How to Sell a Car in Ohio: Understanding the Laws and Paperwork Involved

January 27, 2012

If you are looking for a way to make a good amount of money quickly, one easy way to do this is to sell a car. Ohio laws and regulations state certain procedures you must complete in order to sell a vehicle, so if you live in this state you'll need to familiarize yourself with these methods before you can offer your vehicle. Failure to comply with these laws can result in financial and legal penalties after you sell a car. Ohio autos regulations and documents are all available at your local DMV. The basic rules you must follow are listed here as well, for your convenience.

Step 1 -- Assess the Value of the Car

The first thing you must do in the state of Ohio before you can sell your vehicle is have a professional inspector assess the value of the car. This is required because you need to have a vehicle inspection report that is current to officially complete the DMV title transfer process. There are a variety of different companies and services that provide this valuing for you for a small fee. Ask a mechanic or a representative at the DMV for additional information.

Step 2 -- Find a Suitable Buyer

The second step, and what many people consider to be the most difficult part of the sale process, is finding a suitable buyer for your car. Because of Ohio's lemon laws (regulations that protect a customer's investment should the vehicle that he or she bought turn out to be faulty for some reason), you'll need to refrain from embellishing or lying in your advertisements. Be sure that any potential buyer knows of all of the problems that may exist in your vehicle. That being said, market your car so that it seems unique and attractive. Highlight the good qualities of the vehicle (i.e. low mileage level, warranty remaining, etc.)

Step 3 -- Complete the Title Transfer Process

The single most important part of transferring ownership of the car is changing the title over to the new buyer. Contact your local DMV for a copy of the Ohio state title transfer application. This will need to be filled out in the presence of the other party involved in the transaction. You'll need to have a completed inspection report as well as an official odometer reading. Be sure to double check the title transfer has gone through properly before you relinquish keys to the vehicle to the buyer.

Step 4 -- Write up a Contract

Although an optional step, an official contract can help to save you from legal concerns in the future. These can be written up by a lawyer in your area for a small fee. While by no means necessary, this step can help you to have peace of mind when you complete the process of selling your vehicle.