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Buying & Selling

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The certificate of title must be applied for within 45 days after the vehicle is purchased or otherwise acquired. If the certificate of title is applied for after the 45 days have passed, an administrative penalty will be charged.

If you are buying a vehicle, ensure the seller has completed in their entirety both the seller and purchaser sections on the certificate of title before visiting a branch to apply for a new certificate of title. The seller should remove the license plate from the vehicle at the time of the transaction. The purchaser is responsible for obtaining a new certificate of title, registration and license plate.

The Indiana BMV does not require the license plates of sold vehicles to be returned to the BMV. The license plates of sold vehicles may be transferred to a different vehicle owned by that same person.

Vehicles Purchased in a Different State

Vehicle Inspection Requirement

Any vehicle from another state that is being titled in Indiana, including vehicles owned by new Indiana residents and vehicles assigned to an Indiana resident on a manufacturer's certificate of origin, must have a vehicle inspection. The inspection will confirm the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle. The inspection may be performed at any Indiana branch or BMV certified full or partial service provider at no charge or may be performed by a law enforcement officer who may charge up to five dollars ($5.00). If the inspection is performed by a law enforcement officer, the officer must provide to you a completed Physical Inspection of a Vehicle or Watercraft - State Form 39530.

Liens on Vehicles from Different States

If there is a lien on the vehicle and the title is being held by the lienholder in another state, you must visit a branch to complete a Request for Title - State Form 1014. The branch will mail the request to the lienholder. Once the title has been received from your lienholder, the branch will contact you and request that you return to the branch to complete your application for the Indiana certificate of title. For more information on liens, please visit the Releasing a Lien webpage.

Required Documentation and Application Options

Applicants who purchased a vehicle from a dealer located in a different state may mail their application for certificate of title to the BMV.

The Transfer of Out-of-State Title to Indiana Vehicle and Watercraft Title Application Packet provides a detailed list of the documents required to be submitted with the application. Prior to submitting each application, verify that all required information is included.

Download the Packet

Sales and Use Tax

When you purchase a vehicle in Indiana, you must pay sales tax on the purchase price of the vehicle. If a vehicle is purchased from an Indiana dealership, the dealer will collect the sales tax and provide proof of the sales tax paid on an ST108 – Certificate of Gross Retail or Use Tax Paid – State Form 48842. If a vehicle is purchased privately, the sales tax must be paid at a branch when you apply for the Indiana certificate of title.

Indiana residents who purchased a vehicle from a state other than Indiana, including non-Indiana dealers, will receive credit for the sales tax paid in that state. If you paid less than the amount of sales tax Indiana would have assessed, you must pay the difference to Indiana at the time of the application for the Indiana certificate of title.

New Indiana residents are not charged sales tax when transferring their vehicle’s certificate of title from their prior state of residence to Indiana.