Selling a Car in Indiana

When you’re selling a vehicle in Indiana, there are some specific requirements that you need to pay attention to. We’ve collected the appropriate information here regarding these requirements so you can make sure you’re ready for a successful vehicle sale in the state.

1. Title Information

In Indiana, you can sell a vehicle under two conditions. The first condition is if you have complete ownership of the vehicle. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle. You can also sell a vehicle that you still have a lien on, provided that you pay off the lien immediately after selling the vehicle. If you are selling under the second condition, you must inform the buyer and include the information for the lienholder as part of your Bill of Sale.

Before you sell your vehicle, make certain that you have the actual title. If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to request a replacement title from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You need an official title because you and the vehicle purchaser will both sign the title as proof of the transfer of ownership from you to them. Make sure that both of you fill out the title transfer section of the title completely. After all, you don’t want to accidentally end up still owning the vehicle and being liable for anything the new driver does with it. Finally, if there was ever a lien on the vehicle, make certain you have amended the title to remove the lien.

In Indiana, all vehicles must be titled.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

Indiana requires you to put together a Bill of Sale when you sell a vehicle. The Bill of Sale should include the following elements:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The full address of the new owner
  • 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 vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signatures of the seller and new owner

It is important that you keep a copy of the Bill of Sale for your records, as the purchase price of the vehicle is taxable within the state. Check with your accountant for full details regarding this.

3. Inspections

Indiana has an emissions testing program for two counties within the state, Lake and Porter. Within those counties, vehicles are tested every two years for emissions levels. These tests must be done before your vehicle can be registered, but fortunately the registration can also be done at the emissions testing facilities.

It is your responsibility to make certain that the emissions certificate and registration are current before selling the vehicle.

4. License Plates

In Indiana, when you sell your vehicle, the license plates remain with you and not the vehicle. You can then transfer those same plates to your next vehicle.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

Indiana requires vehicle owners to provide an odometer reading when they sell their vehicle to someone or whenever a new title is required for any reason, provided that the vehicle is 10 years old or newer. Indiana uses a specific form for odometer disclosures.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details about vehicle selling, check out the website for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.