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Bibliography Title Change For Car

Titling and Registering Vehicles

Tax and Title

Within 15 days of buying a vehicle, you must title it in your name at a Secretary of State branch office. Failure to transfer the title within that time will result in a $15 late fee. At the time of titling, a $15 title transfer fee will be collected as well as 6% use tax. Sales to father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, grandparents, grandchildren, stepfather, stepmother, stepchild, stepsister, stepbrother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent-in-law, grandchild-in-law, legal ward, or legal guardian of the previous owner are tax-exempt.

Obtaining an Instant Title

Individuals who need to obtain a title may process an application at any Secretary of State branch office. Title applications require proof of vehicle ownership and proper identification. Individuals who have lost an existing Michigan title and need to obtain a replacement title immediately can take advantage of instant title service at several branch offices. Locate the nearest instant title office.

In addition to the $15 title fee, there is a $5 instant title fee for this service. The vehicle owner must appear in person for instant title service. The owner cannot appoint an agent for an instant title transaction. If there are two owners of a vehicle, both owners must appear in person for instant title service. 

NOTE:  For duplicate title transactions when there are two owners on the title record, only one owner needs to appear and sign the title application. An appointment of agent is not needed from the other owner. Both owner names will appear on the duplicate title.

Replacement Titles

If you cannot find the title to your vehicle, you may request a replacement title online through ExpressSOS. The cost is $15 and your title will be mailed to you within 14 days. Replacement titles can only be issued to the owner listed on the title document. If you have submitted a change of address within the last 10 days or have an appointment of agent or power of attorney designation, you will need to visit a Secretary of State office to obtain a replacement title.

Buying a New License Plate

You must present a valid Michigan no-fault insurance certificate for the vehicle.

Transferring a License Plate

Your plate must be valid. Bring your registration or license plate number. Proof of insurance is not required unless you changed insurance companies since your last license plate renewal.

Michigan Law requires disclosure of the actual odometer reading at the time of transfer or assignment of the vehicle's title.  Further, the seller must indicate if that reading is actual mileage, not actual mileage, or exceeds the maximum limit of the odometer (usually over 99,999 miles).  This disclosure is not required if the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 16,000 pounds, is not self-propelled, or is 10 years old or older (MCL 257.233a).

Federal Law also requires sellers to state the odometer mileage when transferring ownership.  Failure to complete a mileage disclosure of providing false information may make the seller liable for damages and fines and or imprisonment according to the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Saving Act of 1972, Public Law 92-513.

Questions? Contact the Michigan Department of State Information Center at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) for assistance.

To register a vehicle, either new or used, with DC DMV, you must have proof that you own it, or that you hold the vehicle title. The title is the legal form that establishes ownership of the vehicle. The title will have the vehicle identification number and some other important information that identifies the specific vehicle.

If you purchase a new vehicle, a Certificate of Origin will be provided from the vehicle dealership. The original Certificate of Origin serves the same purpose as a title for your new vehicle until you title it with DC DMV.

To get a current, valid title to a vehicle you purchase or otherwise obtain, you will have to submit certain documents to DC DMV. The following original documents are required to obtain a new vehicle title (DC DMV cannot accept photocopies or scanned documents):

  • Current title or Certificate of Origin

Altered titles are not acceptable; you will have to apply for a replacement title if the title to the vehicle has been altered.  If you are transferring a vehicle from another jurisdiction to the District of Columbia and the vehicle has a lien on it, you will need to contact the lienholder and have the original title sent to one of DMV's service centers.  You can access the lienholder out of state title request form from the link below:

If the vehicle has multiple owners, all owners must be listed on the title. The primary owner must be a District resident with a DC DMV credential. Additionally, information on the other owners, including photo identification, will be required for vehicle registrations. More information on required documents for registrations is available at the link below:

For a new car, the dealer’s odometer statement
For a used car, either:

  • Certification of odometer mileage on back of title (when signed over)

  • Certification of odometer mileage on dealer reassignment form (if purchased from dealer)

  • Lien contract (if applicable)

  • Lease contract (if applicable)

Your DC DMV vehicle title will be mailed to the primary owner, or the primary lien holder, within 10 business days of presenting all the required documentation to DC DMV.

You can use the link below to obtain an online estimate of the vehicle registration and title fees:

NOTE: If you acquire the vehicle through the death of the vehicle’s owner, you will need to provide additional information, whether you are a surviving owner also listed on the title or not. Information on vehicles acquired through the death of the owner is available at the link below:

If you only want the title to your vehicle—and you do not intend to operate it in the District—it does not need to pass inspection or be insured. However, you may not operate a vehicle in the District unless it is registered; to register the vehicle, it will have to have a valid inspection sticker and be insured.
If you would like to title and register a vehicle that has been branded “salvage,” the vehicle must pass a safety inspection first at the Inspection Station.  You must also submit the title to DC DMV's Southwest Service Center for a Metropolitan Police Department Auto Theft Inspection.  You can use the links below to obtain the address and hours of operation for the Southwest Service Center and the Inspection Station:

To Replace a Vehicle Title

If your vehicle title is lost or stolen, or the lien on the vehicle has been satisfied, you may obtain a duplicate title. You will have to provide certain documents (listed below) and pay a fee.

If there are no changes to your title, such as removing a lien or changing ownership, you may apply for a duplicate title online at the link below:

You can also mail the documents and fee to:

DC DMV
PO Box 90120
Washington, DC 20090

Or, you can visit a DC DMV service center with the required documents and fee. Information on DC DMV service centers is available at the link below:

If your vehicle title has been lost or stolen, you will need the following documents:

  • Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application (must be signed by all owners), available at the link below:

  • Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application

  • Valid photo identification of vehicle owner(s)

  • A Vehicle Power of Attorney form  and copy of the valid DC DMV credential for the District resident owner of the vehicle if you are not the owner, but requesting the duplicate title for the owner. The Vehicle Power of Attorney form is available at the link below:

  • Vehicle information—at least one of the following items to identify your vehicle:
  • Vehicle renewal notice
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle identification number
  • DC DMV title number
  • Vehicle tag number

To obtain a duplicate title once a lien has been satisfied (i.e., you have paid off the vehicle), you will have to submit or bring to a DC DMV service center the documents listed below:

  • Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application (must be signed by all owners), available at the link below:
  • Valid photo identification of vehicle owner(s)
  • A Vehicle Power of Attorney form  and copy of the valid DC DMV credential for the District resident owner of the vehicle if you are not the owner, but requesting the duplicate title for the owner. The Vehicle Power of Attorney form is available at the link below:

  • Vehicle information—at least one of the following items to identify your vehicle:
  • Vehicle renewal notice
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle identification number
  • DC DMV title number
  • Vehicle tag number
  • One of the following documents showing the lien is satisfied:
    • Letter of financing on company letterhead stating that the lien is satisfied
    • Loan agreement stamped “paid” by the financial institution and certified by an appropriate party
    • Title stamped with lien release from the financial institution

Dealers may request duplicate titles on behalf of customers by providing the following documentation and paying the appropriate fee, either by mail or in person at a DC DMV service center:

To replace a title and/or request a change of name or change of address, please bring in the supporting documentation. Information on name and address changes is available at the links below:

To replace an existing DC DMV title due to an incorrect vehicle identification number (VIN), you must bring one of the following documents:

  • VIN correction from DC DMV inspection station
  • VIN correction letter on letterhead from another state's motor vehicle agency

Information on titles for salvage vehicles is available at the link below:

All duplicate titles will be mailed to the primary owner within 10 business days of processing. Titles are not issued over the counter.

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