How to Sell a Car in Massachusetts: Laws, Paperwork, and Methods to Consider

January 27, 2012

If you want to sell a car in Massachusetts, you will need to know how to document the sale and legally transfer the title to the new owner. Regardless if you want to sell your vehicle to a private party buyer or sell a car at auction in Massachusetts, you will need to complete several steps to finalize the transaction. Selling a car in Massachusetts is not hard, and this guide will show you how.

What You Will Need:

  • Car to sell
  • Massachusetts certificate of title
  • Massachusetts car bill of sale

Step 1 - Have Your Car Inspected for Major Problems

Before you sell your used car in Massachusetts, you might want to have it inspected to make sure there are no major problems. Massachusetts has a Lemon Law that allows buyers of any used vehicle to have it inspected at a state registered facility within seven days of the sale. If the vehicle fails the state inspection, the buyer can return it for a full refund.

Step 2 - Locate Your Car Title

You'll need to make sure that you have the original title for your vehicle on hand before you attempt to sell it. If you don't have the title, you need to go to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and request a duplicate title.

Step 3 - Find a Buyer

Find a buyer for your vehicle. You may want to try advertising in your local newspaper, or placing an ad online. If you're not sure of how much to sell your vehicle for, check out pricing guides such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds.

Step 4 - Give the Buyer a Bill of Sale

Once you have found a buyer willing to pay your asking price, you need to document the sale and complete the transaction. You should also provide the buyer  with a bill of sale. You can download a bill of sale from many sites on the Internet, or you can even type one up yourself. A bill of sale doesn't need to be a lengthy document. However, it should include the following information:

  • Seller's name and address
  • Buyer's name and address
  • Vehicle identification number and description of the vehicle being sold
  • Odometer mileage reading
  • Sales amount
  • Date of transaction

Step 5 - Sign the Title over to the Buyer

After you've received payment from the buyer, sign the title over to them. On the back side of the title you'll find an area where you can fill out the particulars of the sale and then endorse the title so that it can be transferred by the buyer at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

Step 6 - Report the Sale

In order to protect yourself from any liability issues that may arise after the buyer takes possession of the vehicle, you should report the sale to the RMV as soon as possible. After you've reported the sale of the vehicle, wait about two weeks and then contact them again to verify the title has been transferred.

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