Buying a Vehicle from a Dealer
An Ohio Motor Vehicle dealer is required to provide a new title within thirty (30) days of the purchase of a new vehicle. The dealer must have the owner's name exactly as it should appear on the title.
Buying a Vehicle from an Individual
When buying a vehicle from an individual, the purchaser is responsible for the transfer of title. The application on the reverse side of a title must be completed before a Notary Public. All signatures must be notarized.
Assignment of Ownership
Once a sale has been made, the seller must complete the “Assignment of Ownership” section of the original Ohio Certificate of Title. The seller must fill in the proper name and address of the buyer, as well as the vehicle's sale date, selling price and odometer reading when applicable. The seller must sign his or her name exactly as it appears on the original title. If there is more than one seller, all sellers must sign the title. Any erasures or alterations void the title assignment. The full completion of this section must be witnessed by a Notary Public or Title Clerk, who will affix his or her signature and seal to officially complete the seller's part of the title transfer process. Note that all of the aforementioned steps must be completed before a Certificate of Title will be issued.
Application for Certificate of Title
Once the seller completes the “Assignment of Ownership” section of the title, the buyer must complete the “Application for Certificate of Title” section. This is a sworn statement that must be fully completed and witnessed by a Notary Public or Title Clerk. The buyer can opt to bring the assigned title to any Clerk of Courts title office to complete this section and obtain a new title at the same time. If there is more than one buyer, all buyers must sign the title. The buyer is required to show a photo ID. If the buyer's Social Security number is not on the photo ID, he or she also must present a Social Security card.
Federal Odometer Statement
State and federal laws require the buyer to complete an odometer statement for most vehicle transactions. The odometer statement is located on the back of new Ohio Certificates of Title. The older (yellow) Certificates of Title require a Federal Odometer Statement. Vehicles weighing 16,000 pounds or more are exempt and do not require a Federal Odometer Statement.
Late Filing Fee
There is a late filing fee of $5.00 if the new title is issued more than thirty (30) days from the date of notarization of the assignment of title.
Lien Filing and Cancellation
If the debtor uses a vehicle as collateral for a loan, he or she must provide the lender with the vehicle's original Certificate of Title and a signed security agreement provided by the lender, which contains a description of the vehicle and its identification number. After these transactions are completed, the lender must file an application for title in the Clerk of Courts office and the lien will be recorded on the new title issued to the lender. The vehicle owner must have a memorandum title for registration purposes.
Upon satisfaction of the lien, the debtor should receive the original Certificate of Title from the lender. The title should contain the lender's printed name, signature and the date that the lien was satisfied. There will be a cancellation stamp on the returned title if the lien has been officially cancelled by the Clerk of Courts office. If there is no stamp, the debtor must bring the title to any Clerk of Courts title office to have the lien officially cancelled.
If the lien is being cancelled on a non-printed title, the lender can provide written, faxed or electronic confirmation to the Clerk of the satisfaction of lien.
Memorandum Certificate of Title
When making payments on a vehicle or using a vehicle as collateral for a loan, the vehicle owner should request a Memorandum Certificate of Title. This is a copy of the original title that is used to obtain the first set of license plates. Transfer of ownership cannot be performed with the Memorandum copy; it can be used only to obtain license plates.
Power of Attorney
An individual may sign for or act on behalf of another individual with a notarized Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney is attached to the application for Certificate of Title and becomes part of the permanent file.
In the event of default, the lienholder can obtain a repossession title by completing the Application for Certificate of Title, found on the back of the original title, in the presence of a Notary Public or Title Clerk. The lienholder must submit the title and a copy of the security agreement to any Clerk of Courts title office and a new title will be issued in the lienholder's name.
If the vehicle is new and has never been titled, the sales tax is based upon the difference between the purchase price and the trade-in amount. Used vehicle sales tax is based solely upon the vehicle's purchase price. If the buyer purchases an out-of-state vehicle for use in Ohio, he or she may receive a tax credit for any tax paid to the other state if proof of payment is provided. The buyer can pay sales tax in the form of cash, check, VISA or MasterCard.
Two or More Names on a Title
When a title is going to or coming out of more than one name, all parties must sign in the presence of a notary public. The title will reflect the conjunction “and.” No Ohio title will be issued with the conjunction “or.”
To consolidate a title from two owners to one owner, both parties must complete the assignment of ownership in the presence of a notary or title clerk. After a new title is issued to one owner, the vehicle will require new plates and registration.
Storing a Printed Title
An Ohio Motor Vehicle title is a legal document proving ownership of a vehicle. A printed title should be stored in a safe place, other than inside the vehicle.