A certificate of title in Ohio is a legal document that confirms ownership of a vehicle. Drivers must get a vehicle title for every car or truck that they plan to drive on public roads and highways. Whether applying for a used car title, a new car title, or seeking title documents for a vehicle that was a gift or inheritance, the application process is similar.

Although simple, getting car title documents in Ohio is a separate process from obtaining car registration and license plates. The process for acquiring an auto title is clearly outlined in the sections below.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in Ohio

Getting a title for car ownership is easy when you purchase a car from a licensed dealer, as they usually handle the filing on your behalf. By law, the dealer must provide you with a hard copy of your car title within 30 days of your vehicle purchase.

If you need to get a car title for a used motor vehicle purchased from a private seller, you must contact your nearest Ohio County Clerk of Courts Title Office. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) manages car title procedures and other services offered at these locations and maintains a statewide network of over 80 offices for your convenience.

The Ohio Auto Title Application

The Ohio car title application process begins by completing Form BMV 3774, Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle. This vehicle title document has room to record up to two owners’ names, addresses and Social Security Numbers. Vehicle information includes the year, make, model and VIN, the purchase price and any applicable lien holder information.

The auto title transferor and the transferee must verify the accuracy of the vehicle odometer reading and all other information supplied on the title application. The certificate of car title application Form BMV 3774 must be filed with the Ohio BMV within 30 days of the sale and applicants should receive their new pink slip in the mail within another 30 days from the date of application.

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

The required Ohio car title documents vary a bit based on the type of vehicle you are titling and how you purchased it. To get car title documents on a new motor vehicle, bring the following to the title office:

  • Current Ohio driver license.
  • Completed Form BMV 3774.
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO).
  • Sales tax on the purchase price.
  • Payment for car title fees, including a lienholder notation document, if applicable.

If you wonder how to get car title documents on a used motor vehicle, your application process will be almost the same as for a new vehicle. You should bring these documents to the title office:

  • Current Ohio driver license or other acceptable identification.
  • Completed Form BMV 3774.
  • Original vehicle title assigned to the buyer, with the ownership portion on the back completed and the document signed in front of a deputy clerk or notary public.
  • Sales tax on the purchase price.
  • Payment for auto title fees, including a lienholder notation, if applicable.

If the original certificate of car title was issued in another state, you must have an out-of-state vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection obtained at any Ohio deputy registrar license agency. All motor vehicle title applicants should also show proof of insurance on the new vehicle, because it is illegal in Ohio to drive a vehicle without adequate auto insurance.

What is an Ohio car registration?

An Ohio car registration is a legal document issued by the state whose main purpose is to provide proof that the vehicle meets all state-determined safety and inspection requirements. Titled vehicle owners must get car registration promptly, before driving anywhere on Ohio roadways.

New car registration applicants must sign a proof of Financial Responsibility Statement that verifies their understanding of state mandatory auto insurance laws. Car registration is the next step after car titling for any car owner who wishes to drive their vehicle legally, and can be obtained at your local deputy registrar license agency.

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

Getting a DMV car registration in Ohio is commonly confused with obtaining a car title, but each process is different and results in two separate but equally useful driver documents. Auto registration ensures that you are a licensed, insured motorist legitimately approved to operate the registered vehicle.

A car title provides proof of vehicle ownership and a list of previous owners. A car title is only issued once, at the time that you take ownership of your new or used vehicle, but a motor vehicle registration must be renewed every year to maintain its validity.

Like your insurance card, a copy of Ohio car registration should be carried inside the vehicle in case you need to present it at traffic stops, vehicle inspections or on the scene of an accident. An auto title should be stored along with other important legal documents and never carried inside the vehicle.

Car Title Costs in Ohio

The vehicle title cost in Ohio is $15. If you need a lien notation, you will need to pay an additional $15 fee. You will also be required to pay a county-specific sales tax of the total purchase price of the vehicle.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.