How To Transfer a Car Title in Michigan

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You need to know how to transfer a car title in Michigan to…

Buy or sell a used car
Add or remove owners
Give a car as a gift
Donate an auto
Transfer ownership in a divorce settlement
Inherit an automobile

You’ll need the certificate of title. If it’s lost or damaged, request a duplicate title from the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) office.
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Step 1. Check for a Clear Title

If there’s a lien on the title, you’ll need to get a lien release before the transfer.

Step 2. Complete the Title Assignment by SellerSection

Complete the section at the bottom of the front of the certificate.

Buyer name and address
Date of sale
Sales price
Odometer disclosure
Seller name, address, and signature

Step 3. Complete Additional Documents

Other documents you may need include:

Proof of insurance
Proof of lien satisfaction, if applicable
Driver’s license

Step 4. Apply for a New Certificate of Title

You need to have an appointment with a Michigan SOS branch office. To avoid paying penalties, apply for a Michigan title within 15 days of buying the car.

Step 5. Pay Fees and Taxes

Buyers pay a 6% use tax. County and local taxes may apply. Transfers to family members, including in-laws, may be exempt.

The title transfer fee is $15. For titles with a lien attached, it’s $16. You can get instant title service for $5. Other fees may apply.


To transfer a certificate of title in Michigan, you need to Complete both the title assignment on the back of the certificate and apply for a new title.

You may need other forms, depending on your circumstances.

When you buy or sell a used car with PrivateAuto, you get electronic state-specific documents you can sign straight from the platform.

Sell Your Car on PrivateAuto!