you to have that information, find it at sites like CarFax.

Provide the VIN number so buyers can do their own research and then use your VIN to retrieve vehicle history documentation. 

cartoon paperwork
This vehicle history report will help you better describe your car to potential buyers. You’ll receive plenty of questions concerning vehicle history, so being prepared to answer any car history questions a buyer asks you will help complete a sale faster.
maintenance carved on a wood with mechanic carved underneath it

Maintenance Records

Maintenance history paperwork is another useful set of documents to have to hand.

After all, paperwork that shows your car has undergone regular maintenance by a reputable repair shop is reassuring to a buyer.

If you don’t already have receipts, and proof of the maintenance work undertaken, contact the repair shop where the work took place. They may be able to provide you with the paperwork you need to show prospective buyers how well you’ve cared for your car.

Warranty Information

Is your car still covered by its factory warranty or a transferable extended service contract? Most new cars come with a warranty that lasts for a specified number of years or a specified number of miles.

If your car still has some remaining warranty coverage — and you can transfer it to a new owner — this is another piece of used car paperwork you’ll want to lay your hands on before you complete the sale.

Warranty paperwork gives a buyer that extra level of peace of mind, which may help you seal the deal and even increase the price.

cartoon odometer

Odometer Disclosure

You’ll have to provide an up-to-date odometer reading before you sell your used car.

Depending on your state, you may just be able to write the mileage figure onto the vehicle title.

But in some states, you need to create a separate piece of paperwork to disclose the exact odometer reading on the date that you sell your car. Depending on your state, you may just be able to write the mileage figure onto the vehicle title. But in some states, you need to create a separate piece of paperwork to disclose the exact odometer reading on the date that you sell your car. This document is called an odometer disclosure — and you may need to provide it at the time of sale or transfer of ownership. An odometer disclosure usually includes the year, make, model, and VIN of your car and the car’s current mileage. You’ll also need to include the buyer’s name and address. And both you and the buyer will need to sign the document.

Title & Registration

If you’re in possession of your vehicle title then transferring the title to a new owner is a fairly straightforward process. You simply sign the used car title document, saying you transfer ownership to the new buyer. It’s then up to the buyer to go to their local DMV and complete the title transfer process.
someone holding license plate

In different states, you need different DMV paperwork to sell a car. Your buyer needs to find out exactly what they need to take with them to their appointment at the DMV.

When you have an outstanding loan on the vehicle, the process is a little different. In this case, your lender may be holding the vehicle title and their name may appear on the title too.
You need to contact the lienholder in possession of your title to arrange title transfer paperwork. Once you’ve paid off the remaining loan amount, the lender can send the title to you — and you can then transfer the title to the new owner.

bill of sale with pen

Bill of Sale

Strictly speaking, a bill of sale isn’t essential paperwork to sell a car you own in every state. But we’d always recommend completing one every time your buy or sell a vehicle in any state. Being able to prove exactly when you sold your vehicle and to whom may prove to be important in the future.
You may want to include a description of the car, the sale price, the delivery date, the buyer’s and seller’s information and a place for a few signatures — yours and the buyer’s.

Used Car Paperwork Made Easy

Here at Motobyo, we make every step of the car sale process easy and transparent . We offer those looking to purchase a used car fast access to vehicle history reports and an up-to-date certified vehicle inspection reports.
man happy and holding paperwork

And when it’s time to complete the sale, we can also lend both sellers and buyers a hand with optional title transfer paperwork services.

Want a better way to sell your car? You can sell directly to buyers via a Motobyo auction – or accept an instant cash offer. Just enter a few car details to get your Motobyo valuation today.

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