Ohio Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form


An Ohio motor vehicle bill of sale form establishes an ownership transfer between sellers and buyers, serving as a vital document in vehicle transactions. It contains details such as the car’s make, model, VIN, purchase price, and signatures, which provide security for both parties. Although not required for title transfer in Ohio, utilizing a bill of sale is highly advised to maintain precise records. Odometer disclosure statements, another critical element of the deal, accompany these forms for vehicles under ten (10) years old.

  • Statutes: Chapter 4501:1-7
  • Signing Requirements: The purchaser and the previous owner must affix their signatures on the document.

What is an Ohio Car Bill of Sale?

An Ohio car bill of sale serves as a helpful tool in calculating sales tax and other fees during registration. To ensure a seamless transaction, both buyer and seller should verify the accuracy of the information provided on the form. Additionally, both parties should retain copies of the completed bill of sale for future reference or potential disputes. By adhering to these best practices, individuals can successfully navigate the process.

What are the Buyer’s Tasks?

Before, during, and after purchasing a vehicle in Ohio, the buyer needs to complete several steps to ensure a smooth and legal transaction:

Before purchasing a vehicle:

  1. Research the vehicle’s history, including any past accidents, recalls, or title issues, using the vehicle identification number (VIN).
  2. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly or have it checked by a professional mechanic.
  3. Check the vehicle’s title to verify the seller’s ownership and ensure it does not have liens. 
  4. Obtain proof of insurance for the vehicle.

During the purchase:

  1. Complete an Ohio motor vehicle bill of sale form with the seller, including details like make, model, VIN, purchase price, and signatures.
  2. Obtain the vehicle’s title from the seller, correctly filled out and signed by both parties.
  3. Vehicles under ten (10) years old require both parties to provide and sign an odometer disclosure statement.
  4. Negotiate the purchase price, and finalize the payment method and terms.

After purchasing the vehicle:

  1. Obtain a temporary registration/tag (if purchasing from a private seller) to legally drive the vehicle until the completion of the title transfer and permanent registration.
  2. Visit the local Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) office within thirty (30) days of the purchase to transfer the title name, register the vehicle, and pay any applicable sales tax and fees.
  3. Submit the required documents, including the signed title, bill of sale, proof of insurance, and odometer disclosure statement (if applicable).
  4. Obtain new license plates for the vehicle (if not provided by the dealer).
  5. Retain copies of all transaction documents, such as the bill of sale and title, for future reference or potential disputes.

By following these steps, buyers can complete the purchase process in Ohio, whether from a private seller or a dealer.

What are the Seller’s Tasks?

Before, during, and after selling a vehicle to a buyer in Ohio, the seller must complete several steps to ensure a smooth and legal transaction:

Before selling the vehicle:

  1. The seller should prepare the car for sale by cleaning it and addressing minor issues or repairs.
  2. They must gather all necessary documents, such as the vehicle title, maintenance records, and warranty information.
  3. The seller should verify no outstanding liens on the vehicle’s title.

During the sale:

  1. The seller and buyer should complete an Ohio motor vehicle bill of sale form, including details like make, model, VIN, purchase price, and signatures.
  2. The seller must provide the vehicle’s title, correctly filled out and signed by both parties.
  3. Vehicles under ten (10) years old require the seller to provide and sign an odometer disclosure statement with the buyer.
  4. The seller must remove the license plates before handing over the vehicle to the buyer, as they are not transferable.

After the sale:

  1. For future reference or potential disputes, the seller should keep copies of all transaction documents, such as the bill of sale, signed title, and odometer disclosure statement (if applicable).
  2. Buyers who did not pay in full for the vehicle during the sale must follow up with the seller. They must exchange payment according to the agreed-upon terms.
  3. The seller should notify their insurance company to cancel or adjust their insurance policy for the sold vehicle.
  4. In Ohio, the seller doesn’t need to notify the BMV about the sale. Still, it can be helpful for the seller to retain proof of the transaction for their records.

Adhering to these tasks, a seller can complete the vehicle sale process in Ohio and ensure a legally compliant transaction.

How to Register a Car in Ohio (4 Steps)

Registering a motor vehicle in Ohio is a requirement for new residents and those who have recently purchased a car. To legally drive, individuals must visit a local deputy registrar license agency to complete the process. Upon establishing residency in the state, new residents must register their vehicles within a thirty (30) day timeframe.

Step 1 – Insurance

In Ohio, vehicle owners must maintain minimum insurance coverage to legally operate their vehicles on public roads. Per the BMV, the mandatory insurance requirements are as follows:

  1. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: Vehicle owners must have at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. This insurance helps cover expenses related to injuries sustained by other individuals involved in an accident caused by the policyholder.
  2. Property Damage Liability Coverage: A minimum of $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage is required. This insurance aids in covering expenses related to damage inflicted on another individual’s property, including their automobile or other constructions, during an incident for which the policyholder bears responsibility.

In addition to these minimum insurance requirements, vehicle owners may purchase additional coverage, such as collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, or medical payments coverage, to better protect themselves and their assets.

Operating under a “tort” system, Ohio dictates that the driver who caused an accident must cover the damages and medical expenses of the injured parties. Failure to maintain the required insurance coverage can result in penalties, including license suspension, reinstatement fees, and impoundment of the vehicle’s license plates. Vehicle owners must provide proof of insurance when requested by law enforcement, during vehicle registration, or in the event of an accident.

Step 2 – Title

To obtain a car title in Ohio, an individual must first gather the required documents, including the vehicle’s original title (if purchased from a private seller) or the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (if purchased from a dealer), a completed and signed motor vehicle bill of sale (if applicable), their Ohio driver’s license or state ID, and proof of insurance.

Next, the applicant must visit a local County Clerk of Court Title Office with the necessary documents. At the titling office, they must complete the title application, providing information about the vehicle, buyer, and seller. The owner must include the lienholder’s details if there is a lien on the car.

Once completing the form, the applicant must pay the relevant title fees, which may vary depending on the vehicle type and county of residence. In some cases, there may be additional fees for services, such as lien notation or duplicate titles.

After finalizing the application procedure, the Ohio BMV will process the request and issue a new title in the applicant’s name. The processing time may change, so it is advisable to check with the office for the estimated turnaround time.

Vehicle owners should keep their titles safe and secure, as it serves as proof of ownership. If the owner loses or damages the title, they can apply for a duplicate title at their local office. They must provide the required documentation and pay the applicable fees.

Step 3 – Registration

An individual must follow these steps to register a vehicle in Ohio:

  1. Gather Required Documents: The applicant will need the vehicle title (or memorandum title if there is an active lien on the vehicle), a completed and signed Ohio motor vehicle bill of sale (if applicable), proof of Ohio residency (e.g., utility bill, lease agreement), an Ohio driver’s license or state ID, and proof of insurance.
  2. Visit a Local Ohio BMV Deputy Registrar License Agency: The applicant must locate the nearest agency and bring all the necessary documents.
  3. Complete the Registration Application: The individual should fill out the application form provided at the agency, which includes information about the vehicle and owner.
  4. Vehicle Inspection: Some vehicles, especially those purchased from out-of-state or out-of-country, may require an inspection (VIN inspection or E-Check) before registration. The applicant should check the state’s website or inquire at a local office for more information on inspection requirements.
  5. Pay the Fees: The applicant will need to pay the applicable registration fees, which include the base registration fee, permissive tax (if applicable), and any local taxes or fees. The costs may vary depending on the type of vehicle and the county of residence.
  6. Obtain License Plates and Registration Stickers: After submitting the application and paying the fees, the individual will receive their plates and stickers. They should attach the license plates to the vehicle and place the registration sticker on the rear license plate as required.
  7. Safely Store Documents: The applicant should maintain a copy of the registration certificate in the vehicle and store the original documents in a secure location.

Step 4 – Renew

In Ohio, car registration typically lasts for one (1) year. Vehicle owners must renew their registration annually before the expiration date to maintain valid registration and avoid late fees or penalties. They can find the expiration date on the vehicle’s registration certificate and the registration stickers on the rear license plate.

However, some counties may offer a multi-year registration option, allowing vehicle owners to register their vehicles for two (2) or three (3) years. It is always best to check with the local Ohio BMV deputy registrar license agency for details regarding county registration durations and options.

When renewing a car registration, an individual can complete the process online, by mail, or in person at a deputy registrar license agency.

  1. Online: To renew their registration, the person can visit the BMV’s online services portal. They will need their license plate number, driver’s license or state ID number, social security number, and a valid credit card to pay the renewal fees.
  2. By mail: The applicant should receive a registration renewal notice in the mail, including a pre-addressed envelope and instructions for mailing the renewal application. The individual must complete the form, enclose a check or money order for the renewal fees, and send it to the provided address.
  3. In-person: The vehicle owner can visit their nearest deputy registrar license agency with their driver’s license or state ID, proof of insurance, and license plate number. They must complete a renewal application and pay the renewal fees at the agency.
Mailing Address:
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Information Services
Registration Support Services
P.O. Box 16521
Columbus, OH 43216