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How To Transfer a Car Title in Ohio To A Family Member

How To Transfer a Car Title in Ohio To A Family Member

Transferring a car title to a family member in Ohio is straightforward when you follow the proper steps. Unlike selling to a private party, gifting a car to a relative has some unique requirements to legally sign over ownership.

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Can I Gift My Car to a Family Member in Ohio?

Yes, you can gift a car to a family member in Ohio as long as you fully own the vehicle. Before initiating the transfer, confirm:

  • The car title is under your name
  • There are no outstanding loans or liens tied to the car

If you meet those ownership conditions, you can legally gift your car.

When Does the Car Title Transfer Need to Happen?

To avoid complications, you should begin the Ohio title transfer process as soon as possible after deciding to gift your car. The key steps are:

  1. Fill out the title transfer paperwork
  2. Visit the title office
  3. Officially register the new owner

This entire process must be completed within 30 days of gifting your car. If not submitted in time, you may have to pay late fees.

What Documents Do I Need to Transfer the Title?

Gather the following documents before heading to the County Clerk of Courts Titling Office:

  • Original Ohio Certificate of Title: Must display your name as the owner.
  • Title Transfer Form: Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (BMV 3774). Both giver and receiver must sign.
  • Odometer Statement: Required for vehicles under 12 years old or with under 125,000 miles.
  • Identification: Valid driver’s licenses for both parties.
  • Fees Payment: Titling offices charge ~$15 for title transfers. Confirm amount.

How Do I Fill Out the Car Title Paperwork?

Filling out the title transfer form properly ensures the ownership change is seamlessly recorded. Here’s what to enter:

On Vehicle Title:

  • Date of transfer
  • Signature of seller/giver
  • Write “Gift” or “$0” as the purchase price

On BMV 3774 Form:

  • Buyer and seller names & addresses
  • Odometer reading
  • Vehicle details like VIN

Getting the title notarized before visiting the BMV can accelerate the processing time.

What Steps Should the Recipient Take Afterward?

After receiving the newly titled car, the family member should:

  • Visit a Deputy Registrar to transfer the registration and plates into their name (optional but recommended)
  • Obtain insurance coverage on the car

Taking these final steps ensures they can legally drive the gifted vehicle.

Tips for Smooth Ohio Family Title Transfers

  • Double-check for no outstanding loans or liens before starting
  • Both parties may need to visit the title office for processing
  • No sales tax is owed on gifted cars
  • Consider adding family as co-owners instead to simplify future transfers

Following the above guide simplifies legally gifting your car to a family member in Ohio. Let’s go over some common questions next.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the most common questions about transferring title between family members in Ohio:

1. Do both the giver and receiver need to be present?

In most cases, yes. Many County Title Offices require both parties to sign paperwork in person unless alternative arrangements are made such as submitting a power of attorney. Check county-specific guidelines.

2. How long does a family title transfer take?

The entire process often takes 1-2 hours if all documentation is completed properly in advance. After visiting the title office, the title record is updated almost immediately to the new owner.

3. What vehicles can be gifted to family in Ohio?

While Ohio doesn’t limit the number of passenger vehicles that can be gifted, most trailers, RVs and mobile homes still require formal probate transfer even between relatives. These exceptions should be specially confirmed with the Ohio BMV.

4. Can I add a family member as co-owner instead?

Yes. Adding a family member as a joint owner with rights of survivorship simplifies future title transfers should the original owner pass away or choose to gift the vehicle later on. Both parties’ consent is still required.

5. Is any tax owed on gifting a car?

Usually, none within the state. However, some counties do levy taxes based on the vehicle’s market value, not the actual sales price. Always check locally to determine if any outstanding fees apply to record the ownership change, even $0 sales transfers. You might also be responsible for Federal taxes depending on the value of the vehicle.

In closing

I hope this guide has helped explain the most important steps for smoothly transferring a car title to a family member in Ohio. Let me know if you have any other questions in the comment section before!

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Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.

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