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What to Do After Selling A Car? Car Seller Checklist

What to Do After Selling A Car

“What to do after selling a car?” The short answer is receive your payment, eliminates any liability, sign all necessary paperwork, and be prepared for any complications. 

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If you are selling or buying a car, there is certain paperwork you need to fill which might differ depending on your state.

It's recommended that you check the local DMV website for any further specifications that have to do with your state. 

This article will provide you with what do you need to do after selling a car. It will highlight some of the state's specific requirements in Texas, California, Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois, Florida, New York.  It will also cover some of the FAQs related to what to do after selling a car. 

What to do after selling a car 

Luckily, you found the right buyer to purchase your car, and now you're ready to finalize the deal & all the necessary paperwork.

Here is all that you to do after selling a car:

  • Receive your payment


Once you finalize the deal, it's time now to receive your payment. Most automotive experts suggest that it's better to receive your payment in cash.

Cash payments prevent any complications dealing with checks bouncing your bank account and long waiting time phone calls.

It's never recommended to use a third-party payment method because it's a big sign of scams commonly known in the car selling process if you notice that the buyer is asking you to put the payment in a third-party account where you can make the payment once he picks up the vehicle, never accept it. After all, in most scenarios, this third-party account belongs to the buyer.

If your buyer requested paying in a cashier's check or a check, there are some safety steps you need to follow to make sure that this check doesn't bounce back and goes through.

In general, it's recommended that you meet with the buyer at allocation calls to your bank and make sure that the check goes through. 

  • Eliminate any liability issues


When you sell a vehicle, you need to make sure that you don't have any liability that has to do with this car.

Imagine if the buyer takes the vehicle, drives it, and gets involved in a car accident; what will happen to you?

Therefore, you need to make sure that you not liable for anything that happens by either having the buyer signed the title to make sure that the ownership transfer was completed.

In some states, there is a release of liability that you want to download from your local DMV website and ensure to sign it. 

  • Take care of complications 


Another common situation that might occur when selling a vehicle is when the buyer comes the second day and says that he doesn't need the vehicle or a mechanical problem was discovered after selling it.

In most states, both the buyer and the seller agree on selling the vehicle “as is, “which means that the buyer cannot come the second day and returned the car because he found something with it.

It is recommended that you encourage your buyer to take a pre-purchase inspection to ensure that you both are happy with the deal and there is nothing hidden. This way, even if he discovers anything in the car, at least he is not going to come to you the second day wanting to return the vehicle, right? 

What to do after selling a car by state

What do you have to do after selling a car may differ from state to state?

Some states might require certain paperwork that needs to be signed after selling the vehicles. Other states might need a smog test to be completed within the last 90 days. 

Let's look at what some states have to say about their requirements when selling a car: 

  • What to do after selling a car in Texas?

When it comes to selling a car in Texas, some specific requirements are beyond the general we mentioned earlier.

However, if you would like to sell a car in Texas, here's all that you need to do:

  • Encourage your buyer to inspect the car
  • Make sure to sign on the back of the title
  • You will need to sign form 130-U, which means the buyers application for title
  • Make sure to remove your plates because you can use them on another vehicle
  • Take off the registration sticker from your vehicles window
  • Finalize the transaction at a local county tax office in Texas. 
  • What to do after selling a car in California?

When selling a car in California, there are specific steps you need to take and some certain forms you need to follow and make sure to fill before finalizing the deal, including:

  • Collect all necessary information from the local DMV form, including a gate of title or application for duplicate title or paperless title, transfer fee, signature of virus, signature of sellers, etc.
  • Complete a smog test unless you have a previously exempt
  • Encourage your buyer to inspect the car
  • Get ready for transferring the title and paying taxes and fees
  • Complete the required forms 
  • Take the completed forms and hand them to the California DMV office to transfer ownership 
  • What to do after selling a car in Virginia?

In Virginia, selling your car requires certain documentation and specific steps, including:

  • Collect all necessary paperwork, including your vehicle's title, a valid emission inspection, Virginia's onboard emission program documentations.
  • Make sure to transfer ownership through the title, and you must use the vehicles price certification or what's called a bill of sale form that you can download from Virginia's DMV office website 
  • Take out the license plates 
  • Get in touch with the Virginia DMV office and let them know that you sold the vehicle. You could do that either online or by phone 
  • You are insured to cancel your insurance policy and let them know that you no longer own the vehicle. 


  • What to do after selling a car in Georgia?

To sell a car in Georgia, you will also follow similar steps as the mentioned states before:

  • Gather and organize all necessary paperwork, including about lid Georgia vehicle emission inspection report if you are within the mentioned 13 counties in this link. You might also need proof of passing the emission test provided by the Clean Air Force in Georgia. 
  • Make sure to transfer ownership by signing on the title 
  • Visit Georgia drives service or use form MV18J to cancel the vehicle's registration 
  • Reach out to insurance and make sure to cancel the policy
  • Fill the bill of sale or what's called form T7, which you can download from your Georgia DMV website 
  • What to do after selling a car in Massachusetts?


Selling a car in Massachusetts requires the following steps :

  • Encourage your driver to perform a third-party inspection 
  • Collect all necessary paperwork, including your vehicles emission inspection report 
  • Include a bill of sale that should highlight your vehicles year, make, model, Vin, date of sale, purchase price, and the legal signature of both the buyer and the seller 
  • Make sure to transfer the title by filling out the assignment of title with the required information, including the date of sale, the purchase price, the buyers and sellers legal name and signature, and the odometer reading 
  • Take out the license plates and cancel the registration by visiting any Massachusetts RMV office 
  • What to do after selling a car in Illinois?

Illinois's requirements for selling the car includes:

  • Encourages the buyer to perform a pre-purchase inspection
  • Remove or personal belongings from your vehicle and clean it inside out
  • Take out the license plates 
  • Make sure to prepare a bill of sale for you and the buyer to prevent any complications in the future
  • Receive your payment method while signing the vehicle's title to transfer ownership 
  • Inform the Illinois vehicle service Department about selling your car by submitting a notice of sale 
  • Make sure to cancel your insurance policy and remove any subscriptions from any services associated with this vehicle 
  • What to do after selling a car in Florida?


When selling a car in Florida, you need to follow these steps make sure to apply for it in spacing only temporary license plate 

  • Take care of any loans and change the title if necessary
  • Make sure to have a detailed inspection for your VIN by an authorized representative
  • Ensure to transfer ownership on your vehicle's title
  • Signed the bill of sale
  • Remove your vehicle's licenses 
  • What to do after selling a car in NY?


Selling a car in New York requires the following steps

  • Encourage the buyer to perform a third-party inspection
  • Make sure to prepare all necessary paperwork, including an inspection report, your vehicle's title, and an application for a duplicate certificate of title if you don't have the title for any reason
  • New York requires every seller to provide information related to the vehicle's mileage. This mileage information must be included within an area in your title. If your title doesn't have that area, you might need to prepare to add a disclosure statement on the back of your title 
  • Prepare a bill of sale, which you can download from any New York DMV website. It's called the MV912 form. 
  • Sign the title and make short of transferring or ownership 
  • Remove your vehicle's license plates and fill out a transaction statement or form DTF 802 

What to do after selling a car? FAQs

Since selling a car has a lot of regulations and it might include some specific paperwork, we would like to focus this section on providing some FAQ related to this topic: 

  • Am I responsible for a car after I sell it?


After selling a car, you are not responsible for anything that happened to the vehicle as long as you signed all necessary paperwork to transfer ownership.


In all states, the vehicle is sold as-is, which means that if anything happens to the vehicle after the selling process, it's not your responsibility, and it's all on the buyer. 

  • When selling a car, what do you do with the registration?


After selling your car, you must take the license plates and or registration paperwork to your local DMV office.

The DMV office will make a note on these papers that the vehicle is no longer under your name, and therefore, you're not held liable for anything that happens to this vehicle. 

  • How do I notify DMV that I sold my car?


To report the sale of vehicle to DMV, you need to do the followings:

  • Take out the license plates 
  • Bring a signed title from both you and the buyer indicating transfer of ownership
  • Make sure to fill a notice of sale form 
  • Provides your buyers your contact information and gets his
  • Finalize a bill of sale
  • Visit your local DMV office and complete a seller's report of sale form, depending on your state. 
  • Do you remove license plates selling cars?

Depending on your state, the situation might vary.

For example, in Illinois, the state requires that you take out your license plates because they belong to the vehicle owner, not to the vehicle itself. In other states, these license plates must state with the vehicle once you saw it, and the buyer must take them. 

What to do after selling a car? The bottom line

As you might notice before, selling a car requires many specific steps that might differ depending on your state.

In general, you need to make sure that you prepare all necessary paperwork, transfer ownership, inform your local DMV office about the sale, and cancel your vehicle's insurance policy.

If you feel that these items might be complicated for you, we advise you to get in touch with Cash Cars Buyer, who can help you complete the paperwork and buy your car without any hassle. 

Cash Cars Buyer provided with fair offers representing the maximum cash your vehicle can make around your area, and they can tow your car free of charge no matter where you're living around the United States. 

To get more details about our process, give our team a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page and click on the free instant online offer. Our process is explained in detail in this link

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