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Indiana Buying a Vehicle

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

If you are buying a vehicle from a dealership, then you should ask if they partner with the BMV. If they do, then they will handle most of the paperwork for you. The dealer has 31 days to deliver the title to you once the payments have been squared away.

If the dealership is not a partner of the BMV, then you will need to take the title certificate or manufacturer’s certificate of origin to the BMV.

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

When buying from a private seller, you need to complete the title transfer, pay any applicable transfer fees and make sure you do so within the required timeframe. In Indiana, you have 45 days to make the title transfer. Missing this deadline results in fees.

On your title from the seller, there should be some information included. For example, there should be:

  • The odometer reading
  • Information stating that you are the buyer
  • The price of the sale
  • The date of the purchase
  • The seller’s signature
After you have the title prepared, complete the Application for Certificate of Title, which is form 205, and present it to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles near you. You may also need to have the Odometer Disclosure Statement as well as proof of the vehicle inspection and proof of residency.

You’ll be responsible for paying for the registration and titling fees as well.

Remember that the license plates in Indiana do not transfer with the vehicle. You’ll need to buy new plates or transfer other plates from another vehicle to this one.

Filling Out The Title

To fill out an Indiana title, only use blue or black ink. You will see two blocks that state “SELLER INFORMATION” and “PURCHASER INFORMATION.” Those need to be filled out. The odometer reading should also be filled in exactly as it appears on the odometer at the time of the sale. This isn’t required if your vehicle is over 10 years old.

On the left side, there is a block for the seller’s printed name and signature. They should do them exactly as they appear on the front of the title.

After this, complete the date of sale and selling price lines.

A bill of sale is also needed, so complete that and keep it with the title. Then, when you go to the BMV, provide both documents to the agent.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

To register your vehicle, you will need to complete your vehicle registration online or in-person if the purchase was through a private party. If the seller was a dealership, they will complete the registration process on your behalf.

If you are completing the registration, you can go online to complete the process if the title application has been submitted and the purchase was within the last 45 days. If you purchased your vehicle over 60 days ago, then you will need to go in person to the BMV to register.

Submitting Payment

Indiana’s base fees start at $9.50 for the plate transfer fee. Late vehicle registrations are $15. Other vehicle registration fees can be found on the Vehicle Registration Fees chart. Remember, you will also need to pay an excise tax when registering a vehicle in Indiana, which you can find on this excise tax chart.

Last Verified:
Apr 10, 2023