Transfer Vehicle Title

How to Transfer Your Vehicle Title in Louisiana

Wherever you go in life, you are sure to need a car to get there. Most jobs will require some sort of commute to make it happen, making a reliable car a necessity. Perhaps the most important, and often forgotten, part of any vehicle purchase is the transfer of vehicle title, a critical document to prove ownership of the car or truck. It can seem like a daunting process to try to meet the specific vehicle transfer requirements of the state of Louisiana, but it doesn’t have to be.

What is a Title?

A title is a legal document that certifies you (or your business) as the rightful owner of a car. It is also informally known as a “pink slip.” When you have an ironclad title, it makes it just about impossible for anyone to lay a claim to ownership of your vehicle.

However, if your car or truck has been financed, the owner of your loan usually holds on to the title until you pay the loan off, at which point you receive the car and are free to sell, giveaway, or transfer the vehicle’s title as you please.

When to transfer

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has very specific requirements for when a transfer of title is required. Transferring when the vehicle is sold or gifted are the most obvious, but, it is also important to remember that title must be transfered when moving to Louisiana from out of state, as in state title is a requirement. In this scenario, you would need to fill out the proper vehicle application form,as well as your previous title, proof of insurance, and the applicable fees.

Buy or Sell

Purchasing a new car from a dealer will be a simple process, as the dealer will often complete some of this for you. However, the forms are still technically your responsibility, so it is important to know the vehicle transfer requirements, especially when purchasing from another individual.

Dealer purchases will require an invoice,odometer disclosure, financing agreement and a copy of your license. Payment of the applicable fees and sales tax is also required, in addition to the vehicle application, financing agreement and a notarized statement of origin. For a private sale, you will need the notarized title certificate from the old owner, with the date of sale, sale price, and both of your signatures, as well as proof of insurance, and the odometer statement, license copy, and fees, similar to a dealer purchase. As a seller, your role is more limited, though you can notify the OMV of the purchase, which is a simpler process that can be done online.

Lien Release

When you purchase a vehicle through a loan, you will not receive your title document until the loan has been paid off. When this happens, your loan servicer will transfer the vehicle’s title to you, necessitating the completion of a lien release document to finalize the transfer.

The title sent to you upon making the final payment should reflect that you have paid off the loan, however it is not guaranteed, but simply reaching out to the lender can get you the documentation that you need to meet the vehicle transfer requirements. You will also need to fill out a vehicle application, your registration and pay the lien release fee.

Whatever the reason for going through the process to transfer a vehicle’s title, you will need to make sure that the specific requirements of each type of transfer are met. While the state of Louisiana has similar requirements to other states, taking the time to learn the unique vehicle transfer requirements will save you time, money, and a lot of hassle.