In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when you buy or sell a vehicle a Bill of Sale Form is not required but it’s strongly recommended. This serves as a legal receipt from the buyer to the seller documenting both the change in ownership and the purchase price.
The following information should appear on the Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Form:
– Name of the seller and address of the seller.
– Name of the buyer and address of the buyer.
– Vehicle description, including Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, model, year.
– Vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale.
– The sale price.
– Date of sale.
– Signature of the seller.
In most cases, you will need the services of an authorized PennDOT agent or the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to assist you in transferring the title for a used vehicle. The authorized PennDOT dealer, agent, or online title/registration processor
must send the title application directly to PennDOT. The agent must handle the paperwork and may not give it to the customer.
If the seller’s certificate of title is held electronically by a lienholder, a paper title must be obtained before the seller can transfer ownership of the vehicle and the purchaser can make application for a Pennsylvania Certificate of Title.
Upon receiving the purchaser’s application, PennDOT will create a new title in the purchaser’s name and mail it to them. If they borrowed money to purchase the vehicle, the title or an electronic file will be sent directly to the bank or finance company. After the loan is paid in full, the lender will satisfy the lien and send the title to the purchaser.
If you are buying or selling a vehicle that is already titled in Pennsylvania, the seller must sign and print his/her name in Section A on the back of the title in the presence of an authorized agent. The purchaser’s name and address must be listed in Section A on the back of the title. In addition, the purchaser must sign and print his/her name in the spaces provided.
At the time of sale, the seller should get a receipt from the buyer that acknowledges the receipt of the transferred title and delivery of the vehicle. For your convenience, use the Pennsylvania Bill of Sale Form.
Section D on the front of the title must be completed by the purchaser. If the vehicle is to be financed, the lien information must be included in Section D. If the lienholder participates in the Electronic Lien and Title Program, please include the lienholder’s Financial Institution Number (FIN). When Sections A and D are signed and notarized, the title has been “transferred”. If the vehicle is being titled in more than one name, all owners must sign the title.
If you are buying a vehicle which is titled in another state, check the front and back of the title carefully. There should be a place for the seller’s signature and your vehicle’s current odometer reading. The seller’s signature may require notarization on some out-of-state titles.
You must consult an agent, tag service, or motor vehicle dealer who is an authorized PennDOT agent or the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles about out-of-state title transfers. Many dealers and authorized tag services now process title applications online and can assist you through the process of applying for a Pennsylvania title and registration.
The seller must indicate the mileage of the vehicle in Section A on the back of the Pennsylvania title or in the appropriate space provided on the out-of-state title.
After the title is transferred, the seller must remove the registration plate from the vehicle. The registration plate should never be given to the purchaser. The registration plate should be returned to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles unless the seller plans to transfer it to another vehicle.
In addition to establishing ownership of the vehicle by transferring the title to your name, you will need to register it in order to obtain a registration plate and drive it on the highway. You can apply for registration on the same form used for the title application. If you already have a Pennsylvania registration plate, an authorized PennDOT agent can transfer it to the vehicle you are buying. For vehicles already titled in Pennsylvania, Section F of Form MV-4ST must be completed by an authorized PennDOT agent to indicate whether you want a new plate or are transferring a plate from another vehicle.
For a new or out-of-state vehicle (not previously titled in Pennsylvania), Section G of Form MV-1 must be completed by an authorized PennDOT agent to indicate whether you want a new plate or are transferring a plate from another vehicle.
When you purchase a vehicle from an individual and you do not have a registration plate to be transferred, you may obtain a temporary registration, valid for 90 days, from an authorized PennDOT agent.
Prior to a temporary registration plate being issued or transfer of a registration plate, some items must be presented to the authorized PennDOT agent as acceptable proof of insurance.
If you sell your vehicle for salvage, sign the title over to the buyer and remove your registration plate. Return the registration plate to PennDOT unless you are planning to transfer it to another vehicle.
For more information go to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation – Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
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