Louisiana Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form


A Louisiana motor vehicle bill of sale form distinguishes the buyer’s role from the seller’s when transferring a car. The deal happens when both parties feel comfortable and understand the negotiated terms. In other words, one person cannot fill out the form to change ownership; instead, the two (2) individuals must mutually agree to the terms beforehand. The buyer and seller must sign to indicate their approval (unless either person assigned a representative to carry out the deal in their place).

  • Statutes: RS 47:501 to 47:536
  • Signing Requirements: A notary public must observe the signing of the buyer and seller.

What is a Louisiana Car Bill of Sale?

A Louisiana car bill of sale catalogs the details of purchases between transferors and transferees. Both parties must use the state-official form, which requires each person’s name and signature. They must also define the “movable property” by its make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), purchase price, and sale date. A notary public must attest to the signing and provide their seal of approval.

What are the Buyer’s Tasks?

Buyers should note that private sales do not fall under the “Used Car Rule” nor have “implied warranties.” In other words, the state cannot help individuals who obtained their vehicle from a non-dealer. If the car has mechanical or cosmetic issues, it becomes the buyer’s responsibility (i.e., not the state or seller) to fix it.

Before purchasing the vehicle, the interested party should talk face to face with the owner and view the car in person to ensure it meets the standard criteria. It should not have an abundance of rust or signs of flooding. All parts should operate correctly without making odd noises or jolting. The owner should feel comfortable showing each part of the vehicle, meaning they should not have to “hide” certain functions. Buyers should request to drive the car before purchasing to ensure it works. A hired mechanic can also inspect the vehicle to obtain a second opinion.

Lastly, the person considering buying the car should obtain its vehicle identification number (VIN). They should use the VIN to receive a report through the Department of Justice’s National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) website. Individuals should also check for flood damage through the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s internet portal. In addition, they can check for recalls online or by phone (1-888-327-4236).

What are the Seller’s Tasks?

When selling a car, the owner should adequately assess its value to ascertain they list it at a reasonable price. Setting the price too high or low detours buyers. The seller should also collect the paperwork about the car, such as the maintenance records, accident reports, bill of sale, and ownership history. Most importantly, they need to ensure they hold the title and it does not have significant damages. If it does, they must request a duplicate before selling.

After discussing the sale with the buyer, the seller must complete the appropriate information on the title. They should include the buyer’s name and address, the date of the sale, the odometer reading, and the purchase price. Both parties must also sign in the presence of a notary public. If the title is unavailable, they can provide this information on a bill of sale and have it notarized instead.

Once the sale, trade, or donation occurs, the previous owner must notify the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). They can provide the necessary information in person or online, which includes: 1) the license plate number, 2) the registration expiration date, 3) the VIN, 4) driver’s license number or company’s employer identification number (EID), 5) the name and address of the buyer, 6) the date sold, traded, or donated, and 7) the selling price. Ownership officially changes once the buyer applies for a title and registration in their name.

How to Register a Car in Louisiana (6 Steps)

Individuals residing in Louisiana have forty (40) days to send in the title and registration paperwork. New residents have thirty (30) days to provide the information. The OMV handles all car-related matters.

Step 1 – Inspection

Before registration and titling can happen, the owner must have their vehicle inspected. Inspections occur at Louisiana State Police (LSP) certified inspection stations. Individuals can apply for annual or biannual tags, with costs being $10 for one year (1) and $20 for two (2) years.

Vehicles registered in New Orleans, Kenner, and Westwego do not qualify for inspections at the stations listed above. Instead, they need to happen with their city government.

Cars in the “five (5)-parish Baton Rouge ozone non-attainment area” must have their vehicle inspected within the specified area. The parishes include Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and West Baton Rouge.

The driver needs to present their current and valid license, registration, and insurance. Once the car passes the requirements, the inspector protects the official signed document (Form DPSSP 3515). The owner must present the form to the OMV during titling and registration.

Step 2 – Emissions

Vehicles must meet the following criteria to qualify for emissions testing: 1) model year 1980 or newer, 2) gasoline-fueled, and 3) weighs 10,000 pounds or less. Testing must occur at an official LSP station. If the resident lives in the “five (5)-parish” area, they must have their car inspected within that jurisdiction.

Emissions testing costs $18 and must happen yearly. If the vehicle fails, the examiner provides the driver with a thirty (30) day temporary sticker. The decal allows them to have the repairs done and returned to the station. Titling and registration cannot occur without passed emissions on the required vehicles.

Step 3 – Insurance

The vehicle owner must have an insurance policy that provides suitable coverage. They must present a valid insurance card or other documentation when titling and registering the car.

Drivers must have $15,000 coverage for the bodily injury of one (1) person and $30,000 for the bodily injury of two (2) or more persons. The plan must also include $25,000 for property damage per incident.

Step 4 – Title

Individuals can title and register their vehicle simultaneously, or they can opt to obtain the title before registering it. When titling, they must provide the vehicle application (Form DPSMV 1799), odometer disclosure statement (Form DPSMV 1606), and the payment.

If a lienholder exists, they must present the financing statement (Form UCC-1) or a security agreement. Owners needing a license plate must also show their current, valid photo identification (ID) and proof of insurance.

New cars require an MSO and dealer invoice, whereas used vehicles need a current title and bill of sale (both signed and notarized). Owners can use a dealer invoice instead of the bill of sale if they wish to do so.

Step 5 – Registration

Owners can mail or bring the registration forms to OMV headquarters. They must provide the correct documents, ensuring they contain signatures and notarization as needed.

If an individual obtains a car through inheritance, they must provide other forms. The packet must include the death certificate, a copy of the will, and an affidavit of heirship (Form DSPMV 1696). The state can also require further documentation.

Bring the Following:

Step 6 – Renew

Car registrations in Louisiana last for two (2) years. The state sends a reminder notice with the license plate number, VIN, amount owed, renewal ID number, and expiration date. Residents must present the statement or their current registration when reapplying online, in person, or by mail.

If the owner loses their registration during its active period, they must request a replacement online, through the mail, or at a physical office. They have to provide the car’s VIN, make and model, proof of insurance, the registration’s expiration date, fees ($12), and other applicable charges.

Mailing Address:
Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles
7701 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70806