How to Sell a Car to a Family Member

When you sell a car to a family member, the easiest part is getting the money. Selling a car to a family member involves the transfer of ownership, roadworthiness certification, and ensuring the car passes an emissions test if it is over 4 years old. Find out more below about how to sell a car to a family member.

Legal Obligations - Seller

The seller of the car must provide the certificate of vehicle ownership, known as "title" to the car, and is responsible for ensuring the emissions or smog testing is up to date and passed. In some states if the vehicle is sold or given to a family member, an emissions test is not required prior to or after the change of ownership. The seller must report the odometer mileage on the certificate of ownership.

Legal Obligations - Buyer

The new owner of the car must pay for it to the seller's satisfaction, pay any assessed use taxes, and transfer fees. The buyer must renew the registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and obtain a new licence plate, if the seller wishes to keep the old personalized or other special one. All these fees must be paid within 10 days following the transfer of ownership.