Arkansas makes it easy to transfer a title. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s important to understand the steps required to legally transfer ownership of your vehicle. Follow these steps for in-person or online registration and titling services in the state of Arkansas.

Verify the Title Is Clear

The first step in the process is to verify the car has a free and clear title. Any issues with the title could transfer to the new owner or prevent the entire process. Here are a few issues that could prevent your transfer:

  • Liens
  • Salvage title
  • Rebuilt title
  • Forged title
  • A Title under a different owner

A lien could be for a number of reasons but the most common reason is financing. A financial institution takes out a lien as proof that the vehicle is being financed. This means the buyer needs to pay the financial institution in full in order to receive the title and full ownership of the vehicle.

Salvage and rebuilt titles are proof that the vehicle has been severely damaged. Whether repaired or not, these issues are reported on the document. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy or sell the vehicle, but the buyer needs to be aware of these issues.

Forgery or a title under a different owner are major reasons to avoid a purchase. Don’t attempt to purchase a vehicle from someone whose name isn’t on the title unless they can also produce power of attorney paperwork or similar documents.

Common Private-Seller Scams

Buyers and sellers working with private parties need to be cautious of car-buying scams. Here are a few common ones that target both buyers and sellers:

  • Odometer fraud: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration takes odometer fraud seriously. Adjusting the number on an odometer or disconnecting it is a federal crime that is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
  • Counterfeit bills: Cash is difficult to counterfeit but not impossible. Bring along a bill detector pen when selling a car or ask for a safer solution for receiving payment.
A 100 dollar bill with a tag that says fake on it
  • Check fraud: Personal checks and even cashier’s checks can be forged, so don’t accept these forms of payment for your vehicle.
  • Title washing: Titles can be branded for a number of reasons. Title washing is the process of attempting to hide or remove salvage, total loss, flood, rebuild, or another brand on a title.

These are just a few scams that you may be targeted with. Always verify a title with the Arkansas DMV and use a secure payment transfer solution to avoid these issues.

Gather and Fill Out the Required Documents to Transfer a Title

Now that you have verified the document, it’s time to prepare the proper paperwork. The documents that need to be signed are different for both the buyer and seller.

Buyer’s Document Responsibilities

As a buyer, you need to bring the following documents to your local Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, location in Arkansas:

  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Approved payment amount and method for filing fees

You also need to review and sign the bill of sale, transfer application, and odometer disclosure. Carefully review these documents before signing to avoid odometer fraud or other scams. Newer titles have this statement directly on the back of the document, so you may not have a separate form to review and sign.

Glasses and pen on top of a bill of sale document.

Seller’s Document Responsibilities

As a seller, you need to bring more paperwork to the DMV appointment or be prepared to review it and pass it on to the buyer as you work through the online process. Here are the items you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Original or duplicate title
  • Odometer disclosure statement
  • Title transfer application
  • Driver’s license or other proof of identity
  • Bill of sale

You need to find your original or an official duplicate title before you can sell your vehicle in Arkansas. Follow these steps to replace a lost title if you can’t find yours. The document needs to have your name as the legal owner in order for your signature to be valid. Otherwise, you’ll need power of attorney paperwork.

Newer titles have areas to sign that count as a bill of sale and odometer disclosure statement. Otherwise, you must fill out the Arkansas odometer statement and bill of sale form. This form is filled out by the seller but must be reviewed and signed by both parties.

Visit Your Local Arkansas DMV or Transfer Online

Arkansas allows residents to transfer titles online. Head to the MyDMV official site and follow the steps to transfer a title without visiting a local office. If you’re selling your vehicle, be sure the buyer completes this process before you transfer possession.

You can also schedule an appointment at an Arkansas DMV location. Both buyer and seller can head to the appointment to verify every document and ensure the process is completed correctly. This gives you peace of mind knowing you are finally the true owner or have transferred legal ownership and liability.

Brick DMV Building

Pay Taxes and Fees

The buyer typically pays for the taxes and fees of the title transfer process. In Arkansas, the transfer fee is usually $10. Prepare to pay more than this, as you’ll likely pay registration fees, sales tax, and local taxes.

Ask about the accepted payment methods of your local DMV location before you go there for your appointment. This will help prevent a delay or rescheduled appointment.

Wait for the Mailed Title

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Office of Motor Vehicle states that the time it takes to transfer a title is at least three weeks. You can also check the status of your title by visiting MyDMV. The proof of registration and other documents you receive when you perform the transfer allow you to legally drive while you wait for the official document.

Simplify the Process With PrivateAuto

Transfer a title and process payments conveniently with the help of PrivateAuto. From an e-signed bill of sales documents to secure bank-to-bank transfers, PrivateAuto makes buying and selling with private parties simplified. Discover how it works today to list your vehicle or finalize a private sale.