How to Sell a Car & Transfer the Title in Pennsylvania


Millions of vehicles are sold in the U.S. every year through private sales, meaning that individuals sell their vehicles to another party without involving a dealer.

In some cases, owners can get a higher price for their vehicle by selling it themselves, as opposed to trading in the vehicle for cash on the price of a new vehicle.

For residents of Pennsylvania, selling a vehicle to another individual involves transferring the title to the new owner so that a new title can be issued and the vehicle legally registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.


Transfer the Title in Pennsylvania

Things You’ll Need

  • Bill of sale
  • Vehicle title
  • Notary


How to Sell a Car & Transfer the Title in Pennsylvania

Step 1 :: Sell the vehicle to another party

Generally, this involves advertising the vehicle for sale in a local publication or online. Agree on terms for the sale with the buyer.


Step 2 :: Prepare a bill of sale

The bill of sale certifies the date of the sale, the amount of the sale, the name and address of both parties and information about the vehicle, including the year, make, model and odometer reading. Many sellers choose to list the vehicle as being sold “as is,” to avoid disputes about necessary repairs and the condition of the vehicle.


Step 3 :: Locate your vehicle title

It is a good idea to keep your title in a safe, easily accessible place, such as a fireproof box or filing cabinet, so you can easily locate it.


Step 4 :: Fill out the reverse side of the title with the buyer’s name and address

You also will need to fill in exact mileage from the odometer.


Step 5 :: Sign the title in the presence of a notary public

Only notarized titles are considered valid. The buyer also must sign the title and have it notarized.


Step 6 :: Give the notarized title to the buyer

The buyer can then take the title to the local tag office to complete the title transfer process.


Tips & Warnings

  • Remove your license plates before giving the car to the buyer. You do not have to return the license plates to PennDOT unless you want to.
  • If you do not have a Pennsylvania title for your vehicle, you will need to acquire one before you can sell your car in the state. To obtain a Pennsylvania title, submit form MV-1 and the out-of-state title at your local tag office.



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