Whether you live in the Arkansas Valley, the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, or the Coastal Plain of Arkansas, if you are thinking about privately selling your used car or truck, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 1 million registered trucks and cars in the state of Arkansas, it’s no wonder that thousands of private vehicle sellers from the Land of Opportunity have used Autotrader to sell their car. Below, we’ve outlined the steps and forms required for how to sell a car in the state of Arkansas so you can sell your car quickly for the most cash. As recent as 2020-2021, the average purchase price of a used vehicle in Arkansas was just over $13,000 according to the Arkansas Department of Finance.
Remember, most states consider the vehicle title a legal document, so the legal names (no nicknames) of both parties involved should be used, along with legible handwriting using black or blue ink. Mistakes, errors, and using White-Out may void the document so be careful and take your time filling it out.
Step 1: Allow the buyer to have the car inspected by a third party
Step 2: Organize and gather all related vehicle documentation
Step 3: Bill of Sale and odometer disclosure
Step 4: Transfer the title
Step 5: Remove your plates and cancel your insurance
Many vehicle shoppers who buy a car privately pay for a pre-purchase vehicle inspection conducted by a qualified and licensed auto mechanic of their choosing. Although the buyer pays for this inspection, the seller and buyer must agree on when and where the inspection is to be held. If the inspection does find any issues with the car, it is a good idea for you as the seller to keep the report for your records. Arkansas does not require this inspection and doesn’t have any forms that need to be filled out, but it’s a good idea for the buyer to have the inspection performed prior to the purchase.
Find all maintenance records, the owner’s manual and other paperwork related to the vehicle. If you can provide the buyer with extensive and detailed maintenance records, this will help provide the buyer with confidence that you’ve maintained the car in a proper and regular manner. You may even want to consider including a vehicle history report from a service like CarFax or AutoCheck.
The most important document when selling a car is the certificate of title. If there is a lien on the title, the lienholder must release interest in the vehicle before the car is sold. This can be achieved either by the seller paying off the car or by the lienholder providing a letter of lien release. If you can’t pay off the car, then a lien release statement from your lienholder must be submitted to the DMV.
Whether you need a bill of sale depends on how old the title is. If your title has spots on the back for an odometer reading and a purchase price, then you do not need a bill of sale. However, if your title is old enough, it may not have spots on the title for those two important items. If that’s the case, then you need to use Arkansas’ official bill of sale and odometer disclosure statement. On this form, you enter basic vehicle information like the year, make, and model plus the odometer reading, the purchase price, and signatures from both the buyer and the seller. While a bill of sale isn’t required for every private party vehicle sale in Arkansas, it’s always a good idea to have one. Both the seller and buyer should retain a copy of the Bill of Sale.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) odometer disclosure requirements were updated in December 2020 impacting certain private vehicle sales in Arkansas: For a vehicle transfer that occurs from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2030, any vehicle of model year 2011 or newer (2012, 2013, etc.) will require an odometer disclosure. Starting on January 1, 2031, any vehicle that is less than 20 model years old will require an odometer disclosure. Previously, the NHTSA required disclosure was for only the first 10 years. Cars older than 2010 are exempt from odometer disclosures.
If the vehicle’s title has been lost, stolen or badly damaged, you can get a replacement/duplicate Arkansas title by filling out Vehicle Registration Application, Form 10-381. With that form filled out plus a $10 fee you can get a duplicate title by mailing your form and fee to the following address:
Charles D. Ragland Taxpayer Services Center
1900 West 7th St
Little Rock, AR 72201
When selling a car privately in Arkansas, the buyer and the seller both need to fill out the relevant sections on the back of the title. This information includes the legal name, address, and signature of the buyer and the seller(s) along with the date of the sale, the odometer reading, and the purchase price (if there’s a space for it). When this is filled out accurately and legibly, it makes it easy for the buyer to transfer registration and acquire a new plate. The signatures of all owner(s) are required when joint ownership is connected by “AND" on the title. If a "OR" separates the seller's names, only one seller’s signature is required.
If you’re wondering about gifting a car to a relative, you can follow the same process that is outlined here to transfer the title. An important document you’ll need is the Notice of Transfer of Ownership of a Motor Vehicle. As for inheriting a car, it’s mostly the same process, but you’ll need documentation of death and you’ll need to fill out an Affidavit of Inheritance of a Motor Vehicle, Form 10-306.
The seller must remove their license plates before handing the vehicle over to the buyer. If you do not do so, you may be liable for any violations after the buyer has taken possession of the vehicle. After the sale is complete, you have the option of transferring your plates to another vehicle you own. After the sale is complete, it’s a good idea for you, the seller, to complete a Release of Liability which can be done online here. Otherwise, you can fill out a Notice of Transfer of Ownership of a Motor Vehicle and mail it to the address on the form. Make sure to cancel your insurance as soon as possible after you’ve removed your plates, so you don’t continue paying to insure a car that you no longer own.
For more information, visit the official Arkansas myDMV website.
There are a few documents which sellers of vehicles in Arkansas will need:
It depends. If there’s a space on the title for the purchase price and odometer reading, then a bill of sale is not required. If these spaces are not on the title, then a bill of sale with signatures from both the buyer and the seller is required.
Yes, your license plate must be removed upon the sale of the car, but they do not need to be returned to the DMV. This applies to standard and custom license plates. The buyer has 30-days to register the vehicle, at which point they will receive a replacement license plate.
No. Vehicle transactions made on or after January 1, 2022, with a total sales price of less than $4,000, will have no state sales tax collected.
Starting on January 1, 2022, if the total sale price of a used motor vehicle is at least $4,000 but less than $10,000, the gross price of the vehicle will be taxed at the reduced state tax rate of 3.5%. The buyer will pay this tax after the sale. The seller does not collect this tax.
Starting on January 1, 2022, if the total sale price of a used motor vehicle $10,000 or more the vehicle will be taxed at the rate of 6.5%. The buyer will pay this tax after the sale. The seller does not collect this tax.
According to the Arkansas department of finance, the average purchase price of a used vehicle in 2020-2021 was just over $13,000. This was both for sales conducted by dealers and private parties.
No. When you privately sell a car in Arkansas, the Bill of Sale does not need to be notarized. Some buyers and sellers do so anyways as it can add another level of protection to both parties.
No. A notary does not need to witness the seller and the buyer signing the title during a private vehicle sale.
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