How to Register (5 steps)
To register a vehicle after a private sale, the buyer must have the vehicle title put in their name. An application for title transfer must be made within 20 days of receiving the title from the seller.
1. Gather Documents
The following documents are required to transfer title and register a recently-purchased vehicle:
Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney – Enables a vehicle owner to delegate certain tasks and responsibilities, such as registration, title transfers, purchases, and sales, to a trusted representative.
2. Sign Certificate of Title
The seller and buyer must sign the vehicle’s Certificate of Title, with the seller assigning ownership to the buyer and disclosing the vehicle’s odometer reading in the spaces provided, and have their signatures notarized.
The notarial officer will require photo IDs to identify the parties.
3. Bring Documents to PennDOT Agent
To complete the title transfer and new registration, the seller must bring the notarized Certificate of Title and proof of insurance to an authorized Department of Transport (PennDOT) agent.
The agent will have the buyer complete Form MV-4ST (only available from authorized PennDOT agents) to apply for vehicle registration and determine the sales tax and fees due.
Form MV-3 must also be completed if the vehicle was sold for 80% less than the fair market value.
4. Pay Sales Tax and Fees
5. Remove Registration Plate
After completing the title transfer, the seller must remove the vehicle’s license plate. The plate should be returned to the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles at the address below unless the seller plans to transfer it to another vehicle.
Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Return Tag Unit