1.

A car title is an important document that proves who owns a vehicle. Whenever a vehicle is bought or sold from an existing owner, that vehicle’s title must be transferred to the new owner. Most states do not offer an online title transfer option. However, you can prepare to transfer ownership of a vehicle either as a seller or buyer by downloading our online title guide. Our online guide will provide you with information on the forms you will need, the required fees and the specific title transfer guidelines in your state to help you have a smooth experience.

2. By Mail

Some states allow their residents to transfer their vehicle titles by mail, but these states may have certain eligibility requirements and limitations involved with this option. If you need to have a title immediately, attempting to transfer a car title by mail may not be the best option for you. You will have to wait for the postal service to deliver your request to the DMV and then wait for the postal service to deliver your new title to you. Additionally, payment options are typically limited to check and money order.

3. In Person at the DMV

The most direct way to transfer your vehicle title is in person at a DMV office. There are several states that require their residents to transfer their titles in person and do not offer online or mail-in options. Additionally, not all states offer title services through their DMV sites. As such, it is important for you to be prepared for the transaction and to know where you can apply. Our online guide offers all the information you need to transfer a vehicle in one place.


A car title transfer in Michigan is a mandatory procedure that current and new vehicle owners need to perform in order to transfer the ownership rights over a motor vehicle. The transfers must be performed through the Secretary of State (SOS) office. All vehicle owners who are wondering how to fill out transfer of title are required to visit a nearby SOS office and perform the procedure personally.

Moreover, they may be mandated to satisfy certain title transfer requirements and pay any applicable fees. To discover the answer to the question “How do you transfer a title on a car in Michigan?” continue reading the sections below to learn more detailed information.

What is a car title transfer in Michigan?

Prior to transferring a car title in Michigan, motorists need to know what a title is and why it must be transferred when selling or purchasing a motor vehicle. A certificate of title is a legal document issued by the MI Secretary of State (SOS) and serves as proof of ownership over a motor vehicle. Motorists who want to perform a car title transfer need to have this document in order to prove that the ownership rights have been transferred in their name.

Title transfers for cars must be performed in order to legally transfer motor vehicles between two legal entities. Without it, both buyers and sellers can get into difficult situations, especially since titles are often required in order to register vehicles.

When is a vehicle title transfer required in Michigan?

Vehicle owners may be required to perform a Michigan auto title transfer under various circumstances. The most common instance for transferring car titles is when a motor vehicle is purchased from an individual or a dealership.

Moreover, a transfer may be mandatory when individuals get a motor vehicle from a family member, regardless of whether it is acquired as a gift or bought. Therefore, motorists need to learn how to fill out a transfer of title form in MI prior to beginning the procedure, as the title transfer requirements may vary based on their specific situation.

Information and Documents Necessary to Transfer a Title in Michigan

When performing a car title transfer in Michigan, the individuals who take part in the procedure may be required to provide certain documentation to the MI SOS. Both the seller and the purchaser may have to satisfy certain title transfer requirements and present the following documents:

  • Original certificate of title completed and signed by the seller
  • Proof of identification of all owners of the vehicle
  • Bill of sale, if required
  • Proof of no-fault car insurance

Motorists who are wondering “How do you transfer a title on a car in Michigan?” may be required to provide additional documents to those mentioned above. For instance, individuals who are transferring a car title may be also required to provide a proof of lien satisfaction, if it applies to their specific situation.

Steps for Performing a Transfer of Title in Michigan

Since drivers cannot complete a title transfer online, they will need to visit the DMV in person in order to finalize the purchase or sale of a car. Individuals who want to perform a motor vehicle title transfer in Michigan need to first satisfy certain steps and requirements. Primarily, to begin the transfer of car title procedure, motorists need to visit a local MI SOS branch and:

  • Submit the assigned car title from the previous owner.
  • Submit proof of identification.
  • Provide proof of no-fault car insurance.
  • Submit payment for any applicable title transfer fees.

Note that in order to complete a car title transfer procedure successfully, you must appear at the SOS along with the other car owners. In case you are unable to visit the MI SOS, you may appoint an agent to present the relevant form and a copy of your driver’s license or ID card on your behalf.

Getting a New Car Title Versus Title Transfers in Michigan

Vehicle owners who want to apply for a new title for car in Michigan must first learn that there is a difference between the process of getting a new certificate of title and transferring an existing one. The Secretary of State (SOS) office issues a DMV new title to motorists who have recently purchased brand-new motor vehicles, or who have just moved from another state to MI. Moreover, drivers may have to order a new car title through their dealers if the vehicle is bought from an auto dealership or private party.

Unlike getting a new car title in Michigan, a title transfer is a procedure for transferring ownership rights over a motor vehicle from one person to another. In most cases, this process is performed in a situation when drivers purchase a vehicle from a private seller. Moreover, motorists need to transfer their titles when they receive a motor vehicle as a gift, donation or as part of an inheritance.

Car Title Transfer Fees in Michigan

The last step in the Michigan car title transfer procedure requires drivers to submit a payment for the applicable transfer fees. Overall, the standard titling fee in MI is $15. In addition to the applicable car title transfer fees, motorists may be also mandated to pay a use tax.

Last updated on Tuesday, January 15 2019.

Have a Question? Get Quick Online Answers!