How to Privately Sell a Car in Louisiana: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Privately Sell a Car in Louisiana: A Step-by-Step Guide

You want to privately sell a car in Louisiana – you’ve come to the right place! Selling your car is an exciting transition but it must follow certain guidelines in order to be completed legally. Whether the buyer is a friend, neighbor, or even a family member, selling your car properly protects you and the buyer, and legally establishes the new owner of the vehicle. From inspection to title transfer, here’s everything you need to know about privately selling a car in Louisiana. 

Step 1: Allow the Buyer to Have the Car Inspected

Before finalizing the sale, we recommend allowing the buyer to inspect the car. They can “kick the tires” themselves or have it inspected by a trusted mechanic. This is not a legal obligation for the sale in Louisiana, however it helps the buyer feel at ease. This leads to a better relationship throughout the sale, and prevents the buyer from feeling surprised by any car trouble down the road.

Step 2: Organize and Gather Vehicle Documentation

You need to provide all relevant vehicle information for the buyer. Gather maintenance records, the owner’s manual, and the car title. If there’s a lien on the title, ensure the lienholder releases interest in the vehicle. You must have a valid title in your name in order to legally transfer the title in Louisiana.

Step 3: Fill Out a Notice of Transfer of Vehicle

Louisiana requires the completion of a Notice of Transfer of Vehicle (Form DPSMV 1697). This document includes details about the vehicle and both the seller and buyer. It can be submitted either by mail or online. Additionally, if applicable, fill out an Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form DPSMV 1606). At The Notary Shoppe we can help you with all of the paperwork necessary for your vehicle title transfer and notice of sale. 

Step 4: Transfer the Title

At The Notary Shoppe, we prioritize providing a stress-free experience for customers. To complete your vehicle title transfer, follow these simple steps:

1. Bring Essential Documents:

  • Driver’s License/ID: Both the buyer and the seller need a valid driver’s license or identification card for a secure transfer process.
  • Proof of Louisiana Liability Insurance: Ensure you have valid insurance coverage and bring along proof for the title transfer.
  • The Current Title: Sellers must bring the current title of the vehicle or trailer to prove ownership.

2. Seller Absent? Bring a Witness:

In cases where the seller is not present during the title transfer, the buyer must be accompanied by at least one witness to the sale. This witness helps validate the transaction. The buyer must have a copy of the seller’s id for the title transfer. 

3. Visit The Notary Shoppe:

Once you have all the required documents, visit any of The Notary Shoppe’s convenient locations. Their skilled team will take care of the rest.

The Importance of a Smooth Title Transfer

Completing a title transfer correctly is crucial for both buyers and sellers when you privately sell a car in Louisiana. A properly executed transfer safeguards both parties and prevents potential legal issues. The seller is released from any liability associated with the vehicle, while the buyer gains legal ownership, making them responsible for registration and insurance.

Essential documents needed include:

  • Driver’s license/ID for both buyer and seller.
  • Proof of Louisiana liability insurance.
  • The current vehicle title.

For any questions about car title transfer and any other needs please contact us via phone or email. 

How to Privately Sell a Car in Louisiana: A Step-by-Step Guide - car keys photo

Step 5: Remove Plates and Cancel Insurance

Before handing the vehicle over to the new owner, the seller must remove their existing license plates. This is critical because the license plate ties the car to the previous owner. Forgetting this step can lead to liability issues in the future. Ensure that you cancel your vehicle insurance after the sale to avoid extra costs. 

Privately Sell a Car in Louisiana – FAQ

What paperwork is needed for a private car sale in Louisiana?

– Vehicle certificate of title 

– Notice of Transfer of Vehicle

– Odometer Disclosure Statement, if applicable 

Does a vehicle title need to be notarized?

Yes, the vehicle title must be notarized in Louisiana. The Notary Shoppe can assist with hassle-free title transfers.

Complete your Louisiana vehicle title transfer promptly with The Notary Shoppe’s experienced Title Notary team. Bring essential documents, including driver’s license, insurance proof, and the current title, for a hassle-free experience. The Notary Shoppe is a first-come-first-served business which can lead to lines. For a seamless experience call ahead to gauge wait time. For more information or assistance, contact The Notary Shoppe via phone or email before visiting

In addition to title transfers, The Notary Shoppe offers a range of specialized notary services, including license plate cancellation or transfer, issuance of special license plates, and instant vehicle registrations.

← Blog