Explains How Parents Can Transfer Car Titles to Adult Children blog: Explains How Parents Can Transfer Car Titles to Adult Children

Although the transfer process among relatives may be simpler than the process of buying a new vehicle, parents who wish to give their cars to their adult children must follow certain procedures to legally transfer their car titles. These procedures apply whether the vehicle is gifted or purchased. Prior to giving it to their child, the parents should own the car completely – without any outstanding loans or payments. Additionally, they must consider the cost of the title transfer and make sure that the insurance on the vehicle remains after the title transfer, because states require car insurance for registered vehicles. For more information, the team at has detailed the steps involved in easily transferring vehicle titles to adult children below.

Required Documents and Forms

Parents must present their vehicles’ original titles when transferring titles to their adult children. Copies do not suffice. If original vehicle titles are lost or soiled, parents must request replacement titles. All vehicle titles must have accurate identification numbers and odometer readings for the vehicle in question, and most states require children and their parents to fill out a title application form available at local vehicle licensing offices. The team at reminds families that a bank representative must sign and notarize the vehicle title or provide a termination statement indicating that the vehicle is fully paid.

The adult children receiving the vehicle must bring valid IDs, the parents’ vehicle title and proof of insurance with them when applying for a title transfer.


The new vehicle owners must pay fees associated with title transfers. The new owners are subject to title transfer fees, but they do not pay usage taxes since immediate family members (i.e., parents to children) are exempt. If the vehicle needs new license plates or insurance, additional costs may apply. The team at encourages parents and children to contact their car insurance companies to change the insurers’ names, as well as the names on the vehicle title.

Titling Regulations

The children inheriting new vehicles have approximately 15 days from the date of purchase to transfer the vehicle title into their name. After the established time period in the state, penalties will accrue. Fees differ depending on the state and increase with each day that passes after the grace period. The team at recommends that parents file a report of sale to properly document the exchange. Also, license plates may need to be transferred. Families can bring valid license plate registration or license plate numbers to document the transfer.

Transfer Location

The team at suggests that families visit their local tax offices to finalize vehicle title transfers, though the specific type of office will vary based on your state of residence. They should bring all required documents and forms when visiting the location to prevent any delays.