How to Transfer a Car Title in Michigan

To introduce a car title in the state of Michigan, it’s a good idea to read these instructions, locate all the appropriate lines on the Michigan car title, and read any instructions on the title before you start filling in the information. At some point, Michigan reformatted its car titles. This information assumes you have the newer style of title, where all information for an individual selling a vehicle to another individual is printed on the front (and the back says “For dealer use only.”)

  1. Look for the box near the middle of the title that says, “Printed name of the purchaser(s).” Print the buyer’s name in this box. If there are two buyers, both names must fit in the same box. In the box immediately next to that, print the date of the sale. In the box immediately next to that, print the sale price.
  2. In the next set of boxes, enter the buyer’s street address, city, state, and zip code in the appropriate places.
  3. Enter the car's current odometer reading in the set of small boxes under that.
  4. In the next set of boxes, the seller should sign their name where it says “Signature of the seller(s).” Again, both names must fit in the box if two sellers exist. The seller(s) should print their name(s) in the box immediately adjacent.
  5. The seller should print their street address, city, state, and zip code in the appropriate places in the next set of boxes.
  6. In the following section (which is separated from the first section by a thick line), there is a box that says “Signature of buyer(s).” The buyer(s) should sign their name(s) in this box, and the seller(s) should print their name(s) in the box immediately adjacent.

For more information about transferring a car title in Michigan, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

How to apply for a Replacement Title in Michigan?

You can apply for a replacement title in Michigan online, by mail, or in person at your local Secretary of State location. The Michigan online replacement title service is easy and secure, and the state encourages its use over mailed paper forms.

Below are the five main steps for applying for a replacement title in Michigan.

  1. Get your Michigan ID and debit or credit card ready. There is a $15 fee for the duplicate title.
  2. Visit Michigan.gov/SOS and select Online Services.
  3. Go to the Vehicle Transactions section.
  4. Choose “Request a Duplicate Title.”
  5. Follow the steps as outlined. It only takes a few minutes.

Your title arrives in the mail within about 2 weeks. If you need a title sooner, apply for an Instant duplicate title in person at any Secretary of State office, but it is $5 more than the online service. Print the forms and mail them, but be looking at 2 weeks from the time they are received, which is more like 3 weeks since you put the application in the mail.

If you have a vehicle that has been totaled by an insurance company or is completely inoperable, you must get a salvage or scrap title.

Listed below are the five main steps for getting a salvage or scrap title in Michigan.

  1. Gather your documents: the vehicle title, certification verifying the damage or necessary repairs for it to be labeled either salvage or scrap and a check or money order for the $15 application fee.
  2. Download, print, and complete the Michigan Salvage or Scrap Title Application.
  3. Schedule an appointment at your local Secretary of State office or mail it to the Secretary of State.
  4. Arrive a bit early for your appointment, and a representative will help you with the rest of the process.
  5. It takes 5 days for your request to be processed and your title to be posted in the mail.

If your vehicle’s damage or repairs are more than 91% of the vehicle’s previous value, be issued a scrap title. If it is between 71% and 91% of the junk car’s value in Michigan, it is considered a salvage vehicle instead. Either salvage or scrap titles are used to sell your junk car to a junk car buyer in Michigan.