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Arkansas Buying a Vehicle

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When you buy a vehicle, you need to transfer the title and register it. Doing this legally places the vehicle into your name and helps protect you as the new owner.

Obtaining a Title and Registration For a Vehicle Bought from a Car Dealership

When you buy a vehicle in Arkansas, you need to have the certificate of title. You should also have an invoice or bill of sale for the vehicle. The state asks that you provide an odometer statement for vehicles under 20 years old and a VIN inspection certificate for any vehicles brought in from out of state or with a salvage title.

The seller should provide you with the title. The title needs to be signed, and the bill of sale and odometer statement should be kept with it.

Obtaining a Title and Registration For a Vehicle Bought from a Private Party

If you buy from a dealership, the dealership will process your title and registration when they send in the appropriate documentation to the state. If they don’t transfer them for you, then you can request those forms and take them to a local DMV on your own.

Filling Out The Title

To fill out the title, the seller should complete the title with their name printed and signed. As a buyer, you will also need to sign on the buyer line and fill in all requested dates. On Arkansas titles, the seller signature location is on the back and front of the title. This is where it states “owner’s signature.” The seller needs to sign the area that says “signature and address of seller.”

On the back of the title on the top left, the buyer’s name will go on the line that says “buyer’s printed name.” If there are multiple owners, “and,” “or,” or “and/or” must be listed on the title between their names, depending on the ownership type.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

After you buy a vehicle, you need to register it. Registration is done by dealerships for you, but if you buy from an independent seller, you’ll need to do the process yourself. Complete the application at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. You will need:

  • The primary title, bill of sale, out of state title or manufacturer statement of origin
  • Your insurance card
  • The federal odometer statement

Submitting Payment

The registration fees for vehicles depend on their weight and vehicle type. You can check the motor vehicle registration fee schedule to get the exact amount for your vehicle. For passenger vehicles under 3,000 pounds, you can expect to pay $17 for the registration fee and another $2.50 for the validation decal. For passenger vehicles and motor homes over 3,000 pounds but under 4,500 pounds, the registration fee jumps to $25. The full schedule has more information about different car types.

Last Verified:
May 22, 2023