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    Transfer an Out-of-State Title to Ohio

    In order to register a vehicle and obtain license plates in Ohio, an out-of-state title must be converted to an Ohio title.

    What Do I Need to Bring to the Title Office?

    • Out-of-state title certificate
    • Acceptable identification (please contact your County Clerk of Courts Title Office for details) and payment for title fees
    • An out-of-state vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection
    • A lien release from your lien holder if you don’t have the paper title showing lien discharge signed by your lienholder
    • For lease transactions only, two original powers of attorney from lessor (one to obtain an Ohio title and one to obtain vehicle registration and license plates)
    • Payment for title fees

    Important Information to Remember

    • For dual ownership, both parties must be present, unless a power of attorney is provided
    • Social Security numbers are required for all parties
    • Photocopies of a title are not accepted
    • If your lienholder has your title, you must complete a transfer request form and send it to your lienholder. Please contact a County Clerk of Courts Title Office to obtain the form
    • For out-of-state leasing dealers, a leasing permit number and a valid Ohio use tax account number (99-XXXXXX) are required

    Ohio Revised Code: 2921.13

    Liens on a Title

    When you pay off a vehicle loan, the lender will either release the lien:

    • Manually by marking that the lien was discharged on the front of the title and then sending you the title showing the lien as satisfied

      OR

    • Electronically if your lender participates in Ohio’s Electronic Lien and Title Program.

    For a Lien Released Electronically

    If your lender participates in Ohio’s Electronic Lien and Title Program, it will electronically release the lien and BMV records will no longer show a lien on the vehicle.

    For a Lien Released Manually

    If your lender does not participate in Ohio’s Electronic Lien and Title Program, the lender will mark that the lien was discharged and mail the paper title to you. To remove the lien from BMV records:

    The County Clerk of Courts Title Office will then issue you a new paper title.

    Mileage, VIN, or Brand Correction

    If the incorrect mileage, vehicle identification number (VIN), or brand (exceeded, salvage, non-actual, buyback) was due to a county error, please contact the County Clerk of Courts Title Office where the title was issued.

    If the incorrect mileage, VIN, or brand (exceeded, salvage, non-actual, buyback) was due to a customer or dealer error, please contact the BMV Title Support Section for assistance.

    • Requests for correction will be reviewed and verified.
    • The BMV will respond to requests within 10 business days from the date documents are received. Failure to submit all required documents may result in the request being denied.
    • If approved, a letter will be issued asking the County Clerk of Courts Title Office to issue a replacement title correcting the mileage, VIN, or brand.
    • Please note: a request for a correction does not guarantee approval of the correction.

    Prior to completing a title transfer, the transferor and transferee must verify the accuracy of the odometer listing and all other information on the certificate of title. Both seller and buyer are responsible for accurately verifying the odometer listing and all other information on the certificate of title at the time of title transfer.

    What Do I Need to Submit to the BMV Title Support Section?

    1. A detailed, notarized statement from each previous owner (if applicable) listing:
      • Name and contact information
      • Statement date
      • Vehicle year, make, and VIN
      • The correct and incorrect mileage of the vehicle at the time of transfer
      • How the error occurred
      • Why he or she signed the incorrect certificate of title
    2. Current, dated Federal Odometer Statement or Applicant Affidavit. Applicant Affidavits are acceptable for:
      • Vehicles sold or purchased through repossession
      • Self-assembled vehicles
      • Unclaimed affidavits
      • Out-of-state title conversions
      • Operations of law (such as bankruptcy or death of a spouse)
    Where Do I Send My Documents?

    Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Title Support Section
    PO Box 16520
    Columbus, OH 43216-6520

    Or fax to (614) 752-8929, Attn: Title Support Section

    Ohio Revised Code: 4505.06 4505.10 2921.13

    Court Order Titles

    A court order can allow an individual to apply directly to the Registrar of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and submit evidence for ownership of a motor vehicle.

    If the Registrar finds the evidence insufficient, the applicant may petition the Court of Common Pleas for a court order instructing a County Clerk of Courts Title Office to issue a certificate of title.

    What Do I Need to Do?

    Contact your local County Clerk of Courts Title Office to obtain court order instructions.

    • Some County Clerk of Courts Title Offices may not have court order instructions
    • There is no guarantee a court order will be granted

    Ohio Revised Code: 4505.10

    Exporting a Vehicle from Ohio

    Exporting means shipping or transporting a motor vehicle from inside the United States to a destination outside the United States.

    A vehicle owner who is exporting a motor vehicle titled in Ohio must comply with Ohio vehicle exporting procedures.

    • A motor vehicle dealer must apply for a non-resident title in the name of the purchaser
    • Ensure the title is properly in the name(s) of the owner(s) of the motor vehicle and any assignment is to the purchaser, as applicable
    • Make copies of the certificate of title for your records

    The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Title Support Section will enter an inactive status and retain the title submitted as evidence.

    You will be supplied two documents that show ownership for proof of export:

    1. Certified receipt of title surrender
    2. Two certified copies of the surrendered title

    What Do I Need to Send to the Ohio BMV?

    Mail required documents to:

    Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    Title Support Section
    PO Box 16520
    Columbus, OH 43216-6520

    If you need additional information, please contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection, (800) 227-5511.

    Ohio Revised Code: 4505.21

    Title an Imported Vehicle in Ohio

    A County Clerk of Courts Title Office will only issue a certificate of title for an imported vehicle when an individual submits proof the vehicle complies with federal motor vehicle safety requirements and satisfies all requirements listed below.

    Prior to completing the title transfer, the transferor and transferee must verify the accuracy of the odometer listing and all other information on the certificate of title.

    What Do I Need to Bring to the Title Office?

    • Bill of sale
    • Authentic source of ownership document (Canadian or foreign registration/title)
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Entry (form 7501), stamped or signed
    • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) document (Declaration Form HS-7) stating vehicle meets all safety standards
    • Original bond release letter from U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to verify federal motor vehicle safety standards have been, or will be, met (if applicable); any other requirements specified on the Declaration Form HS-7 must also be met
      • Evidence that a timely certification of compliance was submitted to NHTSA (i.e., 120 calendar days from the vehicle’s date of entry into the country) may be used if NHTSA did not issue a Bond Release Letter or otherwise respond to the certification of compliance within 30 days of NHTSA’s receipt of such certification, provided all other requirements are met.
    • Odometer statement(s) signed by both the seller and purchaser in accordance with federal and Ohio requirements
    • An out-of-state vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection
    • English translations of all documents written in a foreign language; translations must be done by an accredited institution and submitted on that institution's letterhead
    • Payment for title fees and sales tax on the purchase price if applicable (see sales tax rates by county)

    Ohio Revised Code: 2921.13(5)

    Unclaimed Motor Vehicles

    Please contact any County Clerk of Courts Title Office in Ohio for assistance with required documents.

    To obtain a certificate of title for an unclaimed motor vehicle, the following conditions must be met:

    • Motor vehicle value must be less than $3,500. Towing and storage fees are not included in the calculation of the vehicle value. However, if applicable, the new two deductions are subtracted from vehicle value to determine the amount paid to the clerk of Courts.
    • Fees are established by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). See the Unclaimed Motor Vehicle Affidavit (form BMV 4202) for fees.
    • The motor vehicle must be unclaimed for 15 days or more following the completion of requested repairs or the agreed term of storage.
    • A search of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) records must be performed by submitting a BMV Record Request (form BMV 1173).
    • Notification to the last known address of any owner and any lienholder must be sent by certified mail with the request of a return receipt.
    • If the person who requested the repair or who agreed to the storage of the motor vehicle is not the owner or a lienholder of the motor vehicle as indicated in the records of the bureau, the repair garage or place of storage also shall notify the sheriff of the county or the police department of the municipal corporation, township, port authority, or township or joint police district in which the repair garage or place of storage is located that the repair garage or place of storage is in possession of the vehicle.
    • Unless the lienholder claims the motor vehicle within fifteen days from the mailing of the notice, the lienholder’s lien is invalid.
    • If the motor vehicle remains unclaimed by any owner or lienholder for 15 days after the mailing of the required notice, you may file an Unclaimed Motor Vehicle Affidavit (form BMV 4202) to obtain the certificate of title.
    • Motor vehicle value must be less than $3,500. Towing and storage fees are not included in the calculation of the vehicle value. However, the new two deductions are subtracted (if applicable) from vehicle value to determine the amount paid to the clerk of Courts.
    • Fees are established by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). See the Unclaimed Motor Vehicle Affidavit (form BMV 4202) for fees.
    • The motor vehicle was towed from a private tow-away zone as described in section 4505.101 of the Ohio Revised Code.
    • A search of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) records must be performed by completing a BMV Record Request (form BMV 1173) within three business days of the removal of the vehicle from a private tow-away zone.
    • All notifications must be sent by certified mail, express mail with return receipt requested or by a commercial carrier service utilizing any form of delivery requiring a signed receipt to the last known address of the vehicle owner and any lien holder.
    • The first notification must be sent within five business days after the search results of the BMV records is received.
    • If the vehicle remains unclaimed, additional notification shall be sent 30 days after the date the first notice was mailed.
    • After receiving a receipt signed by any person or notification the delivery was not possible, no further notifications are required.
    • After 60 days from the date of the earliest notice required, evidenced by a signed receipt or notification delivery was not possible, you may initiate the process to acquire a certificate of title for the unclaimed vehicle by completing the Unclaimed Motor Vehicle Affidavit (form BMV 4202).
    • If a receipt signed by any person or notification the delivery was not possible is never received, you must apply for a court order title.
    • Fees are established by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). See the Unclaimed Motor Vehicle Affidavit for Tows Ordered by Law Enforcement, Dealer, or Repair Facility (form BMV 4205) for fees.
    • The motor vehicle was towed or stored by order of law enforcement due to one of these sections of the Ohio Revised Code: 4513.60, 4513.61, or 4513.66.
    • A search of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) records must be performed by completing a BMV Record Request (form BMV 1173).
    • All notifications must be sent by certified mail, express mail with return receipt requested or by a commercial carrier service utilizing any form of delivery requiring a signed receipt to the last known address of the vehicle owner and any lien holder.
    • Notice shall inform the owner and lienholder that the towing service or storage facility will obtain title to the motor vehicle if not claimed within 60 days from the date the notice was received.
    • A sheriff, chief of police, or state highway trooper has made a determination that the vehicle or items in the vehicle are not necessary to a criminal investigation.
    • If the motor vehicle remains unclaimed by any owner or lienholder for 60 days after the date on the signed returned receipt or the date notification delivery was not possible, you may file an Unclaimed Motor Vehicle Affidavit for Tows Ordered by Law Enforcement, Dealer, or Repair Facility (form BMV 4205) to obtain the certificate of title.

    Ohio Revised Code: 4505.101, 4505.14, 4513.601, 4505.104, 4513.602, 4513.603

    Contact Information

    Please call us at (614) 752-7671 or email Ask Titles

    Mon - Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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