How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Ohio

Ohio Title Transfer Guide

A title transfer is required to show proof of ownership whenever a vehicle is sold or bought in the state of Ohio. The title transfer process happens within 30-days and by default when buying through a dealership (unless chosen to register on your terms).

Private sales require a little extra legwork (the focus of this page). Keep reading if you want to learn how to transfer a title in Ohio.

Title Transfers in Ohio: Step-by-Step

A private sale title transfer is simple if both parties and paperwork are ready. The title transfer should happen within 30-days of the sale.

It’s recommended you request a duplicate title if you’re having trouble locating the original or if it’s been damaged beyond use. You must get the vehicle registered else you cannot legally drive it in the state of Ohio.

The transfer process includes the following:

  1. Exchange the Certificate of Title
    1. (Seller) Sale price
    2. (Seller) Odometer disclosure
    3. Notarized
    4. (Lienholder) Included on the title and application
  2. File the Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (BMV 3774)
  3. Show your personal documents:
    1. Proof of ID
    2. Proof of insurance (if applicable)
  4. Pay the vehicle transfer taxes and fees

Congratulations! You bought and registered a vehicle!

Those selling will largely follow this process placing. Always file a bill of sale for tax/legal reasons. The OH BMV recommends parties complete this on-location, making the title transfer seamlessly since registration can happen quickly after.

Dealerships and Out-of-State Vehicles

You should begin the transfer process as soon as possible. This will help you avoid issues with the vehicle like getting a suspended license by unknowingly driving an unregistered vehicle.

Luckily, this process is about the same as private registration – with a few exceptions.


Dealerships will process your title & registration – often free, sometimes with a cost.

You may choose to submit paperwork on your behalf. You’ll want to complete the same process transferring the title as noted above.

Out-of-state Vehicles

Got the vehicle’s title? You’ll need to bring these when transferring:

  • Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (BMV 3774)
  • Proof of ID and residency
  • Vehicle title
  • VIN inspection
  • Purchase price (sales tax)

Pay the title fees and any extras as you would during vehicle registration. You may complete this process by mail, too, using the address listed above.

Ohio Title Fees and Taxes

There’s no escaping fees and taxes when transferring and registering a vehicle. Luckily, thee fees aren’t too expensive. Fees can include:

  • Certificate of Title: $15
  • Duplicate Certificate of Title: $15
  • Replacement Certificate of Title: $15
  • Lien Notation (with title transfer): $15
  • Memorandum Certificate: $5
  • Out-of-state inspection: $5
  • Salvage title: $4
  • Late fee: $5

It’s best to chat with your local county BMV office for your exact case and needs. Or, refer to the OH BMV website for a complete breakdown of what you’ll pay.