Paperwork Needed to Sell a Vehicle

It has now come time to sell your vehicle and you are deciding whether or not you should place it on the market. Before you do place it on the market, make sure that you have the proper paperwork to sell it. In order for a sale to be legitimate, the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) requires that a few pieces of paperwork be completed. When selling your vehicle, preparation will allow for the transaction to go much smoother and quicker than if you are scrambling to find the proper forms at the last minute.



When you sell your car, you will need to transfer the title to the buyer of your vehicle. This can be done by filling out the fields on the back of the title itself. These fields will ask for the information of both the buyer and the seller; information such as your names, your addresses, the date of the transaction, and the purchase price of the vehicle. Once you have both filled out this information, the buyer will then submit the signed title to their local registration office, where they will then be able to register the vehicle in their name.


The same information applies if you are donating your vehicle to charity or providing the vehicle as a gift to someone. You will need to fill out the information on the back of the title, and the respective party will also fill out the information. Under the purchase price, you will need to put “GIFT” so that the MVD understands that the vehicle was not sold for monetary gain.


Bill of Sale

Although not required throughout the state of Alabama, some counties do require that a seller and buyer complete a Bill of Sale. This bill will serve as a receipt of the transaction, and proof that both parties willingly exchanged the vehicle’s ownership. The information that you will both fill out on the bill are based on the identities of the parties involved in the transaction, the amount of money exchanged for the vehicle, and information on the vehicle itself.


Federal Odometer Statement

As of an act enacted in 1986, both the seller and buyer must complete a Conforming Odometer Statement. This statement serves as confirmation that the parties are providing an odometer reading, for the vehicle, that is accurate. Anytime a vehicle changes ownership, this statement must be completed.


License Plates

A seller cannot legally give a buyer the current license plate to their vehicle. The license plate must be taken off of the vehicle, upon change of ownership, and kept with the seller. This license plate, however, can be transferred to a new vehicle by contacting the Alabama Department of Revenue office that is closest to the plate-holder. There may be fees that are required during the license plate transfer.



By preparing the necessary paperwork, you will be one step closer to selling your vehicle. Selling your vehicle will be a simple process once you prepare this paperwork, find a buyer, and have come to an agreement on price. Once the buyer and seller have completed the necessary paperwork, the buyer should be able to register the vehicle in their name. There will be additional forms and fees that a buyer will have to pay, once they go to register the vehicle, but the process can all be done at their nearest MVD office.