Transferring a title from a private sale
How to Notarize a Car Title
When buying or selling a car, you may need to authenticate the buyer/seller's signature. Specific requirements differ greatly from state to state, so you should do some research beforehand. In order to provide some idea of what to expect, the explanation that follows includes examples from actual states.
Preparing to Notarize Your Car Title
Do your research.Each state has its own procedures, and the differences can be substantial. A number of states require no notarization of auto sales, while others have rather lengthy lists of requirements. You can find out more about your state .
Determine what documents are required.While you obviously must bring proof of ID, notaries are not just providing validation for the signature but are in fact guaranteeing that each side is prepared to live up to the contract. Additionally, in some states the title itself becomes a legal contract, while in other states there are separate applications associated with title transfers (North Carolina, for example, has a separate form that requires notarization).
Make sure you possess the right to sell.This may sound obvious, but again there are notable differences between states on who possesses the right to sell.
- Minors often do not have the right to sell a vehicle without the authorization of a parent or guardian, regardless of the name on the title.
- Many states prevent the sale of vehicles that still list liens on the title of ownership. It would be wise to bring proof of a lien release with you to the notary's office.
Locate a notary public.You can find a notary public at:
- A local bank or credit union. Many financial institutions have a notary public who can notarize documents for a small fee.
- Most UPS stores and pawn shops will have a notary available for a small fee, though it is always best to call ahead and verify availability.
- . Notary Rotary provides a database of notaries public searchable by zip code.
Schedule an appointment with the notary.
Getting the Document Notarized
Determine who needs to be there.Remarkably, even among all the states that require the signature of a notary, there are again many differences. For example:
- The state of Ohio requires that both buyer and seller sign in front of the notary, or at least inform the notary in person that they did sign the document.
- In North Carolina, only the signature of the seller must be notarized.
- Notaries in Montana can notarize open titles--that is, they can authorize the sale of a vehicle without a buyer ever being identified on any document.
Take the required items to your notary appointment.At the least, you will need the title, your state issued photo identification (“ID”), and the notary fee. ID must be issued by the state (such as a drivers license) or the military (such as a military ID card) and contain a photo.
Sign the title in front of the notary.Use blue or black ink.
- If you are the seller, sign your name exactly as it is listed on the title. For example, if the title uses your middle initial, you should sign using your middle initial as well.
- If you are the buyer, sign your name exactly how you wish for it to appear on the title. For example, if you want to use your middle name, sign the title using your middle name.
Have the notary sign and seal or stamp the title.The Notary will sign and then stamp or seal the title, verifying that the signatures are those of the buyer and/or the seller.
Pay the Notary fee.Notaries may charge a small fee for their services.
- In Ohio, the fee to have both signatures notarized on a car title would be .
- In California, the maximum fee that can be charged by a notary in this circumstance is .
QuestionWhat should I do if the seller doesn't sign the title exactly as his name is on the front of it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn general, signatures may sometimes look nothing like the signer's printed name, as some folks sign differently on the signature areas on forms and such, as opposed to how they would print out their name on forms (for example, titles, cheques, etc.). You could ask the seller to sign the document again, in front of you.Thanks!
QuestionDoes the buyer's name need to be on the title in North Carolina before it can be notarized?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNot necessarily, but some notaries retain the right to refuse to notarize an open title.Thanks!
QuestionIf a friend is giving me a truck for free, does he have to put 'free' on the title, or a certain monetary amount?Miss ElizabethCommunity AnswerHe should put "gift" in the area where the price would normally go. However, check the wording for your state to make sure.Thanks!
QuestionWhat type of signature is needed from the notary?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn general, transferring the title from seller to buyer must be done in front of a Notary Public. Do not sign anything before you and the other party are both at the Notary's office at the same time. The Notary will give you the precise instructions necessary. Both parties will need to show identification, such as a driver's license. If you have already signed the title before visiting the Notary, then you might have to request a duplicate title from your Department of Motor Vehicles. Again, the Notary should be able to help you. The exact details of the procedure differ among the 50 states and the Canadian provinces.Thanks!
QuestionI'm giving my brother a car, can I get it notarized with him and will it be cleared of having been in my name?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou MUST transfer the title. That can only be done if there are no liens on the vehicle.Thanks!
QuestionIs the car mileage required?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Take it to a notary and they will take care of it. Most banks, insurance offices, car dealers, etc. have one on duty.Thanks!
QuestionDo the buyer and seller both need to be present to notarize a car title?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the state in which you live. The laws are different in every state.Thanks!
In Pennsylvania what and who needs to be there when transferring title?
If you already have your title notarized how can the DMV charge you for notary signature in NC?
I purchased a car in North Carolina and the owner was in Texas. I want to get the title in my name. How can I do this if the previous owner is in Texas and did not get it notarized when he signed it?
In Arizona - owner signed title but not notarized. He is now living out of state and don't have current address. What can I do?
What should I do if someone gives me a signed vehicle title if I haven't paid yet?
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