Motorists must apply for an Indiana car title whenever a vehicle changes ownership, as a title (or pink slip) serves as legal proof of the vehicle’s owners. As such, drivers must obtain a car title within 45 days of purchasing or acquiring a new or used vehicle to avoid acquiring certain administrative penalties. However, motorists do not need to obtain auto titles for the following vehicles: motor-driven vehicles, special machinery, snowmobiles, certain types of watercraft, off-road vehicles or vehicles with maximum speeds of less than 25 miles per hour.

Even though a title for car ownership is not a state requirement for vehicles such as these, vehicle owners may voluntarily apply for a DMV car title if they wish. To learn more about how to get car title certificates and to discover the ways in which titles relate to other registration documents, review the sections below.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in Indiana

The process of getting car titles varies slightly depending on whether drivers purchase a vehicle from a dealership or third-party seller. Dealerships generally complete and submit Indiana car title applications to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) on behalf of the purchaser, but vehicle owners must complete and submit all documentation on their own if they purchase the vehicle from a private party. Additionally, motorists must apply for a new car title on their own if they acquire a vehicle from a relative or receive a vehicle as a gift.

To get car title certificates after purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, vehicle owners must visit a branch of the BMV to submit all titling documentation in person, or they may mail applications to the Central Office of the BMV. When getting an IN car title by mail, applicants must submit applications to the following address:

Indiana BMV
Central Office Title Processing
100 North Senate Avenue, Room N417
Indianapolis, IN 46204

The Indiana Auto Title Application

When drivers need to obtain a new title for a car, they must complete an Application for Certificate of Title for a Vehicle (Form 205). To get a car title in IN, applicants must provide the following information:

  • The name and address of the vehicle title applicant.
  • The applicant’s Social Security Number (SSN).
  • The vehicle’s year, make, model, type, odometer reading and vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • The purchase date of the vehicle.
  • The vehicle’s former certificate of car title number and whether there is a lien on the vehicle.
  • The name and address of the lien holder(s).
  • Gross retail and use tax information.

If obtaining an Indiana car title for an out-of-state vehicle, drivers must bring their vehicle in for a VIN inspection before applying for a title. Only police officers, certified car dealerships, or a BMV agent may perform a VIN inspection. The agent must complete the inspection information on the top of the auto title application after performing the inspection. Furthermore, out-of-state applicants may mail the application to the BMV Central Office.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in Indiana

To obtain a new or used car title in Indiana, vehicle owners must submit an application along with the following supporting documentation:

  • The certificate of car title or the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin.
  • If there is not enough room on the car title for including an odometer reading, applicants must complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form 43230).
  • A Physical Inspection of a Vehicle or Watercraft (Form 39530), if applicable.
  • A Certificate of Gross Retail or Use Tax Paid (Form 48842) or proof of paying sales tax.
  • A Certificate of Gross Retail or Use Tax Exemption (Form 48841), if exempt from paying sales tax.
  • Proof of address, including a driver license or identification card (if the address on the license or ID card are current).
  • Proof of the applicant’s SSN or Federal Identification Number (FIN).
  • An Affidavit (Form 37964) or notarized lien release letter, if removing a lien from an individual lienholder and not a dealer or financial institution. Alternately, the lienholder may sign the lien release section on the title.
  • Payment for all applicable auto title fees.

Note: To get an Indiana car title after purchasing a vehicle from out-of-state, applicants must complete a Request for Title (Form 1014) if there is a lien on the vehicle and the lienholder is holding the vehicle’s title.

What is an Indiana car registration?

Car registration in IN is a process that motorists must complete after submitting their title applications. Drivers cannot apply for vehicle registration documents and title certificates simultaneously, as both documents serve different purposes and require vehicle owners to complete separate applications.

While titles display proof of vehicle ownership, an auto registration certificate shows that a vehicle meets all state DMV car registration prerequisites, including the payment of new car registration fees and emissions testing and tampering inspection requirements (for residents of Porter or Lake Counties).

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in Indiana?

The main difference between Indiana car registration materials and a title certificate is that a title is a legal document which establishes proof of vehicle ownership, while car registration certificates show that vehicle owners can legally drive the vehicle on public roads. The motor vehicle registration process includes the issuance of license plates, plate stickers, registration certificates and payment of all applicable registration fees.

To get car registration in IN, vehicle owners may complete the process online if they register their vehicles within 60 days of submitting their vehicle’s title application. If applying for vehicle registration documents after 60 days of titling a vehicle, motorists must visit a BMV office to register their vehicles in person.

Car Title Costs in Indiana

The Indiana car title costs for issuing or replacing this credential is a standard $15.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.