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Delaware Buying a Vehicle

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If you purchase a vehicle from a car dealership in Delaware, the dealer will typically complete the paperwork on your behalf and will pay the sales tax for you. You should ensure that you receive a receipt from the car dealership showing that the vehicle’s title is now in your name. However, if you bought the vehicle from a private party, you will have to do the paperwork yourself.

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

All vehicles must be properly titled to drive on Delaware highways. If you buy a vehicle from a private party, you must complete all the paperwork yourself. DMV recommends that you and the seller go together to the local DMV office to ensure the paperwork is completed properly.

If that’s not possible, then be sure the seller signs the back of the title, prints their name on the required place on the title, and lists the odometer reading. You also must sign the title in the appropriate place.

Filling Out The Title Application

The buyer must fill out a purchaser’s application listing the information exactly as they want it to appear on the title. If the vehicle is to be financed, the lien holder also fills out the appropriate spot on the title. You’ll have to provide proof that you have liability insurance on the vehicle that meets at least state minimum requirements. You’ll also have to pay titling fees based on weight and sales price.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

After you have finished purchasing the vehicle and filling out the title application, you can then register it. Your vehicle must pass a safety and emissions inspection before you can register it. You must register your vehicle in person the first time; however, registration renewals can be accomplished online.

Submitting Payment

The annual registration fee in Delaware is $40. The title fee when liens exist is $55. The title fee for vehicles without liens is $35. In addition, you must pay sales taxes on the vehicle before you can register it the first time. The rate is 4.25 percent on the purchase price or NADA book value, whichever is greater. Delaware law allows you to deduct the value of your trade-in from the sales price.

The DMV accepts checks, money orders, cash debit cards, and most major credit cards for payment. The major credit cards it accepts are Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express. DMV charges a $25 fee for bounced checks. If you write a check that bounces, you must pay the original amount plus the fee within 10 days or your driver’s license will be suspended.

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Last Verified:
Jul 11, 2022