Every state requires that the title certificate be transferred to the buyer's name every time a motor vehicle is sold. Although the requirements for transferring title are similar in Louisiana to the requirements imposed by other states, a few distinctive features exist. Additional procedures are required if the vehicle is to be subject to a financing lien, or if the seller's title is from out of state.
Title Assigned by Seller
The seller must fill in the assignment section of the seller's certificate of title, assigning the vehicle to the buyer. Unlike the requirements of many other states, the seller's signature must be notarized. If there is a lien on the vehicle, the lienholder must sign indicating that the lien has been released. If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, the seller must list the odometer reading.
Bill of Sale
A bill of sale must be drawn up that includes the vehicle's make, model, year, and body style, as well as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The bill of sale must also identify the buyer, the seller, and the sales price. The buyer's and seller's signatures must be notarized.
Application for New Title
The buyer must submit Form DPSMV 1799 (application for new title). The buyer must indicate his city and parish of principal residence in order to establish Louisiana state residency. The buyer's signature need not be notarized.
The buyer's application for a new title must also include the vehicle's current registration certificate, a UCC-1 financing statement (if the purchase is being financed), proof of adequate liability insurance, a supplemental odometer disclosure statement (if the current title does not contain an odometer disclosure statement), and the appropriate fees. Fees include the title application fee, a handling fee, a license fee, a mortgage fee (if the vehicle is being financed), and a use tax based on the value of the vehicle.
If the vehicle's current title was not issued by the state of Louisiana, additional paperwork will be required. If the out-of-state title assignment is not notarized, the seller may have to submit a notarized statement that he is not a Louisiana resident. A special notation must be added to the application for new title if an out-of-state driver's license is used for identification, and a supplemental odometer disclosure statement must be prepared if the out-of-state title certificate does not include one. Other procedures may be required to account for differences in state title transfer law.