How to Notarize Car Titles

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A notary public is a person who has the legal authority to witness the signing of documents, such as car titles, and confirm their validity. The people involved swear that the document is accurate and then sign it. The rules for notarizing a car title vary from state to state, so check what is required by your state before having your title notarized.

Tip

  • When there are two owners on the title, they must both be notarized.

Step 1: Find Out If You Meet the Requirements

Provide your title and photo identification. A notary fee is also required. The buyer and seller will sign the documents in front of the notary. Ensure that you have the legal right to sell a vehicle before visiting the notary. Minors are barred in most states from selling a vehicle -- and transferring a title -- without the authorization of their parents or another adult. A minor can participate in the process, but a parent or other adult must be present and take part. Also, you can't sell a car -- and have the title notarized -- if there is a lien on the vehicle, unless you have proof of the lien's release.

Step 2: Find a Notary Public

The notary must meet the minimum requirements such as U.S. citizen, good moral character and be at least 18 years old. She should also present her Social Security card, birth certificate or other form of legal ID to show her age. The notary must meet all the requirements set by the particular state before notarizing a title. The notary must also have a notary public certificate from the National Notary Association. You can find a notary public through financial institutions such as credit unions and banks. You can also search for a notary at notary rotary.

Step 3: Sign the Documents

Both the seller and the buyer must be present -- along with the notary. Also provide the required documents to the notary such as the title and photo ID.

Tip

    • Open titles can be notarized in some states, such as Montana, where the buyer is not identified, but there are risks involved. This allows the new owner to sell -- or "flip" -- the car without recording information at the motor vehicles agency. The notary process discussed previously would then take place after the new owner finds a buyer.
    • Pay the required notary fees after the signing of the documents. Notary fees can vary by state.
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