1.           When I am ready to sell my car, can I just sign the back of the title and give it to the buyer?

2.           Can I sell my vehicle for $1.00, or what is the lowest price I can get away with so my friend won’t have to pay a lot of sales tax?

3.           My wife and I own a vehicle jointly and she will be out of town this weekend when I sell it.  Can she go ahead and sign the title or can I sign for her when we complete the sale?

4.           What paperwork is necessary to give my car away to a local charity?

5.           What do I need to sell a car that was in my husband’s name, who died last year?

6.           Since I already have a Black Bear license plate from the car I just sold, what do I have to do to transfer it to the car I have just purchased?

7.           How do I request a duplicate title?

8.           Can I donate my vehicle to someone not related to me and will they have to pay any tax?

9.           Do you still have to sign a separate odometer statement when selling a vehicle?

10.        Is it necessary to turn in my license plate when I sell my vehicle?

11.        What can I do if I want to park my car for 6 months and take the insurance off? Do I have to turn in a plate?

12.        I am selling my boat, motor and trailer.  Do I have to have a separate bill of sale for each?

 

 

1.           When I am ready to sell my car, can I just sign the back of the title and give it to the buyer?

        Yes, you can, but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t.  The most important reason being that you will have no written record of the sale.  Also, you have to sign in front of two witnesses other than the buyer, and one of them has to go with the buyer to the Notary Public to swear that he saw you sign as the seller. Should any error be made during that transaction, your signature will be needed anyway to correct the mistake.

 

2.           Can I sell my vehicle for $1.00, or what is the lowest price I can get away with so my friend won’t have to pay a lot of sales tax?

        Some states tax a vehicle by its curb weight, so the amount on the Bill of Sale is listed as $1.00 “and other valuable consideration”.  In Louisiana, tax is due on the actual amount of the sale.  At this time, there is no limit as to how low the sale price can be.  However; you are committing fraud against the state and perjuring yourself if you sign a Bill of Sale that does not recite the true amount of the sale.  This also applies to signing an Act of Donation when in fact, there was a sale.

 

3.           My wife and I own a vehicle jointly and she will be out of town this weekend when I sell it.  Can she go ahead and sign the title or can I sign for her when we complete the sale?

        If she signs the title, she must follow the steps regarding witnesses in Answer #1, and I suggest signing a handwritten or typed Bill of Sale also.

        The best way to handle this situation is to have your wife sign and have notarized a Vehicle Power of Attorney, so that you can sign for both yourself and for your wife when the sale is completed.  This POA will be limited to transactions concerning only this specific vehicle, but will include several other powers, such as applying for a duplicate title, signing an affidavit of correction, or insurance documents.

 

4.           What paperwork is necessary to give my car away to a local charity?

        Take the title in to a Notary Public and request an Act of Donation to the charity.  You will need to know the exact name of the charity and if possible, their address.  Give the notarized title and the Act of Donation to the person picking up your vehicle.  Keep a copy for your records, and if you haven’t already done so, turn in the license plate.

 

5.           What do I need to sell a car that was in my husband’s name, who died last year?

        You need either (1) a Certified Copy of the Judgment of Possession or (2) a notarized Affidavit of Heirship. 

1.  The Judgment should list all of the heirs and specify who inherited the vehicle.  If it was left half to you and half to the children, then you can sell the vehicle by yourself as long as there is a clause in the Judgment giving you usufruct over whatever property the children inherit.  If that clause is not included, the children over 18 will also need to sign the Bill of Sale.  The buyer will need the Certified Copy** of the Judgment when he pays his sales tax on the vehicle.

2.  If there is no Judgment, then all heirs will need to sign the Affidavit of Heirship, unless they are minors.  However, as the spouse, only you need to sign the Bill of Sale.  A copy of the death certificate or published obituary notice must accompany the Affidavit.

**A certified copy from the Clerk of Court is required by Motor Vehicles, a Xerox copy alone is not sufficient.

Should you not want to share your Judgment of Possession with your buyer because of privacy issues, you may wish to title the vehicle in your name first.  No tax is due, just title fees.  Then when you are ready to sell the vehicle, you will only need the title.

 

6.           Since I already have a Black Bear license plate from the car I just sold, what do I have to do to transfer it to the car I have just purchased?

        When you are ready to pay your sales tax, inform the person handling the transaction that you have the vanity plate and that you want it to be transferred to the vehicle you just purchased.  Provide them with a copy of the registration that shows you own the plate, if possible.

Occasionally, a dealership or Notary office will not be able to handle this type of transfer.  They may charge you for a regular plate and after you have received it, you can request the transfer of your vanity plate at any of our offices or the Office of Motor Vehicles.

 

7.           How do I request a duplicate title?

        If you paid cash for the vehicle, take a copy of your current registration to one of our offices or the Office of Motor Vehicles and request a duplicate title.  You will receive the new title in 10 business days or less.

If the vehicle was EVER financed, even though it was paid off 10 years ago, you will need a Satisfaction of Lien from the bank or finance company.  They would have signed the title showing it was paid in full, but when the title was lost, so was the proof that you paid if off.

Sometimes, there will be no record that you ever had a lien with the company because so much time has passed, yet the lien is still recorded on the computer at Motor Vehicles.  A statement from that lienholder that you don’t owe them any money on this particular vehicle will suffice.  A complete description of the vehicle including the VIN is required.

Can I donate my vehicle to someone not related to me and will they have to pay any tax?

Yes, you may donate tax free to anyone, as long as no money changes hands.  However, this is not something that may be done legally by witness.  Both the donor and donee must appear in front of the Notary and have the title and the Act of Donation notarized.

 

8.           Can I donate my vehicle to someone not related to me and will they have to pay any tax?

        Yes, you may donate tax free to anyone, as long as no money changes hands.  However, this is not something that may be done legally by witness.  Both the donor and donee, as well as two witnesses, must appear in front of the Notary and have the title and the Act of Donation notarized.

 

9.           Do you still have to sign a separate odometer statement when selling a vehicle?

        Generally not.  The titles printed since 1989 are called “conforming” titles, and have a built in odometer statement.  The odometer reading is only required if the vehicle is ten years old or newer.  For older vehicles, the word exempt is used, or nothing is written in that space.

However, if errors have been made on the odometer section of the title, the Office of Motor Vehicles may require a separate odometer statement and/or a physical inspection of the vehicle.

 

10.        Is it necessary to turn in my license plate when I sell my vehicle?

        Yes, in most cases, it is advisable to remove the plate and turn it in to the Office of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of canceling your insurance.

Car plates do not transfer between individuals.  However, plates for pickup trucks, motorcycles, utility trailers and boat trailers may be transferred to the new owner at the option of the seller.  The seller may be “flagged” on the computer at the Office of Motor Vehicles if the new owner does not promptly pay his Tax, Title and License fees.  Until the flag is cleared, the seller may not apply for a license plate or renew his Driver’s License.

An Affidavit of Non Use may be filed with OMV before your insurance lapses or is cancelled if you are planning not to use your vehicle for a specific time period.  The Affidavit requires a full description of the vehicle (Year, Make & VIN) and the beginning and ending dates for the time period the vehicle is parked.  You may retain the plate by filing the Affidavit.

 

11.        What can I do if I want to park my car for 6 months and take the insurance off? Do I have to turn in a plate?

        An Affidavit of Non Use may be filed with OMV before your insurance lapses or is cancelled if you are planning not to use your vehicle for a specific time period, the maximum time being one year. The Affidavit requires a full description of the vehicle (Year, Make & VIN) and the beginning and ending dates for the time period the vehicle is parked.  You may retain the plate by filing the Affidavit.

 

12.        I am selling my boat, motor and trailer.  Do I have to have a separate bill of sale for each?

        That is one way to do it.  However, at Apple Notaries Inc., we have designed a Bill of Sale that lists the total price of all three, as well as the vital information such as the VIN of the trailer and the Hull ID# of the boat.  The price is then separated,* because there is no tax due on the boat and motor if they were already registered in Louisiana.  Tax is then paid on the value of the trailer.

*If the total price is listed without a breakdown, showing the separate value of the trailer, the Office of Motor Vehicles will charge tax on half the value, and usually the trailer is not worth that much.  Also the correct valued amount must be written in on the title for the trailer.