Selling a Car in Connecticut

When you’re selling a vehicle in Connecticut, there are some state-specific requirements that you need to meet. We’ve collected the appropriate information here regarding these requirements so you can make certain that you have no problem selling your vehicle in the state.

1. Title Information

First, make sure you actually are the full owner of your vehicle. In Connecticut, you can only sell a vehicle if you have complete ownership of it. In other words, any “lien” (loan) must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle.

Second, make certain that you have the actual title with you. If you cannot find the title, you will have to request a replacement title from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. You need an official title because you and the buyer of your vehicle will sign the title as proof of the transfer of ownership from you to them. Make sure both of you fill out the title transfer section on the reverse side of the Certificate of Title completely. If you don’t do this, you could end up technically still owning the vehicle and being liable for anything the new driver does with it.

Note that vehicles manufactured before 1981 do not require titles in Connecticut.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

Connecticut requires you to put together a Bill of Sale when you sell a vehicle. You may either download the Bill of Sale or make your own. If you make your own, the Bill of Sale must include the following elements:

  • The purchaser’s name
  • The full address of the purchaser
  • The seller’s name
  • The full address of the seller
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description, including the vehicle’s make, model, year, series number (if applicable) and body type (2-door, 4-door, sedan, etc.) as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The signature of the seller

Keep a copy of the Bill of Sale for your own records because Connecticut continues to assess property taxes on vehicles until you inform the state of your sale.

3. Inspections

Connecticut has strict emission testing standards, with vehicles over four years old and under 25 years old requiring tests every two years before registration. However, you are not required to get your vehicle tested before selling it. If you get the vehicle tested before trying to sell it, you may improve your chances of selling it, but you are allowed to go instead with the alternative, which is to let the purchaser get the test done. If you decide not to get the vehicle tested, make sure the purchaser knows they only have 30 days to have the test performed.

4. License Plates

In Connecticut, when you sell a vehicle you must take the license plates off and return them to the DMV along with the registration certificate to have the registration canceled. Until you do return the plates, the state considers you to still be the owner of the vehicle, meaning that you are liable for it. Needless to say, it’s in your best interest to return the plates immediately.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

In Connecticut, when you sell your vehicle you are required to disclose the odometer reading on it if the vehicle is 10 years old or newer. Writing the odometer reading on the Bill of Sale satisfies this requirement.

6. Other Information

If you have any questions or want more details on anything relating to vehicle selling, check out the website for the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.