What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car Privately?

I'm trying to sell my car on my own and I want to make sure I do it right. So what paperwork do I need to sell my car privately?

Seven Documents You Need to Sell Your Car (If You Sell it Yourself)

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The 7 Documents You Need to Sell Your Car Privately

What paperwork do I need to sell my car privately? Here’s the list. And we put it right at the top of the post, so you don’t have to scroll. But stick around, and we’ll tell you where to find them and the best ways to get the most money for your car when you sell it:

  • Title
  • Loan Payoff Information
  • Vehicle history report (Carfax)
  • Maintenance Records
  • Warranty Documents
  • As-Is Bill of Sale
  • Owner’s Manual

Shameless plug: We’ll take care of the paperwork for you if you want to sell through the Carmigo Marketplace. 

When you sell your car yourself, you need to collect a lot of paperwork to ensure the whole process is above board. Call your local county courthouse to find out what you need in your state. 

4 months of paperwork to sort by lejoe, on Flickr What paperwork do I need to sell my car privately? A lot. (CC BY 2.0) by lejoe.

What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car Privately?

But no matter your state’s specific legal requirements, the following seven documents you need to sell your car without a hitch:


What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car Privately?This is the big one, the most important of all the other documents you need to sell your car. You should possess your title if you’ve paid off your car loan. However, your bank still retains the title, even after the loan has been paid. 

  • If you still owe money on your car, call your bank to inquire about your title.
  • You should be in possession of your title if you own your car outright. Otherwise:
    • Call your bank to make the title was transferred to you.
    • Contact your state’s department of motor vehicles to acquire a replacement copy of your title.

Loan Payoff Information

This isn’t explicitly required in most states when you’re selling your car privately. But it’s still something you’ll want to know. Since the vehicle is usually the collateral for the vehicle loan, your bank will want you to pay the loan down quickly.

Call your bank or look at your online banking dashboard to find out how much you owe if you pay your loan down immediately (some banks may include early-pay-off fees).

Vehicle history report (Carfax)

You’ve heard of Carfax. They’re one of the many companies that pull vehicle history reports. Both free and paid websites will help you access this information. When you sell through Carmigo (or to a dealership), we have access to vehicle history reports. 

This is something most buyers will want to know, and pulling the report ahead of listing your car for sale will make your car more attractive. 

Maintenance Records

Any records you’ve kept of maintenance to your car over the years can help to show potential buyers that the car has been cared for, especially reports of recent tire or part upgrades. 

Warranty Documents

If your car is still under warranty and allows the warranty to be transferred, you’ve got an additional selling point. Check all warranty details and pass them along to potential buyers.

As-Is Bill of Sale

What paperwork do I need to sell my car privately? A bill of sale is one of the pieces of paperwork you need to sell your car privately.This is a legal document signed by the seller and buyer documents each party and the sale price. The document usually contains an “as-is clause” stating the vehicle is being sold current in its unknown condition, and the seller will not cover unknown defects. 

Owner’s Manual

The next buyer will want a copy of the owner’s manual. It’s not 100% necessary since you can access most manuals online. But when someone buys your car and then has a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, they’ll be happy to have an owner’s manual in the glove box.

“What paperwork do I need to sell my car privately?” you ask. A lot. So before you decide to sell your car on your own, make sure you have all of the documents you need to sell your car privately.