Whether you’re buying or selling a car, or you’re giving one as a gift or about to inherit one, there are some things you’ll need to know. In all of these situations, ownership changes. That means that the title needs to be transferred from one person to another. The title proves ownership, and it must be transferred through Maine’s government for the transfer to be legal. Of course, there are quite a few things you need to know about how to transfer a car title in Maine.

What buyers need to know

When you’re buying a car from a dealership, you don’t need to worry about the titling process, as the dealership will do it for you. That’s not the case when buying from a private seller. In this situation, you are responsible for titling. Here’s what you should know:

  • Make sure the seller completes the fields on the back of the title or MCO, and that they give it to you after the purchase.
  • You must have a bill of sale from the seller.
  • You must have an odometer disclosure statement, which should be on the back of the title/MCO, or on an official Odometer Information Sheet.
  • Make sure you have insurance on the car and proof of that insurance.
  • Obtain and complete a title application. These are only available through your local BMV office.
  • Get a lien release from the seller.
  • Bring these documents and the money for the title transfer and sales tax to your local BMV office. The title transfer fee is $33 and sales tax will be 5.5% of the sale price. You can also mail them to:

Title Examination and Information Unit Bureau of Motor Vehicles 29 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333

Common mistakes

  • Not ensuring that the seller completes the fields on the back of the title/MCO
  • Not having a bill of sale

What sellers should know

Like buyers, sellers have to do several things in order to transfer a car title in Maine. These include:

  • Complete the fields on the back of the title/MCO.
  • Complete a bill of sale and give it to the buyer.
  • Give the buyer a lien release.

Common mistakes

  • Not getting a lien release for the buyer

Gifting and inheriting vehicles in Maine

The process of gifting a car to someone in Maine is actually very simple. Follow the same steps as outlined above, but list $0 as the sale price. For inherited vehicles, the situation is different.

This information needs to be submitted to the BMV along with the money for the title transfer. For more information about how to transfer a car title in Maine, visit the state’s BMV website.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Transfer a Car Title in Maine and was authored by Valerie Johnston.

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