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Vehicle Ownership in Michigan and What you need to know


Vehicle ownership, complete with legalities, is important. In the State of Michigan, you need to keep in mind that title is everything.

In this article, let us talk about the importance of title and passing on vehicle ownership in Michigan.

What is the importance of the title?

In the State of Michigan, a title determines the vehicle ownership. When you purchase a vehicle, or when you inherit it, the title must be transferred to your name as proof of ownership. The title passes the ownership from the previous owner to you. 

Who transfers the title?

If you are buying a dealership, the dealer will process the paperwork for the transfer of the title to you. 

How do you transfer the title after a sale?

After a sale, you need to transfer a title. When you are in the process of transferring the title, make sure that both the buyer and the seller visit the Secretary of State’s office to transfer the title together. This is the best way that you can protect each other’s rights.

What if the seller cannot come with you to transfer the title after a sale?

If the seller cannot come with you, you should make sure that the seller accurately completes and provides you with the assigned title. You should carry the following things to the Secretary of State’s Office such as:

  • assigned title;
  • an odometer disclosure statement; and
  • a lien termination statement or title signed by the lienholder, if there is a lien or loan against the vehicle.

What if I cannot come to transfer the title after a sale?

In case you have a problem with the title and you want to correct it, you need to personally go to the Secretary of State. However, if the titled owner cannot be present, you may get someone else to complete the title correction through an Appointment of Agent form and provide a copy of your valid ID.

What do you need to provide when transferring a title after a sale?

To properly transfer the title after a sale, you need to provide the following:

  • Accurate odometer reading or odometer disclosure statement
  • Seller’s section completed
  • Seller’s signature
  • Buyer’s section completed
  • Buyer’s signature
  • Date of the sale
  • Sale price

You should make sure that you have the title and the originals of the documents. Do not provide mere photocopies for the Secretary of State. 

Can I ask them to modify the title after a sale?

No. the title cannot be modified. You cannot scratch out names or liens on the title that you have.

What if I find that there is a lien when transferring a title after a sale?

If there is a lien on the title against the vehicle, the seller must provide a lien termination. The lien termination is a statement showing that the lien no longer exists and is no longer attached to the title.

Can I purchase a duplicate title?

Yes, you can purchase a duplicate title. If you need to replace a vehicle, you need to apply for a duplicate title through your online Secretary of State account. Each duplicate would cost you $15.

This begins our series of articles on titles and vehicle owners in the State of Michigan.

Ask your lawyer for help transferring a title

You can always ask your lawyer for help transferring a title. 

Get a Southfield car accident lawyer through Haque Legal to help you fight for your rights but also help transfer the ownership of the property that you may need.

Contact Your Lawyer Today

If you have a vehicle that you would like to transfer the ownership of, you should contact us today. A lawyer can help you get started with your claim. A lawyer at Haque Legal will see to it that your needs are met from the beginning to the end of the proceedings. You are always in good hands with Haque Legal and what it has to offer.


The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and should not be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

Let us help you out

If you are having trouble with filing an insurance claim, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.

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