Paperwork When Buying a Car in Delaware

Last Updated on March 22, 2018 by Jason Mason

Buying a car can be an exciting moment, but it requires some paperwork. As the new owner, you must ensure that the car is registered and titled. If you buy it from a dealer, they will handle the required paperwork. But if you purchase it from a private seller, you will be required to handle the required paperwork yourself.

Buying From a Private Party

As mentioned earlier, you can buy a car from a private seller. Make sure you obtain the Bill of Sale from that seller. This is a vital document that contains all the details of the car you are buying. It contains information such as VIN, warranty information, terms of sale, vehicle model, price etc. If you are satisfied with the price tag and you feel that the bill of sale represents the deal you wanted to make, the next step is to proceed with paperwork. You can’t operate the vehicle until you have purchased car insurance and transferred the title into your name. Your vehicle must also pass inspection before transferring the title. So, during this period, you can obtain a 30 day temporary registration from Delaware Department of Motor Vehicle at a cost of $10. To obtain this temporary license plate, you will need to take the following to the DMV:

  • Bill of sale.
  • Proof of residency in Delaware.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Proof of Identification, such as Delaware driver’s license.

You can now use the temporary license plates to drive your car for inspection. If you pass inspection, you will be given title application forms which show that you have passed emission and safety checks. Title transfer is easier if both you and the seller go to the Department of Motor Vehicle office together. The staff at Delaware DMV is happy to help you. Remember to take with you:

  • Application for title forms.
  • Your Delaware driver’s license.
  • Vehicle Inspection Report.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Payment (cash, check, or credit card).

You must pay the Certificate of Title fee at the DMV. You can also pay the annual vehicle registration fees.

Buying Through a Dealer

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealer, they will handle the required paperwork on your behalf.

Buying Without Paperwork

Buying a car which is not registered or without registration papers is easier. All you need is a title. But if you don’t have a title, it will take long for the vehicle transfer to be processed. To lessen the burden, ask your seller to apply for a duplicate title before selling the vehicle to you. In most cases, the DMV can use information on the bill of sale if the title is missing. Take this document along with the required fees to the DMV to process the paperwork.