Buying a Vehicle From a Dealer

When you buy a new or used vehicle from a Michigan dealer, the dealer:

  • provides all necessary forms and ownership documents,
  • collects the necessary fees and taxes,
  • files the title application with a Secretary of State Branch Office within 15 days from the date of delivery,
  • purchases or transfers your license plate for you, and
  • provides copies of all paperwork.

Before accepting delivery of the vehicle, check to make sure all promised options and equipment have been included. It is recommended you have the vehicle inspected by your own certified mechanic. Test drive the vehicle again to make sure it is working properly.

By law, the dealer must give you a copy of each document when you sign it. Never sign any blank documents or sign a document without reading it carefully. The dealer should give you:

  • a copy of the Application for Michigan Title - Statement of Vehicle Sale (RD-108).
  • a copy of any written warranty on the vehicle or any services purchased (such as rustproofing or extended service contract).
  • a copy of the odometer mileage statement, if buying a new vehicle.
  • a copy of the "Buyer's Guide" window sticker, if buying a used vehicle.
  • a new license plate and registration, or, if you're purchasing a new plate, a 15-day temporary registration affixed to the rear window, or, if you're transferring a plate, the gray shaded temporary registration area on the RD-108 fully completed, and
  • a copy of the finance contract lease agreement.

If you are purchasing a used vehicle, the dealer must show you the previous owner's title. Examine it carefully. If the title is an orange color and shows "this vehicle was previously issued a salvage title", the vehicle was previously issued a salvage title, probably due to vehicle damage. You are entitled to a salvage disclosure form from the dealer if the vehicle is under 8,000 pounds and less than six model years old, or over 8,000 pounds and less than 16 model years old.

After the Sale

You can expect to receive a new title within 30 days. Review it for accuracy. If there are errors, contact your local Secretary of State Branch Office.

Always keep your title in a safe place. Do not keep the title in your vehicle.

If you have a complaint with a vehicle dealer, first talk to the owner or manager. When you bring a problem to the manager's attention, you may be able to work out a settlement.

If this does not resolve the problem, you may contact the Secretary of State's Office in one of three ways:

Related Documents
Consumer's Guide to Buying a Vehicle from a Dealership PDF icon