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Delaware Selling a Vehicle

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What Are The Basics?

When you sell a car in Delaware, you must comply with certain legal requirements to ensure the sale is properly documented and to avoid penalties. For example, you must sign the title and either remove the license plates or take them to DMV and pay a fee to retain them.

How Do I Sign the Title?

The DMV recommends that sellers and buyers go to a DMV office to sign the paperwork to ensure the buyer receives the title and the seller’s name is properly removed. However, if this is not possible, the seller must notify DMV of the transaction, complete a Seller’s Report of Sale and registration card and mail them to DMV. In addition, they must sign the title on the back in Section 1 and print their names as indicated on the front of the title and fill out the odometer disclosure.

What if I’ve Lost the Title?

You cannot sell a vehicle without a title. If you’ve lost it, you’ll need to obtain a duplicate title from the Delaware DMV. To obtain the title, fill out an application and pay the $50. If requesting by mail, you should include a self-addressed stamp envelope and allow at least 15 days. Requests in person are handled immediately.

What Information is Included in the Sellers Report of Sale?

  • Buyer’s name and address;
  • Date of sale;
  • VIN
  • Make and model
  • Sale price.

Why do I need to Record the Odometer Reading?

Delaware law requires odometer reading recordings when: 
  • A motor vehicle is initially registered or when the ownership is transferred, or
  • A new title is required for any reason

Why do I Need a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale records the information the buyer will need to title and register the vehicle in their own name. It also protects you from liability should the vehicle later be involved in an accident. The bill of sale also can settle legal disputes between you and the buyer should they arise later.

May I Transfer Plates?

Yes, and you may also retain them by taking them to a DMV office and paying a fee.

What if I Am Giving the Car to Someone Rather than Selling It?

If you are giving the car to someone, such as a relative, you follow the same process as if you were selling it. You note, however, by sales price, that the item is to be a gift.

How Do I, As Executor, Transfer a Car to an Heir?

If you are an executor of a deceased person’s will and transfer the car to the heir, you will still sign the title and remove the license plates. You note, however, that the car was inherited rather than purchased.

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Last Verified:
Jun 14, 2022