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How To Sell A Car In Pennsylvania – What DOT Needs You To Submit

how to sell a car in Pennsylvania

Now that you are selling a car Pennsylvania, You have some pretty basic steps to follow.

⚠️ If It's Broken, Don't Fix It - Get Paid Cash for Your Vehicle ⚠️

In the words and paragraphs below, we will offer you guidance as well as a brief understanding of the car selling process.

So you Pennsylvania car sellers bookmark this page for future reference.

And don't forget to visit your Pennsylvania  DOT for all of the help and assistance you need!

How to Sell a Car in Pennsylvania  – Seller Paperwork

In order to sell your car in Pennsylvania, you want to connect with the Penn DOT Driver and Vehicle Services. You can visit the website 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Next, begin with a complete and detailed assessment of your car. What works on the car? What doesn't? Take time to look up its current market value.

Spend some time getting help to advertise your car online, or privately.

Once you have an interested buyer, and they talk cash, it's time to make that  sale.

Now you must transfer ownership of the vehicle. Therefore, as the seller, make sure that you:

  • Sign the title over and do so as a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) agent witnesses it.
  • Be sure that you certify the vehicle's mileage.
  • Remove the car's license plates.

Additionally, to sell your vehicle in Pennsylvania and complete a title transfer, make sure that you fill out “Section A” on the back of the vehicle's certificate of title. You must also make sure that the document is properly filled out and free of flaws.

This section includes the buyer's name and address, as well as the vehicle's odometer reading at the time of the sale.

How to Sell a Car in Pennsylvania – Lost or Missing Car Title

If you lost your car title or it has some damage, you need to get a duplicate.

To obtain a duplicate car title, you have to fill out an Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title by Owner (Form MV-38O). Be sure to give that document to your local PennDOT office once complete. Additionally, you must pay the $55 fee for a duplicate title.

Lien Holders

If you are a lien holder and need a duplicate title or you desire to make changes to an existing title, you have to fill out MV-38L.

Then you can mail that form to the PennDOT at the address listed on the form, along with a check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Dealer Who Needs Duplicate Car Title

For a dealer who needs a duplicate car title, you must fill out form MV-38D. You can then mail that form to the PennDOT at the address listed on the form There is a $50.00  fee to get a duplicate car title.

Defaced Title

You need to apply for a duplicate title for a car title that is defaced. “For more information on what constitutes a defaced title, please refer to the Defaced Title Fact Sheet,” according to the PENN DOT. 

Click here to read more!

How to Sell a Car in Pennsylvania – Duplicate Car Registration

If you need a replacement registration  (the license plate), the card or sticker, then you must fill out the form MV-44.  Don't forget to pay the fees and make your check/ money order out to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

how to sell a car in Pennsylvania

How to Sell a Car in Pennsylvania – Selling a New Car

For the seller of a new vehicle, that seller must sign as well as print his or her name on the proof of ownership document.  A notary must witness the signature That notary must also verity the Pennsylvania title.

The state of Pennsylvania may require that a notary witness the signature on some out-of-state titles. If that’s the case, the seller has to provide the authorized PennDOT agent with proper proof of identification (PDF).

For a car that is owned by a business, the person who is the business agent or representative must provide proper proof of authorization to represent the business.

The new car seller also has to write the mileage of the vehicle in the appropriate areas on the ownership document.

Once a title transfer takes place, the seller has to take off the license plate from the vehicle. The seller also has to return the plate to the following address:


PennDOT at Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Return Tag Unit, P.O. Box 68597

Harrisburg, PA 17106-8597.


Now if the seller is planning on using the plate on another vehicle, then this is not necessary.

Read more from the DOT on their Buying or Selling Your Car in Pennsylvania (PDF) fact sheet.

What are Acceptable Documents to Show Proof of Ownership?

When you receive vehicle ownership documents from the vehicle manufacturers and titling jurisdictions those documents are “proof of ownership” documents. Pennsylvania recognizes the following as acceptable proof of ownership documents:

1. “Manufacturer Certificate/Statement of Origin (MCO or MSO)
2. Pennsylvania Certificate of Title
3. Out of State Certificate of Title
4. Certificate of Salvage
5. Court Order” as stated on PennDOT Driver & Vehicle Services website.

Pennsylvania Sales Tax

Upon the purchase or sale of used vehicles (including motorcycles), Pennsylvania reminds that sales tax is due to the Department of Revenue.

The sales tax is a calculation of the fair market value of a vehicle, rather than a percentage of the purchase price.

“When a purchase price is set considerably lower than fair market value – as often happens in transactions between family members – the PA Department of Revenue has the authority to review the transaction to determine and collect the correct amount of sales tax due,” states the PennDOT Driver & Vehicle Services. 

Online Services

The PennDOT Driver & Vehicle Services department wants buyers as well as sellers to have access to certain services and tasks online.

Therefore, there are hosts to duties and tasks you can take care of  without leaving your home!

The PennDOT will not tack on additional money for use of their online services that are featured by clicking here.

How to Sell a Car in Pennsylvania – Seller’s Checklist

  • TITLE: Fill out Section A on the reverse side of the title. Make sure that you record the purchaser’s name and , Then make sure that you record the odometer mileage. You as the seller must sign and your name in front of a notary.
  • ODOMETER STATEMENT: Complete and fill out the appropriate spaces in the section A.
  • REGISTRATION PLATE: Be sure to take off the registration plate for transfer to another vehicle. You also have the option to turn in the plate to PennDOT.

how to sell a car in Pennsylvania

How To Sell a Car in Pennsylvania – Selling a Car During Tough Times

This world has seen debacle after debacle. There's been the Coronavirus, economic downturn and lots more. But you have a car to sell. So what do you do? Check out some helpful tips we are offering, as you attempt to make some cash, during stressful times and economic hardship.

  • Be positive. We know that this is a lot easier said than done, but you have to be positive. Sometimes, it means stop watching and listening to news reports and focusing on the car you have to sell.
  • Get your car ready. Just because times are hard, you still can make a sale of your car. So, be sure that you take your car and get an assessment of that car. Even though times are hard, you still want the world to know that you have a great car or great car parts to sell.
  • Clean you car. Even though you feel that you may not get any buyers, clean the car anyways. Stay in the mindset, that your car will sell! It's hard to do, but you can do it!
  • Don't worry about repairs. In tough times, folks appreciate honesty. So, if you have some minor blemishes or dents on the car, just forgo them. Don't worry about getting them fixed. You will find that folks are really looking for a car to get to a job in tough times, as opposed to a “great looking car”. What you deem as significant may not be the case for the buyer. They may fall in love with your car and not really pay too much attention to that dent in the hood. Or if they are paying attention to that dent, chances are they don't car to get it fixed soon.
  • Be honest about your car. This goes hand in hand with our previous point. Let folks know about your car. Again, someone may just need a good, reliable ride. She or he may have an uncle or a cousin that fixes cars. So, they will buy your car and get it repaired by that family member! You may even provide a vehicle history report.
  • Be willing to negotiate to make some cash. During hard times, you may set your heart on getting a certain amount for your car. But given the fact that times are hard, you may have to come down $100 on your asking price. No, you are not just going to give a car away for free. But try to strike up a deal with a really interested buyer.
  • Need a reliable quick and easy way to sell your car? Call Cash Cars Buyer! 844-663-7286!



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