States use car titles to track ownership. Ohio requires a title for residents who own a car. The state also allows for duplicate titles and the replacement of lost titles. Car owners need to know the various methods of obtaining a title. They also need to know how owners transfer titles when selling a car. Ohio car owners should follow the legal procedure of obtaining a car title to avoid legal penalties.
Getting a Car Title When Buying a Car From Another Owner
Ask the owner to show you the title. Avoid buying a car from an individual who does not have the title. Have the owner write down the odometer reading, your name and address and the sale price on the back side of the title.
Go with the owner to a notary public. You and the owner must sign the title under the mileage section in front of the notary public and have the signatures notarized. You must also print your name with your signature.
Fill out the "Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle" form. (See the References section.) Use the online directory at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to find your local County Clerk of Courts Title Office; the References section provides a link. Visit that title office within 30 days to complete the transfer. As of 2010, the fee for a certificate of title is $15, payable by cash, check or money order. You must pay a $5 late fee if you fail to transfer within 30 days.
Obtaining a Replacement or Duplicate Ohio Car Title
Print out the "Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle." Use the section for a duplicate car title to apply for a replacement title.
Prepare your driver's license and car registration. You need these documents to prove ownership of your car.
Proceed to the County Clerk of Courts Title Office where you obtained your Ohio car title. Present the application, your driver's license and Ohio car registration papers to get your new title.