How To Sell a Car to an Out-of-State Buyer

So you’re selling your car privately. You’ve spent weeks rearranging your schedule to meet up with strangers, only to get low-ball offers you just can’t accept. Then, you meet The One: a buyer who makes a great offer and seems like the type to take care of your car in the future. Just when you’re ready to seal the deal, you find out your perfect buyer is from out of state. 

Don’t let the state border stop you from selling your car. It may take a few extra steps, but selling your car to an out-of-state buyer is totally possible. Every state has different laws, requirements, and processes for what you need to sell your car. But below are the basics for selling to someone from a different state. 



It’s good to have a copy of the new buyer’s license on file, so that you can prove the vehicle was sold to a licensed driver. You may also find it comes in handy while filling out title transfers and other paperwork since the buyer may not be nearby or in touch right when you need them.



Some states require a Bill of Sale along with the title transfer, some states don’t. But even if you don’t need this document for selling a car in your state, it won’t hurt to have one on hand. 

Creating a Bill of Sale is easy. Simply create a document titled Bill of Sale. Then, list the make, model, year and VIN of the vehicle. Be sure to include the sales price and odometer reading. Create a section for the buyer and seller’s full names and addresses. 

Both parties must sign and date this document, and voila — you have a Bill of Sale. 



Before selling your car privately, you’ll want to do a lot of research about your local laws for selling out of state. It might be best to go to the DMV to inquire about any special requirements in your state. We know, we know — the DMV is not a fun place. But they’ll be able to tell you whether you need to complete any extra steps such as odometer readings or official inspections before selling. The buyer should do the same research for their state laws. 



One of the most important documents for selling a car is, of course, the title transfer application. But when you sell a car out of state, you’ll need to complete a title transfer application in both states. 

As the seller, you’ll need to get your title transfer application at your local DMV. While you may be tempted to fill this out online, you may want to go in person so that you can inquire about any other requirements for selling out of state. Have the buyer do the same at his or her local DMV. 

Be sure to fill out both halves of the title transfer, as well as any other paperwork required by either state.



Even though the car is being driven to another state, your state might require that the buyer use temporary registration documents and license plates. Some states issue “transfer tags” in order to keep the car on the road legally until the buyer can take it to their local DMV. 



The title is transferred, but you’re not done yet! In some states, you will be responsible for notifying the state that the vehicle has been sold. Do your research to make sure that there aren’t any follow-up steps, and that you know what you need to sell your car to an out-of-state buyer. 



At the end of the day, selling a car out of state isn’t so bad. Most importantly, being informed about what you need to sell your car will make the process much smoother for everyone. 



For many people, finding an out-of-state buyer is a great way to sell a used car. But if your car is older and you’re having a hard time selling it even at a low price, there may be a reason why. Check out our guide about when to sell, or maybe even scrap your car

Consider selling your car for scrap if it has a low resale value to Pull-A-Part. Call Pull-A-Part and a live operator will help walk you through the process. We make it fast and easy, and we pay for junk car towing.

Call or fill out the form below for your free quote

Select Year

Select Make

Select Model

Is this car complete?

For a car to be complete, the following criteria must be met:

  • No major mechanical components are missing, including the catalytic converter, engine or transmission
  • All wheels are included
  • All major body parts are intact, including all doors, hood and trunk