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How to Transfer a Car Title in PA

Looking for information on how to transfer a car title in PA? Read our comprehensive guide + expert tips on transferring your car title the right way in Pennsylvania.
Owolabi Oluwasegun
Owolabi Oluwasegun
05/02/2023 · 6 min read
car title transfer in PA car title transfer in PA car title transfer in PA

The rise in gas prices, inflation, and increasing cost of living is forcing more people to consider selling their vehicles. While you shouldn’t rush into this decision, you should also know the important things to do as part of the sale process. One important part of selling your car is transferring your car title. If you’re in PA or Pennsylvania, this is even more important.

According to the Pennsylvania DMV, car title transfers are a legal requirement when buying or selling a vehicle. The DMV recommends that the “buyer and seller meet at the office of the notary public, tag service, or motor vehicle dealer to ensure the title application is completed correctly.”

So, how do you go about a car title transfer in PA? Find everything you need to know below.

PA Car Title Transfer: Who Needs It?

A vehicle seller must transfer the car title if selling to a private buyer. This requirement is waived if you sell to a junkyard or a salvage yard in Pennsylvania. 

When selling to a private buyer, both parties are required to meet to complete the title transfer. If the vehicle to be sold has been financed by the buyer, the title certificate will be mailed to the lienholder; otherwise, it’ll be mailed directly to the buyer.

Documents Needed for Car Title Transfer PA

The important documents needed for a car title transfer in Pennsylvania include the following;

Proof of Identity 

The car buyer and seller must provide a valid means of identification. Acceptable forms of identification include a valid driver’s license, government-issued photo ID, or current US passport.

Buyers or sellers may be unable to complete the purchase or sale process without a valid identity document.

Proof of Vehicle Ownership

Sellers must present acceptable proof of vehicle ownership before a vehicle’s title can be transferred to the buyer to seal the sale. Acceptable proof of vehicle ownership documents includes;

  • Manufacturer certificate or statement of origin 
  • Pennsylvania Certificate of Title 
  • Certificate of Salvage
  • Out-of-State Certificate of Title 
  • Court order granting ownership to the seller.

Proof of Insurance

Pennsylvania laws require vehicle owners to insure their cars against damages and accidents. A seller must present a valid proof of insurance in the forms of;

  • An insurance card
  • Insurance policy declaration page
  • Copy of insurance application to the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan
  • Insurance number and supporting documents.

The buyer will also be required to obtain insurance on the vehicle before it can be registered.

How to Transfer a Car Title in PA

Transferring your car title in PA can be completed in simple steps, provided the seller and buyer have agreed to a price and have the required documents. Follow the steps below to transfer your car title seamlessly.

Schedule a Notary Appointment

A notary appointment must be made ahead of the vehicle title transfer. The buyer and seller must agree to a date and time to sign the title before the Pennsylvania notary public to complete the process.

It is important for the vehicle’s sale amount to be listed on the car title to ensure transparency.

Odometer Reading and Report

Sellers are required to maintain full transparency at the time of selling their vehicle. They are required to obtain and report the correct odometer reading in the Pennsylvania Title during the transfer process.

Remove Vehicle Plates

The seller, as part of the sale and ownership transfer process, is required to strip the car of their personal belongings, including the vehicle plate. Every personal effect contained in the vehicle after the sale is deemed transferred.

Buyer Insures the Vehicle

The buyer, at the end of the PA title transfer process, is required to insure their vehicle according to Pennsylvania laws. The insurance coverage also sets the path for vehicle registration.

Please note that it may be impossible to register your new vehicle without proper insurance coverage.

The Buyer Registers the Car 

The title transfer and ownership transfer process ends with the new owner registering their vehicle, obtaining their vehicle plate, and paying taxes on the vehicle.

Do Both Parties Need to Be Present to Transfer a Title in PA?

Yes, both parties involved in the sale and purchase of the car are required to be physically present at the notary office, with the required documents, during the title transfer process. However, in instances where the buyer and seller cannot meet simultaneously, both parties can sign and notarize the documents separately, with the seller appearing first, followed by the buyer.

Must All Named Parties on the Title Be Present?

Yes, all parties listed or named on the vehicle title are required to be present at the time of the title transfer. All named parties must present a valid photo ID to prove their identity and also append their signature on the title transfer document to signal their consent to the transaction.

Can You Transfer a Car Title Online in PA?

No, you cannot completely transfer a car title online in PA. Pennsylvania law requires buyers and sellers to meet in person to sign the title and have it notarized before the notary public.

How Much Does It Cost to Transfer a Car Title in PA?

It costs $58.00 to transfer a clean title in Pennsylvania, while a lien title transfer costs $86.00. The buyer bears the cost of the title transfer unless otherwise stated in the sale agreement.

How to Transfer a Car Title to a Family Member in Pennsylvania

Transferring a car title to a family member in Pennsylvania is easy. Both the owner and the family member are required to present themselves and valid documents before a notary public to complete the vehicle transfer process.

Tips for Seamless Car Title Transfer In PA

  1. Buyers and sellers should use only BLACK or BLUE ink when filling the title document
  2. Fill your details correctly as it appears in your ID or government documents
  3. DO NOT white out errors or erase anything on the title transfer document
  4. Write neatly and legibly while spacing out your letters.
  5. Write in BLOCK LETTERS if in doubt.

We hope the above information has helped you understand the process involved in transferring your car title in PA. You can avoid the entire stress and hassles by selling your car directly to us at As a licensed salvage yard and junk car buyer, you do not need to transfer your title before selling to us. The best part is we offer cash payments, fast and easy pickups, and FREE towing for inoperable vehicles. Get a free quote from us today! Call 8333900827 or use our online cash for cars quote calculator.

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