Family Member Titling and registering

Individual  Dealership  Family Member

If a family member is selling or giving you a vehicle, you will need to properly title, register and plate it. Make sure that:

  • You have the title. Making changes on a title, such as crossing out a name, invalidates it. Copies are also not acceptable. The seller must complete the seller's portion of the title, including the odometer disclosure statement, and sign it.
  • There is no outstanding loan against the vehicle. A title cannot be transferred until the vehicle loan is fully paid. A representative from the bank or financial institution that administered the loan must either have signed the title or provided the owner with a lien termination statement.
  • You check to see that the odometer reading and vehicle identification number on the title match the vehicle's odometer reading and VIN.

It is best if you and your relative can go to a Secretary of State office to complete the title transfer. If you are picking the vehicle up, you do not need a license plate to drive it directly home. Never use a plate from another vehicle as a substitute.

If you do not complete the title transfer with the seller at a Secretary of State office, you have 15 days from the date of sale to transfer the title into your name. You will pay a title transfer fee, and a use tax may be due if your relationship to the seller does not qualify for an exemption. You will need to bring:

  • Your identification
  • The vehicle title
  • Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance. You must have Michigan no-fault insurance to register a vehicle in Michigan. Out-of-state policies will not be accepted. (Motorcycles must also be insured, but do not require no-fault insurance.)

If the vehicle's owner is deceased, the requirements to transfer the title and registration may vary depending on the circumstances including vehicle inheritance. Contact the Department of State at (888) SOS-MICH; (767-6424) for precise information about your situation before going to a Secretary of State office.

You may transfer a license plate from a vehicle you already own to your new one.  If you need to buy a plate, several attractive options are offered. Disability and personalized plates are also available.

The Secretary of State's office will issue you, your registration, license plate and tab. Put your plate immediately on your vehicle. Place your tab on your plate as shown on the form that comes with it.