How to Buy a Car in Delaware State


Buying a car in Delaware can be a great experience. Knowing all the documents that are required to complete the transaction is the key to successfully purchasing a car. If you follow all of the regulations, you purchase will proceed smoothly. Ensure that your car is titled and registered correctly.

Step 1: Confirm the bill of sale.

All the essential information about the car you are buying is contained in a bill of sale. This legal document should include the serial number, vehicle identification number, warranty details, the terms of the sale and the model of the car. The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles will be involved in the transaction and paperwork process, and can assist you with following all of the regulations.

Step 2: Get a temporary registration for inspection.

Purchase auto liability insurance and transfer the title. The car must also pass a vehicle inspection before the transfer of the title can take place. You can buy a temporary tag for $10 at the time of publication. You need to present proof of insurance, the bill of sale and a driver’s license at the DMV. You will then be issued with a temporary license. Use the temporary plates to have your car inspected. After the safety and emission checks, you will be provided with an application for the title.

Step 3: Complete the title transfer.

Visit the closest Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles office with the seller to facilitate a smooth transfer of the car. The Delaware DMV can help you ensure that the seller’s name is removed as the owner of the vehicle. Employees will review the paperwork and help you correct errors if any. Ensure that you have all the essential documents -- vehicle inspection report, proof of insurance, payment and the application of the title. You must also pay annual registration and certificate of title fees.

There are sections on the title certificate that you as the buyer are required to complete. These sections are at the back of the title. They are in section 4 on the purchaser’s application, and you must indicate your date of birth and license number. In section 1, you are required to sign the Assignment of Title Certificate.


  • Ensure that the seller completes this section correctly as well as section 3 if the vehicle is financed.

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