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What Information Is Needed When Selling a Car? 10 Important Documents!

What Information Is Needed When Selling a Car? 10 Important Documents!

If you're wondering what information is needed when selling a car, here's all you need to prepare: 

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  • Your car's title 

  • A bill of sale 

  • Notice of transfer or release of liability forms 

  • Maintenance records 

  • The car's history report 

  • The cars owner’s manual 

  • Smog certificate 

  • Warranty documentation 

  • An odometer disclosure

  • Car inspection report 


With the advanced technology and the variety of car selling websites, many people prefer to sell their cars themselves to get the most money. However, some people still feel nervous about selling the car, thinking that it requires complicated information. 

The good news is that selling a car yourself is no longer a complicated exercise. Once you are prepared and you've done your due diligence, the process should be simple enough, and you can take advantage of getting the most money out of your car at your convenience. 

This article provides you with all you need to know what information is needed when selling the car. While this information might differ from one state to another, the available documents are covered in detail. 

What information is needed when selling a car? 

Although there are many steps to prepare for selling a used car, paperwork is one of the crucial steps to be well prepared to achieve the best car selling experience and reduce any possible headache.

Here are some of the documents that you can consider as a checklist while planning to sell their car and before meeting any potential buyer: 

  • Your car's title 

Your car's title is one of the most important pieces of information you will need to sell the car. The title serves as a document that tells authorities who's the legal owner of this car. When you sell the car, you transfer ownership by signing off the title and giving it to the future buyer.

Keep in mind that some people don't have the title for some reason. If that's your case, you can still obtain a title replacement from your local DMV office, assuming that you are the legal owner of this car. They will ask you for some additional paperwork to prove ownership, and it will take them some time to prepare the document.

The waiting time of obtaining the title replacement differs depending on your state. It could be a one-day thing, or it could take a couple of weeks. Therefore, depending on your situation and whether you're in a rush to get rid of the car, you might need to sell it without getting the title.

Selling a car without a title is not impossible because there are plenty of potential buyers who accepts your car even if it doesn't have a title like Cash Cars Buyer. 

  • A bill of sale 

Depending on your state, you might also need to prepare a certain bill of sale form. Some states might even have a designated form that you can download from their website. Thus, review your state's requirements and check whether they mandate using their specific bill sale. Otherwise, it might not be necessary.

The bill of sale is a document highlighting all details about the transaction itself. It includes important information about what exactly was considered during the transaction 

  • Notice of transfer or release of liability forms 

These forms are also optional and depend on your own state. However, we still recommend that you use them to protect yourself from anything that could happen to the car before registering it under the new owner’s name.

When you sell the car, it's not rare that the new buyer might get in a car accident. So how would you protect yourself? By informing the DMV office that you're no longer the car's legal owner, which is what we mean by the notice of transfer, you don't have to worry about anything that could happen to the car before it gets registered. 

  • Maintenance records 

If you've taken good care of the car and performed all necessary regular maintenance, it can be a plus for you to convince the buyer to accept your asked price. By showing the buyer the maintenance records, you're basically indicating how much care you took of the car here at this; it can indicate how good the components under the hood are. 

  • The car's history report 

Your car history report is an essential document that shows how honest you are with the potential buyer. You don't have anything to hide about the car, and you're comfortable enough to share this report showing any minor or major problems that affected the car.

It is important to be upfront with the buyer about any major accidents or major issues that the car experienced. By doing so, you have the chance to explain how bad the damages were and whether you've taken care of it or not.

Hiding the car history report is not a good idea because still, the buyer could find a copy from websites like AutoCheck or Carfax. Therefore, when you get a copy of the car history reports, you save yourself a lot of time and effort, and the buyer will see it as a plus.  

  • The cars owner’s manual 

Although the cars owner’s manual is not a mandatory document that you'll need to have when selling a car, it is recommended that you provided it to the buyer to help him diagnose or troubleshoot any problems that he might face. By doing so, you're encouraging the new buyer off trusting you and probably convincing him to accept your asked price. 

  • Smog certificate 

The smog certificate is not a requirement in every state. However, it is most likely required in states like California, where regulations are more strict than other states. Therefore, we recommend that you go through your state's website and check whether a short certificate is required before meeting with the buyer to be ready and save yourself a lot of time that could delay the transactions and probably get the buyer frustrated and cancel the deal. 

Keep in mind that the buyer might be from a different state where the smog certificate is required. Thus, it is a good idea to check with the buyer and see if his state asks for a smog certificate or not. 

  • Warranty documentation 

The warranty documentation is very helpful, especially if you get in a back-and-forth negotiation about the car’s listed price. Showing that the car is still under a certain warranty helps you keep your asking price and not bring it down.

Warranties are not always available for all used cars, and if you have one, we recommend that you highlight it to encourage the buyer to accept your car as is. 

  • An odometer disclosure

By law, you are required to be clear with the buyer about the current mileage on your car. In some states, the motor car department requires a certain form called the odometer disclosure, which is required for any car that is ten years old. 

Not every state requires a separate odometer disclosure, but if your state requires, your disclosure should include the following information:

  • The cars detailed information (i.e., make, model, year, VIN, etc.)
  • The sellers signature 
  • The buyer's signature 
  • The buyer's name and address 
  • The exact mileage on the car at the time of sale 
  • Notary public signature 
  • Car inspection report 

Some states like Texas require additional forms making the process a little more complicated for inexperienced car sellers. This form is called the car inspection report.

In the car’s inspection report, the car must go through a certain inspection highlighting several areas and aspects of the car.

Of course, if you don't live in a city that requires this inspection report, you don't have to get it ready but keep in mind that you might be selling your car to someone else who lives in a state that requires this document. Thus, check with the buyer and see if anything else is needed other than what's required by your state. 

Can I handwrite a bill of sale? 

It depends. Some states might require a certain form for a bill of sale that you must download from their DMV website. Other states might not have it as mandatory.

Therefore, we recommend that you check with your state's website and check with the buyer's state's website to ensure that both of you are OK with handwriting the bill of sale.

Once you confirm that your state does not require a certain form, you are free of using anyway to document the transaction. Some people might rely on a handwritten bill of sale to complete the deal. If you are comfortable enough with that, it shouldn't be a problem. However, we still recommend that you have a printed copy of a clean bill of sale to prevent any complications that might happen after the car’s sale is completed. 

What means sold as is? 

If you've been in the car selling markets, you might have heard of the term “sold as is.” The term basically means that you're selling the car in its current condition. Therefore, you're not responsible for anything that could happen to the car immediately after the buyer signs on the dotted line of the bill sealed.

Selling the car as is can be a safe option, especially if you don't want to perform any repairs. However, it is still an important ethical thing to mention and highlight any problem with the car before selling it. Imagine if you are buyers who paid this amount of money to purchase a used car and end up with surprises and major car repairs like problems with the engine or the transmission.

Therefore, we always recommend that you make yourself and the buyer happy by highlighting everything they might experience and ensuring that everything is clear to them before finalizing the deal. 

Does as is mean no warranty? 

Yes, when you sell the car edges, you are basically indicating that the car does not have any warranty. Therefore, whatever mechanical problem happens immediately to the car after finishing the deal, it is the buyer's responsibility. 

That's why you might not necessarily need to acknowledge that your car does not have a warranty if you specified that you're selling it as is in your bill of sale or the handwritten transaction document. 


Selling a used car is not a complicated job, especially with the huge evolution in the online market that allows you to connect with tons of customers every day. However, even with the available connections, you must still maintain and prepare all paperwork needed by your state.

This article provided you with all that you need to know about what information is needed when selling a car. However, keep in mind that some of this information might be required by a certain state, not the others. Therefore, we recommend that you go through your state's regulations and confirm whether the mentioned documents are necessary or not. 

If you think that dealing with all this paperwork is overwhelming, we encourage you to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer. Cash Cars Buyer and guarantees to buy your car and deal with all paperwork and remove your car within one to three days only! With our decades of experience, we know exactly what is needed in your state regarding paperwork. Thus, you can have peace in mind and let us deal with all this complicated stuff! 

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and will provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States. 

Our process is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of days to get your car removed safely and for the most money. 

All it takes you is to:

  • Describe your car’s type and condition
  • Receive our instant free quote
  • Accept the quote 
  • Get your car removed and receive your cash payment on the spot!

To learn more about our process and our teen, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.