How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho?

When buying a used car in Idaho, transferring the title is one of the most important steps in the whole process.
Transferring an Idaho vehicle title needs to be done correctly, and this becomes especially important in private-party car transactions.

This title transfer guide gives you all the details you need to know when signing over for a car title in Idaho.

The Idaho Title Transfer Process

A car title transfer makes the buyer the new owner of the vehicle. A title transfer is divided into two stages:

1. The seller and buyer meet in person. The buyer pays the seller for the car. Both fill out the physical title certificate and sign it. The buyer is now the legal owner of the purchased car.
2. The buyer registers the newly bought vehicle with the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the DMV updates its records to establish the buyer as the titled owner.

The first step (the seller signing over the title) is the critical transfer of ownership. The second step is a necessary formality so that the state recognizes you as the new owner of the vehicle.

As the car seller, you transfer ownership of the car by signing the title over to the buyer. You’ll take off your plates and be done with the car.
As the buyer, you become the legal owner as soon as the seller transfers the title to your name. You will finalize with the Idaho DMV to get a title and registration in your name. You’ll also get your own license plates and car insurance.
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Sign the Idaho Title Correctly

When signing an Idaho certificate of title, always keep the following in mind.

Mistakes make the document invalid.
Do not erase anything or use white-out.
Only use black or blue ink. Any other color will void the title.
Write neatly.
Only use legal birth names.

Front of the Title

The front of an Idaho title has a section for sellers (red), buyers (teal), and lien holders (green).
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1. In the red section numbered “1,” the seller enters the exact odometer reading, the date the vehicle was sold, the sale price, and their printed name and signature.
2. The buyer prints their name, address, city, state, and zip code and then enters their signature in the teal-colored section numbered “2”.
3. If applicable, the lien holder will release the lien by entering the required information in the green section, shown above.
4. The buyer enters the lien holder's information to appear on the new title in the teal rectangle (if applicable).

Back of the Idaho Title

Lucky for you, the back of an Idaho title is only for vehicles purchased from a dealership, so you don't need to turn the paper over.
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Finalize Ownership Transfer with the Idaho DMV

You’ve done the deal and are the proud owner of a new-to-you vehicle. Your work is not done yet. There are still steps you need to take to finalize your vehicle's title transfer with the State of Idaho.

At the same time, you finish your title transfer at the DMV, you’ll also get new license plates, register the car in your name, and pay sales tax on your purchase.

How Much is Idaho Vehicle Registration?

Registration in Idaho costs between $45 and $69 per year.

To register your vehicle initially, you will need to pay the following fees:
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Idaho Vehicle Title Transfer Requirements

In the state of Idaho, the transfer of title and registration is done at the same time. Idaho's title transfer fee is $14.

Idaho transfers are done in person at your local county assessor’s motor vehicle office.

To transfer your car’s title with the DMV, you will need the following:

The original title signed and dated by both the buyer and seller
Odometer disclosure
Proof of VIN inspection
Payment for Idaho’s 6% car sales tax plus any local taxes owed
Payment for the title transfer fee: $14

How Much are Idaho License Plates?

Idaho standard license plates are included in the registration fee of $45, while personalized plates cost an additional $15.

If you want special license plates, be prepared to pay up to $25 on top of the registration fee.

Check out our complete guide to Idaho license plate costs for more on the subject.
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Buy Your Next Car with PrivateAuto

You’ll love how smooth and secure the PrivateAuto car-buying process is:

1. Browse used cars for sale by owner. Filter by location, vehicle type, or other criteria.
2. Make offers on vehicles you like (PrivateAuto lets you offer less than the asking price).
3. Communicate via in-app messaging without giving your contact info.
4. Schedule the test drive while keeping your personal details private.
5. Electronically sign the bill of sale along with the seller.
6. Instantly send payment and take ownership of the car.
Our innovative platform connects buyers and sellers and gives them all the tools to complete the deal, from in-app vehicle financing to secure messaging to integrated payments. You can also schedule a test drive and negotiate the price without ever disclosing your personal information.

Title Transfer FAQ

How to transfer an Idaho car title from a deceased person?

When a car owner dies, a vehicle title transfer is required to change ownership from the deceased to a beneficiary (usually a family member).

Only the beneficiary, joint-owner, or surviving spouse can transfer the vehicle's title to someone else.

If you are the beneficiary, joint-owner, or surviving spouse of the deceased, here are the documents you will need to transfer the title:

- Certificate of title
- Order from Probate Court to transfer the vehicle’s title
- Odometer disclosure statement
- Death certificate
- Payment for the transfer fee

Here is what you will need to do to transfer the title:

1. If you’re selling the car to a person who is not a family member, complete the seller’s section of the title, sign your full name on the seller’s signature line, and enter the new owner’s full name and purchase price in the purchaser’s section.
2. If you are giving the vehicle away to a family member, instead of creating a bill of sale, you and your family member should complete a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate – Transfer Affidavit. This way your family member will be exempt from paying sales tax.
3. If you are keeping the vehicle, you will transfer the title normally at the county assessor’s DMV office.

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