Whether you live in the Great Lakes Plain, the Tipton Till Plain, or the Southern Hills of Indiana, if you are thinking about privately selling your used car or truck, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 2.3 million registered trucks and cars in the state of Indiana, it’s no wonder that thousands of private vehicle sellers from the Hoosier State have used Autotrader to sell their car. Below, we’ve outlined the steps required to sell a car in the state of Indiana so you can sell your car quickly for the most cash.
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.
If you’re wondering about gifting a car to a relative, you can follow the same process that is outlined below to transfer the title. If you have questions about inheriting a car, you need to reach out to the Indiana BMV directly for instructions.
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
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.
Indiana BMV form 39530 is the Physical Inspection of a Vehicle or Watercraft form which can be filled out by an approved inspector, which could be a BMV employee, a police officer, or an employee of a dealer with the right certification.
Find all maintenance records, 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. Any of the following are acceptable as ownership documents in Indiana and therefore should also be provided to the buyer if available:
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. Otherwise, you can obtain a general affidavit (state form 37964) that is signed by the individual lienholder as an alternative to a lien release letter
The state of Indiana requires a bill of sale to be completed for private party car sales. Indiana BMV form 44237 is the state’s official bill of sale form and needs to be filled out with the following information:
Not only is a bill of sale required by the Hoosier State, but it also provides legal protections for both the buyer and the seller.
Private vehicle transactions in Indiana require a sales tax of 7 percent of the purchase price. It’s very important that the purchase price written on the title and the bill of sale are matching and accurate to ensure the right amount of tax is being paid to the state. If you are gifting a vehicle to a relative, the transaction could be exempt from sales tax and requires filling out Indiana BMV form 48841.
If the vehicle’s title has been lost, stolen or badly damaged, there are a few ways you can get a duplicate title in Indiana including through https://www.in.gov/bmv/, your local BMV branch, or by U.S. mail. Visit the duplicate title application on the BMV’s website and choose your preferred method. It will require filling out form 205 which is the application for certificate of title for a vehicle. Additionally, Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles provides this list of other vehicle title forms for residents.
A duplicate Indiana title is clearly labeled with the word “DUPLICATE” printed on its face which voids the original title. When you buy a duplicate title, you must provide a valid photo ID which can include a driver’s license, a state-issued ID, a passport, a school ID, a military ID, a bank card, a probation card, a work ID, or a membership card.
When selling a car privately in Indiana, 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. When this is filled out accurately and legibly, it makes it easy for the buyer to transfer registration through the BMV and acquire a new plate.
Indiana also allows vehicle ownership to transfer upon death (TOD) to a beneficiary, if this applicable to your situation.
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. Indiana does not require you to return the plates to the BMV and you, the seller, can keep the plate and transfer it to a different vehicle you own or just let it expire. Make sure to cancel your insurance as soon as possible after the sale is made so you don’t continue paying to insure a car that you no longer own.
For more information, visit the website of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
There are several documents which sellers of vehicles in Indiana will need:
Yes, Indiana requires a bill of sale for private party vehicle transactions. Form 44237 is what you need, and it requires signatures from both the buyer and the seller.
Yes, but you do not need to return the plates to the BMV. You can transfer them to a different vehicle you own if you would like.