How Much Is It to Title a Used Car?

When buying a used vehicle, you must factor in all the additional fees that come with the purchase price. With all of the extra costs that come with purchasing a four-wheeler, you might end up not knowing just how much money you’ve spent. To avoid that, it’s important to calculate beforehand. So how much is it to title a used car?

The cost of getting a title for a used car ranges between $5 and $165. The amount will depend on the state you are living in. Hawaii and North Dakota charge the lowest title fee, while the highest prices are in Wisconsin, where you’ll pay $165.

A row of Mercedes-Benz cars

Purchasing a car doesn’t only mean paying the seller’s arranged price, as there are several other fees that need to be considered as well. Learn more about the car titling costs before buying a four-wheeler and avoid spending more money than you initially intended.

A Used Car Title Price Will Depend on the State You Live In

When buying a pre-owned vehicle, one of the most important fees you have to pay is the car title. Without it, you won’t be able to prove you are a legal vehicle owner. There is no exact price for a car title because the costs will depend on the state you live in. For example, if you are a resident of Hawaii, you’ll pay $5 for titling. On the other hand, if you are in Illinois, the fee will be $150.

Besides the titling fee, you’ll have to pay for registration, licensing, and insurance. So, the cost of buying a used car might end up being a bit higher than you’ve been expecting. To avoid surprises, it is best to check out the state DMV website and see how much all the fees will cost you.

What Are the States With the Lowest Titling Fees?

Before you get discouraged from buying a used vehicle, check out the table I made, showing the states with the highest and lowest titling fees. You might just live in a place where these fees are more affordable.

StateTitle FeeLicense Plate FeeRegistration Fee
Hawaii$5$5Based on weight and costs at least $12
North Dakota$5$5Based on weight and age and goes between $49 and $279
Nebraska$10$3.30 per plate$15 plus $5.50 in additional fees
Oregon$98-$113 depends on model year and MPG$24.50 and $6 to transfer it$122-$152 depends on model year and MPG

I should mention that these registration fees are only for passenger vehicles. The states will charge you differently if you buy an RV, truck, or antique car.

What Documents Should You Bring to the Title Office?

When it comes to the titling process, the documents you need to collect will also depend on the state you live in. However, some of the documents are mandatory no matter where you live. To transfer a vehicle to your name, you will have to obtain:

  • Bill of sale or a sale price,
  • Additional information on the four-wheeler,
  • Proof of paid title fees.

You should also be aware that each state names its Title Office differently. While it’s mostly known as DMV, it is called BMV in some places.

What Kind of Car Title Do You Actually Need?

There are several different types of car titles, so it is important to know which one your four-wheeler might have. Since you will be buying a used car, this can tell you a lot about the machine’s condition.

For starters, there is a clean title, meaning that the machine you bought has not experienced any significant damage. The next one is flood title, which signifies that the car has experienced water damage.

Also, there is a rebuilt title, and States issue this one to machines that were rebuilt to pass inspection. Finally, a salvage title shows that a four-wheeler was once declared a total loss by an insurance company.

A row of Mazda 3s at a dealership

Other Costs You Should Think About When Buying a Used Vehicle

When you are done with the titling process, there are still some other fees that you need to pay before the car is yours and ready to be driven on public roads. I already pointed out the registration and license plate fees, but there are also:

  • Personal Property Taxes – You may be required to pay a yearly tax on the value of your four-wheeler in some states.
  • Emission and Inspection Fees – When you buy a car, most states require it to be inspected. The vehicle may also be required to pass emissions testing.
  • Hybrid or Electric Car Fees – Many states charge hybrid and electric car owners additional fees because they pay little or no fuel taxes. For example, you’ll have to pay a $100 additional annual fee for owning an electric car in Illinois.
  • Auto Insurance Fee – The typical cost of auto insurance differs widely between states. It is based on a range of rating variables such as driving history, driver’s age, and insurance status.

Calculate the Title Fees Before the Purchase

As I already mentioned, the cost of a used car title transfer can vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is important to be aware of all the fees associated with titling and transferring a vehicle before making a purchase. Doing the research will ensure that you get the best deal possible on your used car.

That’s why you should check the DMV website and inform yourself about the fees. Don’t forget that you are not only expected to pay titling fees but all the other costs as well. With all of that in mind, you’ll easily buy the used car you want and avoid going over the budget.