Transferring an out-of-state vehicle title from Indiana to Ohio allows the owner to register the vehicle and obtain license plates in Ohio. To accomplish the transfer of ownership, a vehicle owner will need:
- Out-of-state title certificate.
- Identification, such as a valid state driver’s license.
- Payment of title transfer fees.
- Out-of-state vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. An inspection can be accomplished for a fee at any Ohio deputy registrar license agency or an Ohio licensed motor vehicle dealership.
- Lien release from the lien holder, if the owner does not have the paper title showing a lien discharge signed by the lien holder.
- Lease transactions require two original documents of power of attorney from the lessor. The first grants authority to obtain an Ohio title; the second to obtain vehicle registration and license plates.
If two parties own a vehicle jointly, both must be present unless a power of attorney is provided. Social Security numbers are required for every party; photocopies of a title are not accepted.
If the lien holder has possession of the title, the owner must complete a transfer request form and send it to the lien holder. The owner’s county clerk of courts title office will have the form. For an out-of-state leasing dealer, a leasing permit number and a valid Ohio use tax account number (99-XXXXXX) are required.
Late Transfer in the State of Ohio
Releasing a Lien in Ohio
After the owner pays off a vehicle loan, the lender will release the lien manually by marking the lien as discharged on the front of the title and sending the owner the title showing the lien was satisfied, or releasing the lien electronically if the lender participates in Ohio’s electronic lien and title program.
If the lien is released electronically, the lien holder will electronically release the lien. The owner will need to apply for a paper title with their county clerk of courts title office and pay title fees. When they have satisfied these requirements, they will be issued a new paper title.
If the lien is released manually, the lender will mark the lien as discharged and mail the paper title to the owner. The owner can remove the lien from BMV records by bringing the title to a county clerk of courts title office, applying for a title and paying title registration fees. The county clerk of courts title office will then issue the owner a new paper title.
Transfer Vehicle Title to Indiana
Transferring an out-of-state vehicle title from Ohio to Indiana involves providing a local Bureau of Motor Vehicles office with:
- Application for certificate of title for a vehicle, state form 205 or application for certificate of watercraft title state form 38529.
- Proof of ownership: a manufacturer’s certificate of origin or certificate of title and bill of sale, purchase order or sales contract.
- Odometer disclosure statement on state form 43230, if the odometer statement is not completed on the certificate of title or certificate of origin. Trailers, vehicles over 16,000 pounds and watercraft are exempt from federal odometer disclosure statement requirements.
- Signed physical inspection of a vehicle or watercraft on state form 39530.
- One proof of address: A copy of a driver’s license or identification card is accepted as proof if the address is correct. If the address is not correct, any document from the approved Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) documentation list that is dated within the last 60 days may be used as proof.
- Title application fees and taxes payable by Mastercard or Visa, check, electronic check or money order.
- Vehicle color and fuel type.
An Indiana resident who has purchased a vehicle or watercraft from a dealer in a different state can mail their application for certificate of title to the BMV central office. An Indiana resident who purchased a vehicle from a state other than Indiana, including a non-Indiana dealer, will receive credit for the sales tax paid in that state.
If the owner paid less than the amount of sales tax Indiana would have assessed, they must pay the difference to Indiana. They should do this when they apply for the Indiana certificate of title. A new Indiana resident is not charged sales tax when transferring their vehicle’s certificate of title from the prior state of residence to Indiana.
Late Indiana Title Transfer
The owner must apply for the certificate of title within 45 days after the vehicle is purchased or otherwise acquired. If the owner applies for the certificate of title after 45 days, they will have to pay a late fee of $30. The owner should make sure that the seller has completed the seller and purchaser sections on the certificate of title before visiting a branch to apply for a new certificate of title.
The seller should remove the license plate from the vehicle at the time of the transaction. The purchaser is required to obtain a new certificate of title, registration and license plate. The Indiana BMV does not require the license plates of sold vehicles to be returned to the BMV; they may be transferred to a different vehicle owned by the same person.
Releasing a Lien in the State of Indiana
Before selling a vehicle, all lien holders must have released their interest in the vehicle. If the lien holder is a financial institution or a dealer, they begin by signing off in the proper lien release section on the certificate of title. Alternatively, they can provide a letter of lien release. If the financial institution or dealer is no longer in business, the owner should contact their local court. The court will issue an order directing the BMV to release the lien.
If the lien holder is an individual, the lien can be released in three ways:
- Sign off in the proper lien release section on the certificate of title.
- Obtain a lien release letter.
- Obtain a general affidavit, state form 37964, signed by the individual lien holder.
- Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Transfer an Out-of-State Title to Ohio
- Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Transfer Out of State Title to Indiana Packet
- Ohio Department of Public Safety: Local Office
- Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Releasing a Lien
- IN.gov: Buying & Selling
- Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Title Related Fees
- Summit County Clerk of Courts: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Vehicle Titles
- Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Fee Chart
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.