Whether you live in the rural parts of the Willamette Lowland, the Cascade mountains, the Columbia Plateau or in one of Oregon’s larger cities like Portland, Eugene or Salem, if you are thinking about privately selling your used car or truck, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 3 million registered trucks and cars in the state of Oregon, it is no wonder that thousands of private car owners from the Beaver State have used Autotrader to sell their car. Below, we’ve outlined below the 5 steps required to sell a car in the state of Oregon. Remember, most U.S. states consider the vehicle title a legal document which is why it is advised to use the legal names (no nicknames) of both parties involved along with legible handwriting using a 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
Step 4: Transfer the title
Step 5: Remove your license plates and notify the DMV
Most 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.
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 recurring manner. If it’s a newer car, ask your dealership or repair shop if they have electronic records on file for the car you’re selling.
If you’ve already paid off your vehicle’s loan but the lienholder has not been removed, you’ll need to remove the lien from your Oregon vehicle’s title within 30 days of doing so. The lienholder must sign the front of the title, declaring the vehicle loan has been satisfied. The Oregon DMV provides this Statement of Lien Satisfaction form 735-524. Vehicles which are registered within the Portland and Medford areas may require an emissions test which will be the responsibility of the buyer.
A Bill of Sale should include the following information:
Although not legally required in Oregon, a Bill of Sale can be helpful if problems arise when the buyer goes to transfer the title or register the vehicle in their name. Many private owners notarize their Bill of Sale as a best practice.
If the vehicle’s title has been lost or stolen or badly damaged, you’ll need to apply for a replacement vehicle title and pay the associated fees prior to selling the car. If the vehicle’s owner has passed away, Oregon provides a transfer of ownership form which applies in cases where there is or is not a surviving spouse.
Vehicles which are less than ten years old must disclose the odometer reading by both the seller and buyer from the date of the sale on the back of the title. Oregon state law does not require the odometer reading to be disclosed if the vehicle is 10 years or older. If the vehicle’s title does not have a space for the odometer reading, contact the Oregon DMV and request a “Secure Odometer Disclosure” form. The buyer will need to complete an Application for Title and Registration within 30 days from the date of purchase.
Before you complete the sale, take your license plates off the vehicle. Unless the license plate is transferred to another vehicle, cancel your registration online or at a Oregon DMV office as soon as possible. If you do not remove your license plate, you could be blamed for future traffic violations by the new owner like this seller was in 2018. State law requires all private sellers to inform the Oregon DMV within 10 days that the vehicle has been sold by using this online form or by submitting a Notice of Sale either in person to a local DMV office or by mailing it to:
1905 Lana Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97314
For more information, visit the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services website.
Yes. Unless the license plate is transferred to another vehicle, you should destroy or recycle the plate.
No. A vehicle Bill of Sale is not legally required when transferring a vehicle between private individuals.
There are several documents which sellers of vehicles will need: