How To Transfer a Car Title in Oregon

A title certificate is a document that proves car ownership. When buying or selling a used car in Oregon, transferring the title is one of the most important steps.
The title transfer needs to be a safe and legal process, especially in private party car sales. This handy title transfer guide gives you everything you need to know when signing over a car title in Oregon.

To learn more about the importance of the certificate of title, read our complete guide to vehicle titles.
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Vehicle Title Transfer Process In Oregon

1. The buyer and seller meet face-to-face. The car is paid for by the buyer. The physical certificate of title must be completed and signed by both parties. The purchaser is now the vehicle's legal owner.
2. The buyer registers the newly purchased vehicle with the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) and formally transfers the title to their name.
The first step is the most important (the meeting between the seller and the buyer). The second step is an administrative formality.

As the car seller, you will formalize the transaction when you transfer ownership of the car by signing the title over to the buyer. The seller is officially done with the car, once they remove the plates.
As the buyer, you become the legal owner as soon as the seller transfers the title to your name. You will finalize with the Oregon DMV to get title and registration in your name. You’ll also get new Oregon license plates and used car insurance.

Signing the Physical Title

It’s time to do the actual ownership transfer. This is the step where the seller signs the title over to you. It's probably the most important part of the whole transaction, right after you pay for the car. There are some key details you need to pay attention to when signing an Oregon vehicle title.

Important Info for Signing the Title Certificate

Always keep the following in mind when signing the title certificate:

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

Front of Title

The front of an Oregon title has a section for the lien holder (green) and the seller (red).

The front of an Oregon title has a section for the lien holder (green) and the seller (red).1. In the red space marked “1,” the lienholder and a counter signer enter their signature and the date.
2. The seller signs their name and enters the date in the green rectangle marked “2”.

Back of Title

The back of the title has sections for the seller (red), and the buyer (teal). Here is the process for filling out the back of an Oregon title.

1. The seller enters the buyer's name and address and the sale date in a red-colored rectangle marked “1”.
2. In the red rectangle, the seller enters the exact odometer reading.
3. The seller prints and signs their name and enters their address in the teal space marked “3”.
4. The buyer prints and signs their name in the teal-colored space, shown below.

Congrats! You’ve completed an Oregon car title transfer. It's pretty easy, right?

Complete the Oregon DMV Title Transfer

You’ve done the deal and are the proud owner of the car. But your work is not done yet. The Oregon DMV requires everyone to title and register their vehicles. To keep things efficient, vehicle title and registration are done simultaneously.

To complete a vehicle title transfer in Oregon, you will need to submit the following documents to the Oregon DMV office:

Manufacturer's certificate of origin or bill of sale (Form 735-501)
Odometer disclosure
Submit a completed application for title and registration (Form 735-226)
Transfer of title fees: $101 to $192
Vehicle registration fee: $126 to ​​$316

You also need to apply for new license plates and register the car at the Oregon DMV office or online through the Oregon DMV website.

Oregon Bill of Sale

A vehicle bill of sale isn’t required to buy or sell a car in Oregon. It is recommended, however, as an official receipt of transfer. A bill of sale provides legal protection for both the buyer and the seller. It proves that the seller is no longer associated with the vehicle, and it proves the buyer's ownership.

PrivateAuto provides an official bill of sale as part of our in-app transaction process. At the right time in the transaction, both the buyer and the seller will be asked to e-sign the document right in the PrivateAuto app.

Here is some of the information the Oregon bill of sale requires.

Buyer’s name, address, and signature
Seller’s name, address, and signature
Final sale price
Description of the vehicle
Odometer reading

This information proves that the seller did sell the vehicle and that the buyer is the new owner.

Are Emission Tests Required in Oregon?

In the state of Oregon, emissions testing is only required in the Portland and Medford/Ashland metro areas.

If you are registering your vehicle in the Portland and Medford/Ashland areas, you will have to undergo emissions testing if it falls into the following categories.

Gas cars
Hybrid cars
Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV)
Diesel cars that weighs 8,500 lbs or less

In the Portland area, emissions testing costs $25, while in the Medford/Ashland area fees are $20.

Emissions test exemptions

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)
Diesel cars that weighs 8,501 lbs or more
Cars built before 1976 (Portland Oregon)
Cars that are over 20 years old (Medford/Ashland Oregon)
Fully electric cars

If your car fails emissions testing, you will need to have the emissions-related issue fixed and schedule a re-inspection.

The first reinspection is free.

Oregon License Plates and Registration

Different states will have different rules for what to do with license plates when a used car is sold. Some states allow the plates to remain with the car and pass to the buyer. Unfortunately, Oregon is not one of those states.

When you are purchasing a used car from a private seller, Oregon laws mandate that the seller must remove the license plates.

As the buyer, you'll then need to apply for new license plates when you register the car in your name with the Oregon DMV.

To register your car in Oregon, you will need the following:

Oregon title application
Ownership documentation
Lien release (if applicable)
Bill of sale
Odometer disclosure
Registration fees: $126 to ​​$316
Proof of car insurance

First-time car titling and registering can only be done in person at the Oregon Department of Transportation.

For more information about the locations, visit the Oregon DMV website.

Get New License Plates

License plates are issued by the Oregon Department of Transportation through its Driver and Motor vehicle services branch

You will be able to choose from eight different license plate styles.

1. Salmon
2. Crater Lake
3. Cultural
4. Wine Country
5. Trail Blazers
6. Gray Whale
7. UO Duck
8. Smokey Bear

The Oregon fee for two-plate vehicles is ​$25.50.

See our state-by-state guide to license plate requirements if you’re considering used cars for sale in other states.

Buying or Selling Used Cars in Oregon With PrivateAuto

With the assistance of PrivateAuto, you can complete the sales process quickly and legally. This platform uses technology to help you find verified buyers and sellers, sign documents online, and find out what steps you need to take in your state to finish the sale.

See how it works today to sell your used car or buy vehicles privately in Oregon.

How to Sell Your Car With Private Auto

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We make selling your used car safe and easy. The sales process consists of a few simple steps:

1. Gather required documentation
2. Register on PrivateAuto and get verified
3. List your car
4. Set your terms
5. Vet incoming offers
6. Pick a buyer
7. Schedule a test drive
8. E-sign documents
9. Get paid, instantly
10. Transfer the title
11. Take off the license plates
12. Cancel car insurance

Oregon Title Transfer FAQ

Can you transfer ownership of a vehicle without a title in Oregon?

No, you will not be able to transfer ownership of a vehicle in Oregon without a title. Fill out an application for replacement title.

What kind of insurance does a used car need?

How do you replace a lost title in Oregon?

Is a duplicate title signed by the previous owner?

How to transfer an out-of-state vehicle title?

Should I remove my license plates when I sell a used vehicle in Oregon?

What is the safest method of payment when selling a Oregon vehicle?

How to transfer a car title when the owner is deceased?

Does Oregon have late title fees?

Does Oregon have sales tax?

Where can I go to transfer a vehicle title in Oregon?

How to check if a car has Oregon back fees?

What are some important facts people should know about transferring a car title in Oregon?

What are some important facts people should know about registering a car in Oregon?