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MOTOR VEHICLE FAQS

 

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How do I apply for a lost, stolen, or destroyed Certificate of Title or Memorandum?

If the original Certificate of Title or Memorandum is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you may obtain a Duplicate Certificate of Title. An application can be made in person at any Clerk of Courts Title Office. The Deputy Clerk can notarize your signature for an additional fee. Please take your acceptable form of identification, registration or insurance card, or any other document that verifies the vehicle identification number and ownership.

If you would like to apply by U.S. Mail, an application can be printed from our web site which is listed under Auto Title Forms. Complete the application and have your signature notarized. Mail your application, $15.00 and a self-addressed stamped return envelope to a Clerk of Courts Title Office.

How do I transfer an assigned title into my name?

The seller must complete the assignment of ownership portion on the back of the title including purchase price, buyer’s information, date of transfer and current mileage in the presence of a deputy clerk or notary public. The deputy clerk or notary public will verify that all fields are properly completed, witness the seller’s signature and notarize the document. Upon completion, the seller can present the title to you to finalize the transfer.

 

How do I transfer an electronic title into my name? 

Ohio law does not require a seller to obtain a physical title prior to selling their motor vehicle when the title record was previously electronic. Seller must complete the Ownership Assignment and Title Application for Casual Sale (BMV 3770) in the presence of a deputy clerk or notary public. Upon completion, the seller can present the assignment form to the buyer in order to finalize the transfer. 

This form only permits the transfer of a motor vehicle defined in ORC 4505.01. Definition of motor vehicle includes manufactured homes, mobile homes, recreational vehicles such as travel trailers or motorhomes, and trailers and semitrailers whose weight exceeds 4,000 pounds. The BMV 3770 form may NOT be used to transfer ownership for ATV's, off-highway motorcycles, watercraft, outboard motors, or any unconventional vehicles (utility vehicles, under speed, and mini trucks) as these are not defined as motor vehicles. In these situations, a paper title must first be issued to current owner, then it can be signed over to the new owner.

 

How much will my taxes be?

Sales tax is required to be paid when you purchase a motor vehicle or watercraft. Your tax rate depends on your county of residence. You may obtain county sales tax rates through the Ohio Department of Taxation. Lake County's rate is 7.25%.

 

Can I transfer a title for another person if they are unable to come to your office?

Yes. You may obtain a Power of Attorney form from one of our offices or our web site under Auto Title Forms. Whoever is giving power of attorney must sign this form in the presence of a notary. This form will give you power of attorney so that you may sign on their behalf. Be sure the Social Security number of the owner is also listed on the form. Original, notarized Power of Attorney forms are required for all title transactions.

 

There is an error on my Certificate of Title. How do I correct it?

Please contact any Clerk of Courts Title Office. A clerk will review the records and assist you with how to proceed with correcting your Certificate of Title.

 

I made a mistake assigning my title to the buyer. What should I do?

Go to any Clerk of Courts Title Office with the Ohio Certificate of Title and valid form of identification and request a Replacement Certificate of Title. At this point the replacement title can be correctly assigned over to the buyer.

 

If my assigned title has not been transferred into my name within 30 days, what should I do?

The title transfer can still be completed. Proceed to any Clerk of Courts title Office and apply for a title. You will be charged a $5.00 late fee in addition to other applicable fees.

 

The person I sold my vehicle to stated they have lost the assigned title I gave them. What do I do?

Visit any Clerk of Courts Title Office, state that the original title was lost or stolen, and apply for a Duplicate Certificate of Title. You may then notarize the title over to the buyer again. Always keep a copy of the assigned title for your records.

 

I’m under18 years old and I want to purchase a vehicle in Ohio. How is that handled?

If you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian must complete a Minor Consent form. Minor Consent forms are available at the Clerk of Courts Title Offices or can be found online through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Proper identification is required for the minor and parent / legal guardian to get their signatures notarized.

 

My title is an electronic title. How may I sell my vehicle to a dealer?

The dealer will have the necessary documentation to transfer the title to their name

Is a Certificate of Title required for ATV’s and off-road motorcycles?

Effective July 1, 1999 ATV’s and off-road motorcycles must be titled before a registration can be issued or renewed. If you have an Ohio Certificate of Title you will transfer the ATV/Off Road in the same manner as a motor vehicle. If you do not have a title please contact our office.

My insurance company has deemed my vehicle salvaged but I am keeping it and repairing it for my use. What steps do I need to follow?

Bring your Ohio title to any Clerk of Courts Title Office and apply for a Salvage Certificate of Title in your name. Note: The vehicle cannot be operated on any road while branded a salvage title. Go directly to a Deputy Registrar to purchase a salvage receipt. Upon completion of the repair, contact the State Highway Patrol to make an appointment for a salvage inspection. The State Highway Patrol will require the number on the salvage receipt you purchased from the Deputy Registrar to make your appointment. After the inspection is completed, bring the Inspection form, your Salvage Certificate of Title, and acceptable form of identification to any Clerk of Courts Auto Title Office to obtain a re-built salvage title. Once titled, proceed to any Deputy Registrar to register your vehicle.

How do I junk a vehicle?

When you dismantle, destroy or change the character of your automobile so that it is no longer operable, you must surrender your Certificate of Title to any Clerk of Courts Title Office for cancellation. The title must be assigned to the Junk or Salvage yard and your signature must be notarized. In the event your title is held electronically, complete Ownership Assignment to Surrender a Motor Vehicle for Destruction Only (BMV 3769) to a Salvage Dealer. 

I would like to title my vehicle in the name of my “trust”, or transfer my existing “trust” title to someone else. How do I do that?

The trustee can sign an application when applying for a "trust" title or sign as the seller on behalf of the trust. The trustee can appoint a power of attorney to sign on their behalf. The original, notarized Power of Attorney form, current mileage and necessary fees are also required.

My lien was satisfied but I have not received a Certificate of Title. What do I need to do to get my title?

Contact your lienholder for your original Certificate of Title. Ensure the lien is discharged on the face of the title by your lienholder. Contact your local Clerk of Courts to confirm the lien status shows cancelled. If the lienholder cannot provide a physical title, you must obtain a lien release from them and then you may proceed to apply for a title at any Clerk of Courts Title Office. The lien release letter must be on the lienholder’s letterhead and include the year, make and VIN of the vehicle and titled owner’s name.  It must also state that they no longer hold interest in the vehicle and that the lien may be discharged.  The letter must be signed but does not require notarization.  The lienholder may fax this to our office.  

How do I record a lien on a motor vehicle?

Any Clerk of Courts Title Office can record a lien. The owner's title and loan agreement or the owner's title and a notarized application may be submitted to record a lien. The motor vehicle owner may request a memorandum title for registration purposes.

How do I transfer my out of state title?

Have your car inspected at a new or used car dealership or any Deputy Registrar. The inspection forms are valid for 30 days from date of inspection. Bring in your out of state title, inspection form and acceptable form of identification. If there is a lien on your title or for new purchases, contact our office at 440-350-2800.

Please visit our New Residents section for more information.

What are the procedures for titling trailers, travel trailers and campers in Ohio?

Trailers must weigh over 4000 pounds to be titled in the State of Ohio. The titling process is the same for trailers as a vehicle. Watercraft trailers are usually not titled because of their low weight. Registrations are required for trailers less than 4000 pounds and are issued at Deputy Registrars. Travel trailers and pop-up/fold down campers are required to be titled in the State of Ohio. They are handled in the same manner as a motor vehicle.

When a car is abandoned on my property, how can I obtain a Certificate of Title?

Only a business licensed for storage or repair may obtain a title for an abandoned vehicle. If the car is left on private property you must obtain a court order. Please check out our Unclaimed Motor Vehicles procedures.

How do I transfer the Certificate of Title for a Manufactured Home?

In order to transfer a title to a manufactured home, the title must have a Tax Approval Stamp from the County Treasurer’s Office where the manufactured home is located and the Auditor’s Conveyance Fee Stamp from the Auditor’s Office. Lake County residents can refer to these step-by-step instructions.

My spouse is deceased; how do I transfer the title into my name?

Submit the Certificate of Title, a certified copy of the death certificate, surviving spouse affidavit (BMV 3773), and an acceptable form of identification to any Clerk of Courts Title Office. There is no limit to the number of automobiles you can transfer; however, the combined value of these automobiles cannot exceed $65,000.00. In addition, you may transfer a watercraft and motor by surviving spouse.

How can I add a beneficiary to my Certificate of Title?

An individual as sole owner, or joint ownership with right of survivorship may elect to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to an Ohio title. The beneficiary may be an individual, a corporation, an organization, a trust or other legal entity. A Transfer on Death Beneficiary Designation/Removal Affidavit (BMV 3811) must be completed with the beneficiary's full name, address, social security number and date of birth. The form must be signed by the owner(s) and notarized. The original Ohio title (unless previously electronic), the affidavit designating the beneficiary and an application for title are submitted to the title office and a replacement title is issued. The designation of a beneficiary on a certificate of title has no effect on the ownership until the death of the owner(s). Upon the death of the owner(s), the beneficiary submits the title (unless electronic), a certified copy of the death certificate and proper identification to apply for a title in their name.

How to Add “With Rights of Survivorship” to a Certificate of Title?

A vehicle can be titled to two owners jointly With Rights of Survivorship (WROS). For example, the title can be issued to: John Doe and Mary Smith (WROS). While both parties are living, both signatures are required. When one of the parties passes away, the survivor may bring the title, a copy of the death certificate and proper identification to transfer the title to the survivor.

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