How to Transfer a Car Title to a Spouse

Written by shanan miller
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How to Transfer a Car Title to a Spouse
Sign your title, just as you would if you were selling the car. (paperwork image by Pix by Marti from

Even though you are transferring a title to your spouse, you'll have to follow the standard procedures for transfer of ownership in your state. This involves signing over the title to your spouse and going to your state's motor vehicle department to complete the transfer. If you have a lien holder listed on your title, or a bank loan, you probably cannot transfer ownership. Very few states allow this and, even though you are married, the bank will not allow it unless the spouse is on the loan.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vehicle title

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  1. 1

    Look over the front and back of your title and locate the area for the seller's information. Read the title carefully. You cannot sign in the wrong place, otherwise the title becomes void. Some states have various boxes for different motor vehicle services, while some only offer one box for selling.

  2. 2

    Sign and date the designated spot on the title. Print your name and address if the title requires it.

  3. 3

    Fill out the odometer statement if your state's title requires it. Read the odometer box thoroughly, it may say that vehicles 10 years or older are exempt.

  4. 4

    Go to a motor vehicle office with your spouse. Your state also may require that your signatures be notarised or that you complete additional forms, such as a gift transfer, which would prevent your spouse from paying taxes on the vehicle since you already have. Complete the process together, just in case more forms are required.

Tips and warnings

  • Call you state's motor vehicle department beforehand to make sure you are following all of your state's requirements.
  • Just because you transferred your title to your spouse does not mean your spouse can drive the vehicle if plates are registered only in your name. Your spouse will have to register the vehicle herself before driving and you will most likely have to turn in your plates unless you can add her to the registration as well.

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