Finalizing an out of state car title transfer is mandatory or vehicle owners who would like to register and operate a motor vehicle in Michigan that was originally titled by another state. To transfer an out of state car title, motorists will be required to submit several types of documents and fee payments through a local office of the Secretary of State (SOS).

Note that, when completing an out of state car title transfer process, applicants will also be required to apply for a new car registration at the same time. Get more information on how to perform an out of state car title transfer in MI in the following sections.

What is a cross-state car title transfer in Michigan?

Before proceeding with a cross state car title transfer in Michigan, you should learn more about the importance of the process and what it entails. Take note that cross state title transfer process is a unique titling procedure that must be completed in order to replace an out-of-state title with a title certificate issued by your new state.

It is also important to remember that, until you complete an out of state car title transfer, you will be unable to legally operate a motor vehicle from another state in Michigan.

When is an out-of-state car title transfer necessary in Michigan?

Car owners who need information on when to get an out of state title transfer must note that they will have to re-title any motor vehicle that was originally titled in another state. Therefore, in addition to transferring an out of state car title after moving within Michigan, motorists will also be required to perform a title transfer if and when they buy a vehicle from an out-of-state seller.

Furthermore, only vehicle that have been titled beforehand in another state qualify for a title transfer in Michigan. New motor vehicles purchased from a dealership on a manufacturer’s certificate of origin do not meet these requirements and you will need to file for a new car title rather than just a title transfer.

Note: The SOS requires new state residents to initiate an out of state auto title transfer procedure as soon as they establish Michigan residency to avoid any driving fines.

Information and Documents Needed for an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Michigan

During the process of transferring an out of state car title in Michigan, vehicle owners will be required to provide several types of legal documents prior to paying the application fees. Note that the documents needed for an out of state title transfer may differ to a certain degree based on the vehicle owner’s specific circumstances. For example, the out of state title transfer paperwork required to title and register a vehicle after moving into the state is listed below:

  • The out-of-state title certificate
  • The current car registration, if the title is unavailable
  • A power of attorney form, if the owner cannot be present
  • A lien release form, if applicable
  • Proof of a valid car insurance coverage
  • An official identification document, such as a driving license or an ID card

In addition to the standard documents needed for an out of state title transfer, you may also be required to submit additional paperwork under certain circumstances. For instance, if you are transferring an out of state vehicle title after purchasing a nonresident vehicle, you will be required to submit a properly assigned title bearing the seller’s legal signature and an odometer reading statement. You will also be required to provide a bill of sale to confirm the transaction and that you are now the new legal owner of the vehicle.

Steps for Completing an Out-of-State Title Transfer in Michigan as a New Resident

Completing a Michigan out of state title transfer in person is currently the only available option for transferring the title of a nonresident vehicle because the SOS does not yet allow you to complete an out of state title transfer online. Therefore, in order to finalize the new state resident car title transfer process in MI, collect the above documents and submit them in person through a local SOS office as soon as you establish state residency.

While your registration documents will be issued as soon as your paperwork is approved, your title will be mailed to you at a later date.

Out-of-State Title Transfers in Michigan After Buying or Selling a Vehicle

When completing the in-person out of state title transfer after buying a vehicle, applicants will be required to abide by the same regulations as those who move to Michigan from out of state and need to re-title their car. Therefore, in order to finalize the process of transferring an out of state title after getting a new car from outside of the state, you will be required to submit the necessary proof of ownership, the supporting paperwork and the fee payments through an SOS site.

If you are completing the MI out of state auto title transfer after the death of the original owner of the vehicle, on the other hand, you will be required to complete additional steps. For instance, if the estate is not probated, the closest kin of the deceased can transfer an out of state car title by submitting a copy of the death certificate, in addition to the documents outlined above.

Cross-State Car Title Transfer Fees in Michigan

Paying the cost of transferring an out of state car title is usually the final step when completing a title transfer. You will be required to pay a base titling fee set by the state of Michigan and the applicable license plate costs, since you must title and register your vehicle simultaneously.

If you fail to transfer an out of state vehicle title on time, you will also be required to pay an additional late titling fee. You will also need to pay and addition title fee if you wish for your title to be expedited. The fees are as follows:

  • Vehicle title fee – $15
  • Plate fees – based on vehicle MSRP
  • Credit card processing fee – 1.75 percent

Note: Existing state residents who have purchased an out-of-state vehicle will also be required to pay the 6 percent use tax of the vehicle sale price.

Last updated on Friday, March 8 2019.

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