Arizona Vehicle Title Transfers
An Arizona Certificate of Title for a vehicle, when properly assigned and endorsed, is your proof of ownership document.
If either the buyer or seller have any questions regarding how to complete the title transfer, we recommend that you come into our office together, so we can get it done right the first time. It’s a sure fire way to make sure it’s done accurately, and both parties will have peace of mind.
With an authorized third party provider, the change of ownership is completed within Arizona’s MVD systems instantaneously. The buyer walks out a temporary license plate and registration. The new title and metal plate are centrally issued and mailed directly to the buyer. The seller can file a sold notice, check their plate credit amount, or request a refund of the plate credit in our office for a nominal fee.
To process a title transfer from one owner to another, the buyer must present ID, must have the previous owner’s title correctly endorsed and/or notarized on the back, and if a lien was recorded on the title, a lien clearance or release will be needed. The lien release is sometimes completed and notarized on the front of the title, and sometimes is provided to the seller as a separate document.
We recommend that the seller complete and sign an Arizona Bill of Sale, and have it notarized. This can help prevent issues when the buyer comes in to complete the title transfer process, and provides the information needed for the seller to file a vehicle sold notice with MVD. The buyer should be given the original, and a copy should be kept by the seller.
The seller may also choose to complete a Power of Attorney form, and have it notarized. The Arizona Power of Attorney form grants the person named on the form, the legal authority “to sign all papers and documents required to secure the title, and further grant the authority to endorse and transfer title thereto, for the vehicle described”. This form can only be used for the vehicle shown on the Power of Attorney form, and only for the purposes quoted above.
Any of these documents can be notarized by a Notary Public, in person at any MVD office, or authorized third party provider. Notarization is required on the title for the seller’s signature, to prevent a fraudulent signature from being submitted on title transfer paperwork. Note: the seller must sign the title while in the presence of a Notary Public, or MVD agent.
The seller should make sure that the following information is completed on the title, before giving it to the buyer:
- Odometer Reading
- Seller’s Name (printed)
- Dealer Number (only if applicable)
- Seller’s Signature (must be notarized)
- Seller’s Street Address, City, State, and Zip code
The buyer should complete the following information on the back of the title:
- Sale Date
- Buyer’s Name (printed)
- Buyer’s Street Address, City, State, and Zip code
- New Lienholder Driver License or EIN (only if applicable)
- New Lienholder Address, City, State, Zip code (only if applicable)
- New Lien Effective Date (only if applicable)
- Below the notary’s signature, the buyer is required to print and sign their name to indicate that they are aware of the odometer certification (vehicle mileage) stated by the seller.
The seller should always remove their plate from the vehicle, and either A) keep their plate and credit to reuse on another vehicle, B) return it and request a plate credit refund, or C) destroy it and notify MVD.