Selling a Car in Louisiana

When you’re selling a vehicle in Louisiana, there are some state-specific requirements you must meet. We’ve collected the most important information here regarding these requirements so you can make certain that the sale of your vehicle goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Title Information

In Louisiana, you can only sell a vehicle if you have complete ownership of it. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before a sale can be made.

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 Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. Note that the form must be notarized before it can be sent to the state and that you will also need proof of registration. You will need the physical title so that you can fill out the necessary information for the buyer as proof of the transfer of the vehicle. Both your signature and the buyer’s signature will be necessary, and these must be notarized as well.

In Louisiana, all vehicles must be titled.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

Louisiana requires you to put together a Bill of Sale when you sell a vehicle. As the Bill of Sale must also be notarized, it’s most effective to use the form you can download from the state’s website. The Bill of Sale should include such elements as the following:

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

It is important that you make certain to get all your information notarized, since the buyer will be paying sales tax on the vehicle. It is also important that you keep a copy of the Bill of Sale for your records, as you may also end up paying taxes on the income from the vehicle sale. Talk to your accountant to discuss this possibility.

3. Inspections

Louisiana requires a yearly vehicle inspection of mechanical parts. In order to be able to sell your vehicle, its annual inspection sticker must be valid. The vehicle must also be insured and currently registered.

If you live in the city of Baton Rouge, your vehicle is also subject to a smog inspection. The sticker for this extra inspection lasts for a year as well, and you must make sure it is current before you can sell the vehicle.

4. License Plates

When you sell your vehicle in Louisiana, the license plates stay with you and not the vehicle. However, once the sale has been completed, you must either turn the plates into the Office of Motor Vehicles or fill out the necessary information on Louisiana’s “Notice of Transfer” Web page.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

Louisiana requires people to formally disclose the odometer reading when they sell their vehicle or whenever a new title is required on the vehicle for any reason, as long as the vehicle is 10 years old or younger. You can use the state’s Odometer Statement form to record the information.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details on anything having to do with vehicle selling, check out the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles website.