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Louisiana Buying a Vehicle

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When you buy a vehicle in Louisiana, you need to submit documents to the Office of Motor Vehicles and get the vehicle titled into your name. You also have to register the vehicle. You will need to submit the title certificate as well as a bill of sale for most transactions. On top of that, you should have the vehicle inspected and have car insurance before you attempt to register it.

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

If you buy your vehicle from a dealer, the dealer will handle most of the title transfer. They will submit an invoice, odometer disclosure, title fees, and sales tax, a complete vehicle application, and other documents to the OMV on your behalf.
If you are purchasing a vehicle from a private party, you’ll have 40 days to file for a title transfer. You should take these items to the Office of Motor Vehicles:
  • The title certificate assigned to you
  • A complete vehicle application
  • A notarized bill of sale
  • The odometer statement
  • A copy of your driver’s license or ID
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Title transfer fee payments

Filling Out The Title

To fill out the title, you will need to complete your address and name on the Buyer(s) name line. You will also need to complete the date and selling price on the title. The odometer reading should be filled in if the vehicle is under 10 years old, and you should sign and print your name on the two lines provided for buyers. This title must be notarized after it is signed by the seller.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

You need to register your vehicle with the Louisiana OMV within 40 days of the purchase. You can do this in person or by mail. Fill out form DPSMV 1977, a vehicle application, and the bill of sale for this process. If this is a used vehicle, you need to submit the title certificate and the current registration. If this is a new vehicle, the manufacturer’s statement of origin must be signed over to you. You should also provide the odometer statement and any loan documents that apply. Finally, you will need to pay a fee as well as taxes for your vehicle. Before you can register your vehicle, you will need to have an inspection completed. A smog check may also be required if you live in:
  • Iberville
  • Ascension
  • East Baton Rouge
  • Livingston
  • West Baton Rouge

Submitting Payment

To register your vehicle, you will need to pay a title fee of $68.50. There is also a potential handling fee of $8 and a lien recording fee (for some purchases) that totals between $10 and $15. Your purchase is also subject to sales tax, which may total between 4 and 9.5% on the purchase.

License plate fees apply and are based on the overall value of your vehicle. This can be anywhere from $20 to $82.

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Last Verified:
Jul 25, 2022