PA Title Transfers

Not sure what a title transfer is and what purpose it serves? Well, it is quite simple and doesn’t take a lot of mental work to figure out. The title is the official document of ownership for your vehicle, proving that you and whoever else owns the vehicle really does own it and that you have legal rights to conduct transactions with the vehicle.

A title transfer is completed for any purchase or sale of a PA vehicle, which allows PennDOT to keep constant track of the owner of the vehicle. This transfer can be completed at the tag service office in your county, with several throughout the state.

You will see title transfers in the following transactions or situations:

  • Purchase of a vehicle
  • Sale of a vehicle
  • Payoff of a vehicle loan
  • Transfer of vehicle between family members
  • Gifting vehicle to another
  • Donation of a vehicle to a state charity
  • Inheritance of a vehicle
  • Name correction on a vehicle’s title

Selling a Car in PA

If you are selling your car, you could be looking at a great payoff. However, you should know that your potential buyers are going to have their doubts – which you can diminish through the use of a vehicle history report.

Once the sale is complete, follow these steps for the title transfer:

  1. Locate the vehicle’s title.
  2. List buyer name and address on back of title
  3. Accurately input the odometer reading
  4. Print and sign name on title in front of notary public
  5. Remove your plates, which you can keep or surrender
  6. Hand over title to new owner, who will complete the remaining steps

You aren’t required to complete a bill of sale, but it can come in handy in documenting the sale fully.

Buying a Car in PA

When you buy a new car from a dealer, you will not have much to worry about in terms of title transfer, as the dealer completes the process for you. However, if you find that the dealer has neglected to do so, it is a good idea to call PennDOT at 1-800-932-4600 to determine the steps you must take.

If you have purchased a used car, you will complete the title transfer yourself, which includes the following steps:

  1. Obtain title from seller – which is not an option as a sale should never take place without the title
  2. Make sure seller has completed his/her portion correctly on the rear side of title
  3. Appear before notary public to print and sign title in Section A on rear side of title as well
  4. Visit tag service office
  5. Complete office provided form MV-4ST
  6. Show photo ID or license or other qualified form of photo ID
  7. Pay title transfer fee of $22.50
  8. Pay 6% use tax, which is raised to 7% in Philly and Allegheny County

You must complete inspection of the vehicle through licensed and approved service center within 10 days of the purchase if you find that the emission and safety stickers are expired.

Remove a Lien

There are several ways that a lien removal procedure can be differed, greatly dependent on several different factors, including whether your title is paper or electronic and which lienholder is on the title. If you want more information, call 1-800-932-4600 to contact PennDOT directly.

Transfer Vehicle to Family

A family member qualified to receive a vehicle transfer under these guidelines in PA includes:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Grandchild
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling

The process of a title transfer between family is much the same as between strangers or anyone else, and will require the payment of use tax.

  1. Seller must furnish title
  2. Seller must list buyer name and address on back of title
  3. Seller will complete odometer reading statement on title
  4. Seller signs title in front of notary public
  5. Seller removes license plate
  6. Buyer retrieves form from seller
  7. Buyer verifies appropriate completion of Section A on title’s reverse side
  8. Buyer signs title in front of notary public
  9. Buyer will report to tag service office to finish process
  10. Buyer completes form MV-4ST that can only be obtained in-office
  11. Buyer furnishes photo ID
  12. Buyer pays fee of $22.50
  13. Buyer pays %6 use tax – 7% if you are located in Allegheny County or Philadelphia

Again, the buyer is responsible for safety and emissions inspection in the event that the current stickers are no longer valid.

Gift Vehicle in PA

Sales tax is not required to be paid on vehicles that are received as gifts. However, it must be proven that sales tax has been paid by the original owner when the person originally bought the vehicle. You can find the instructions on the DOT MV13ST form, which is downloadable from Affidavit of Gift. You and the person giving you the vehicle will be required to complete the form.

To finish the title transfer, follow these steps:

  1. Receive title from person gifting vehicle
  2. Ensure the person gifting the vehicle has properly completed the rear section of the title
  3. Print and sign title with notary public present
  4. Visit tag service office
  5. Obtain and complete form MV-4ST in office – list “$0” for sale price
  6. Show photo ID
  7. Pay $22.50 for title transfer fee

Remember the same requirements stand for safety and emissions inspection stickers.

Vehicle Donation

If you decide to donate your vehicle to a PA charity, you will have a great deal of considerations before you. Make sure you visit 4DMV.com’s vehicle donation pages to determine what steps you will have to take to switch the vehicle out of your name – as well as how to donate your vehicle safely and wisely.

Vehicle Inheritance

When a vehicle’s owner passes away, the last thing you are really thinking about at the moment is who is going to get the vehicle; however, it is an important step in distributing his or her assets. The appropriate method of transferring ownership can vary based on the circumstances and several other factors.

You will do great to get a probate attorney by your side in order to ensure everything is completed properly. You can also use the Fact Sheet, provided by PennDOT to determine your course of action.

  1. Locate vehicle’s title.
  2. Make copy of will.
  3. Visit tag service office.
  4. Provide photo ID.
  5. Complete MV-39 - General Information
  6. Complete form MV-4ST – only available from office
  7. Attach original death certificate, or proper section of MV-39, also only offered by the office, which must be completed by physician or funeral director
  8. Pay $22.50 transfer fee – if you are the spouse of the deceased owner, the fee is waived

You must get the vehicle inspected within 10 days of ownership gained if the decals are not current.

Name Corrections on Title

To change your name on the title:

  1. Complete MV-41A offered online at Application for Correction or Change of Name
  2. Attach required documents, which can differ based on reason for name change
  3. Visit tag service office
  4. Provide photo identification
  5. Pay $22.50 transfer fee – with some situations allowing no fees

If you are seeking to delete your name from the title:

  1. Visit tag service office with anyone else listed on title
  2. Bring title with you
  3. Complete MV-4ST
  4. Provide identification
  5. Pay $22.50

If you are adding your name to the title:

  1. Visit tag service office again bringing anyone on the title
  2. Bring title
  3. Complete MV-4ST
  4. Show identification proof
  5. Pay $22.50

Choose A State