In the state of North Dakota, vehicle ownership is shown with the car title. This document proves that you are the owner, and not someone else. When ownership changes through sales, gifting or inheriting a car, the title has to be transferred to the new owner. While the process required to transfer a car title in North Dakota isn’t that involved, there are several things that you’ll need to know.

What buyers should know

For buyers, the title transfer process is relatively simple. However, it does hinge on the seller completing all the documents correctly. Here’s what you should do:

  • Make sure that the title has been completely filled out by the seller, including the odometer disclosure portion. Vehicles exempt from this include any vehicle more than 10 years old, vehicles over 16,000 pounds, and ATVs/snowmobiles.

  • Complete the Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of a Vehicle.

  • Complete the Damage/Salvage Disclosure Statement for cars 9 years old or less.

  • Have proof of insurance.

  • Get a lien release from the seller.

  • Have a valid driver’s license.

  • Bring all of this information to the DOT office, along with the $5 title transfer fee and the money for the registration fee.

Common mistakes

  • Not getting a lien release

What sellers should know

As the seller, it is your responsibility to complete the information on the back of the title, but you also have other responsibilities here.

  • Complete the fields on the back of the title accurately. Unless the vehicle is exempt, this includes the odometer reading.

  • Complete and give the buyer a Damage/Salvage Disclosure Statement (applies to all vehicles under 9 years of age, including cars, trucks and motorcycles).

  • Give the buyer a lien release.

Common mistakes

  • Not giving the buyer a lien release

  • Not completing the title accurately

What to know about gifting and inheriting a car in North Dakota

The process required for gifting a car is identical to what’s outlined above. The title transfer fee and registration costs will need to be paid by the recipient. This applies to vehicle donations, as well.

For inherited vehicles, the process is similar, but there are a few key differences:

  • The deceased’s representative must complete the title as the seller.

  • A copy of the papers must be provided.

For more information about how to transfer a car title in North Dakota, visit the state’s DOT website.

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

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