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How To Transfer a Car Title in Pennsylvania

Now might be a good time to sell your vehicle, given the rise in gas prices and the hot used car market. Whether you’re selling your car, buying a new one, or getting one as a gift, a title transfer must occur whenever there’s a change in ownership. In this guide, we cover how to transfer a car title in Pennsylvania. 

What is needed to do a Pennsylvania title transfer? 

To do a Pennsylvania title transfer, buyers and sellers will need to meet and exchange documents. In general, you’ll need:

  • A vehicle title (or other “proof of ownership” documents such as Manufacturer Certificate of Origin, out-of-state title, or court order) 
  • Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1)
  • Mileage 
  • Pennsylvania driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance 

What you need can vary based on whether you’re the party that is buying or selling, which we’ll go over below.

What is the Pennsylvania title transfer fee? 

According to PennDot, it costs $58 to do a Pennsylvania title transfer. The fee is the same whether getting an original title, duplicate title, or at a registered dealer. If there’s a lien on the vehicle, the cost will be $86. 

Does Pennsylvania have emission inspection requirements? 

The state of Pennsylvania requires an emission inspection plus a safety inspection once a year for most vehicles. The type of test may vary by county and the type of vehicle you have. 

For example, according to the DriveClean Pennsylvania FAQ sheet, the requirements in Philadelphia are as follows: 

  • Vehicles from 1996 and newer will need an OBD I/M check as well as a gas cap test each year
  • Vehicles from 1975 to 1995 will have emissions testing each year and will include: 
    • Tailpipe Tests
    • Tailpipe Tests Utilizing a Dynamometer
    • Gas Cap Tests and 
    • Visual AntiTampering Checks.

You can find emission information based on your region below, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT):

Pennsylvania has adopted California’s stricter emission requirements and is a CARB state

How to transfer a car title in Pennsylvania 

The process for transferring a car title in Pennsylvania can depend on the situation. Below are common instances where a title transfer will need to happen and what you need to do. 

Buying a car from a dealer 

Got a new set of wheels in PA from a dealer? The good news is that in this instance, the dealer will take care of the title paperwork for you. They’re responsible for sending the title application to PennDot. 

Buying a car from a private seller 

You might buy a used car from a private seller. In that case, you’ll need:

  • The Pennsylvania Certificate of Title (a paper one is required) 
  • Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration (Form MV-4ST)
  • PA driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance 

These documents must be processed by a PennDOT agent or an authorized Bureau of Motor Vehicle staff member to complete this process.  If the emission inspection isn’t up-to-date, as the buyer, you must get an inspection within 10 days of purchasing the vehicle. 

Selling a car 

When selling a car in Pennsylvania, you’ll need a paper title. That means if your title is held electronically, you need to get a paper copy before completing the title transfer process. 

You must sign the title and also handprint your full name and have it notarized. Write down the mileage on the vehicle. Then, take your documents and visit an authorized PennDOT agent who will verify your identity and require proof of ID. 

When the Pennsylvania title transfer is complete, remove the license plates and either transfer them to a new vehicle or send them to:

PennDOT at Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Return Tag Unit

 P.O. Box 68597

Harrisburg, PA 17106-8597

If the vehicle title is missing 

In order to sell a vehicle, you need a Pennsylvania car title. If you lost it, you need to apply for a duplicate title using Form MV-38O and pay $58. Check “Lost/Destroyed” and submit the document plus check or money order to:

PA Department of Transportation 

Bureau of Motor Vehicles 

P.O. Box 68593 Harrisburg, PA 17106-8593 

Transferring an out-of-state title 

Are you new to Pennsylvania and have an out-of-state title? Once you establish residency in the state, you’ll have 20 days to get a Pennsylvania car title and registration. To do this, you must have:

  • A Pennsylvania driver’s license (so get that first!) 
  • Your out-of-state title 
  • Application for Certificate of Title
  • Pennsylvania car insurance
  • VIN
  • Applicable fees 

As with other situations, to get a Pennsylvania car title you need to see an authorized PennDOT agent. Find a location near you here. 

A gifted vehicle 

There are times you might decide to give your old car to your son or daughter or a sibling in need. In that case, the process is similar to selling your vehicle. 

Each party will need to complete the vehicle title and the seller’s signature needs to be notarized. Since it’s a gift, you can list the price as zero or put “gift.” The recipient must submit a title application and pay any applicable fees. Both parties must fill out an Affidavit of Gift (Form MV-13ST)

Vehicle owner passes away 

What happens to a car when the vehicle owner passes away? It depends on if there is a will or not and whether it needs to go to probate, which means through court, to divide up the estate. 

If there’s a will and no probate 

If you have a will and are the heir to the vehicle, you may be able to avoid probate and get the vehicle by providing:

  • The will 
  • The title 
  • Form MV-39
  • Form MV-4ST, which aren’t available online and need to be filled out by an authorized agent  
  • Death certificate 
  • Any applicable fees 

If there’s a joint owner such as a spouse, an executor to the estate, or no will, find out further directions on how to proceed here. 

The bottom line 

When you move to Pennsylvania or buy or sell a car there, you need to get an updated Pennsylvania car title. In many of these cases, it’s not a simple task of doing it online but must be done with the assistance of PennDOT agents to assist you. 

So make sure you leave extra time to prepare. Figuring out how to transfer a car title in Pennsylvania and getting the documents ready is stressful enough. If you recently moved or are considering a change, now is a good time to switch car insurance carriers. For drivers who don’t get behind the wheel that often, pay-per-mile car insurance may help you with additional savings. Pay for insurance based on the miles you drive, so you get a fair rate that makes sense. Get a free quote

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Diversity and Inclusion at Metromile & Beyond

As part of Diversity Month, we met with several Metromilers to discuss their personal and professional efforts in encouraging diversity and their advice for those looking to be better allies and support DE&I efforts in their own communities. This is the first of a three-part series where Metromilers share various insights on how people can foster and celebrate diversity in the workplace and within their own networks.

Diversity and Inclusion at Metromile & Beyond

How do you support diversity and underrepresented talent at Metromile?

Junna Ro, General Counsel: When trying to fill open positions, I always look to include a diverse pool of candidates and that everyone is given a fair assessment during the hiring process. When interviewing candidates, I push to have a diverse interviewing panel as well so the potential candidates feel welcome and can envision themselves joining Metromile. 

In addition, I think it’s important to foster an environment where all voices can be heard and consciously create a safe space to speak up. Part of this means being willing to listen to the grievances and concerns people may have and being open to feedback. 

How do you support diversity and underrepresented talent outside of the workplace? 

Prachi S, Senior Backend Engineer: At Metromile, I’ve been a Senior Backend Engineer for close to three years now and during my decade-long career in software engineering,  I have really enjoyed helping people get involved in the engineering community. About two years ago, I joined Women Who Code – an organization dedicated to helping women build a career in technology and engineering – and now serve as the Director of the San Francisco chapter.

When I joined Women Who Code, I created a dedicated space for people to learn more about software engineering technical concepts and job careers. I launched a program where I teach backend engineering concepts and coding to people of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, as well as experienced technology professionals. Additionally, I regularly mentor people in the technology industry on how to excel in their careers, build relevant skills, and how to navigate and transition into the technology world – it’s incredibly rewarding.

How to Save with Low-Mileage Auto Insurance

Owning a car can be pricey. There’s the potential car payment, gas, and repairs — as well as auto insurance. 

If you don’t drive much, you might be overpaying for auto insurance. We found that traditional auto insurance is unfair for many drivers, leaving a whopping 65 percent of drivers overpaying for coverage. So what can you do? One place to start is to look for low-mileage car insurance

Here’s everything you might want to learn about insurance for low-mileage drivers, what it means, and where you can find car insurance for low-mileage drivers without breaking the bank. 

Low Mileage Car Insurance Types and Discounts | Metromile

What is considered low-mileage?

According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives around 13,500 miles per year, or about 37 miles per day. While the definition can vary by insurer, many car insurance providers define “low-mileage drivers” as individuals who drive a little over half that amount — around 7,500 miles per year, or roughly 20 miles per day.

If you’re like many Americans, your driving habits probably changed because of COVID-19. In fact, Metromile customers nationwide collectively drove 30% fewer miles from April through December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Whether it’s because more people are working from home or individuals are still understandably nervous about leaving their homes, one thing is clear: there are likely many more drivers now considered low-mileage — which might be good news for their wallets.

Is car insurance cheaper if you drive less?

If you don’t drive much, you might think that your car insurance will be automatically cheaper, but that’s not necessarily true. You might be overpaying for car insurance, especially if you don’t drive too far or often. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare car insurance quotes and look into auto insurance for low-mileage drivers.

A good option is pay-per-mile car insurance. With pay-per-mile auto insurance, you pay as you go. How often you use your car determines the price you pay each month for your coverage. You’ll generally pay a monthly rate to help keep your vehicle covered, even when you’re not using it. Then, you’ll pay a per-mile rate (usually a few cents) for each mile you drive.

How can I get a low-mileage discount for auto insurance?

If you’re not putting in the miles like you used to, it doesn’t make sense to pay the same rate for car insurance. Whether your insurance provider offers a low-mileage discount or savings for people who don’t drive a lot — or doesn’t — here are a few things you can try to reduce your bill:

  • Drive less. If you don’t currently meet your insurance provider’s definition of “low-mileage,” try to reduce the number of miles you drive. There are a variety of ways to do this, from asking your company if you can work from home (many businesses are more amenable to the idea thanks to COVID-19) to walking or taking public transportation more often and using Google Maps to ensure you’re driving the shortest route possible.
  • Negotiate with your current provider. If you’re already a low mileage driver, try letting your insurance company know you’re driving less and ask for a discount. Some insurance companies might ask whether you drive your car primarily for business or personal leisure or ask you to take a photo of your odometer to benefit from their savings for low-mileage drivers. 
  • Switch to pay-per-mile insurance. With pay-per-mile insurance, your rate is based on your actual driving habits, which makes it a great option for low-mileage drivers who drive less than 10,000 miles a year. At the end of each monthly cycle, you’re billed for the cost of the miles you drove over the past month — no need to alter your driving habits or proactively ask for a discount.

What types of low-mileage car insurance are there?

Low-mileage car insurance programs often use telematics, which is a type of technology to understand how you use your car. They’ll usually ask you to plug the device into your car’s on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) port, and the technology will track details such as how often you drive, how much you drive, your speed, how you brake, and your general driving habits, like whether you use your phone while driving.

Alternatively, they may ask you to take a photo of your odometer every month — though this method is less reliable.

Auto insurers then usually take one of two approaches to low-mileage auto insurance:

  • Low-mileage discounts: Some car insurance providers offer you a set discount if you drive fewer than a set amount of miles, such as 6,000 miles per year.
  • Pay per mile: Pay-per-mile insurance is usage-based and pay-as-you-go — you pay a set monthly rate, and after that, your premium depends on how many miles you drive. If you drive less, you pay less. 

How much you can save with insurance for low mileage drivers

Low-mileage drivers could cut their auto insurance bills by switching to low-mileage insurance such as Metromile.

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

The bottom line

More and more drivers are becoming low-mileage drivers, and chances are you might be a low-mileage driver who could save with Metromile and pay-per-mile auto insurance.

Metromile has savings built into its pay-as-you-go auto insurance. Drivers don’t need to let us know or prove that they’re a low-mileage driver because they pay per mile. Your bill will go down automatically if you’re driving less in almost real-time, so there’s no need to call in or negotiate.

You can try out whether usage-based insurance is right for you for free with Ride Along™. Download the Metromile app onto your phone and get a free auto insurance quote. Then, drive like you usually do for about two weeks. (You should keep your current insurance coverage during the trial to stay covered.)

During your trial, we’ll use your driving habits, including how many miles you drive, to show you your potential savings — which can be significant. On average, our customers save 47% compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurer.

You pay gas by the gallon, why not the insurance by the mile? Check out Metromile per-mile car insurance today.

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

How to Get Car Insurance Online

The internet has made it easy to do almost anything from the comfort of your own home — from signing up for a bank account or getting an education to even buying online auto insurance.

Even if you currently have auto coverage, it doesn’t hurt to look for car insurance quotes online, as you may be able to find a better rate. Rates are always changing, and you might be eligible for new discounts. For example, if you got married, changed jobs, moved, or have a different car from when you purchased your last car insurance policy, it doesn’t hurt to see what’s out there. You may be able to save money and put it toward other things in your life. 

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know before getting auto insurance online so you can get covered quickly and resume your latest Netflix binge.

How to Get Car Insurance Online | Metromile

5 steps to getting car insurance quotes online

Many car insurance companies allow you to get auto insurance quotes online directly from their website in a few simple steps. In fact, some car insurance companies offer a discount if you buy insurance online, so it’s not just more convenient — it could save you money as well. 

Here’s how the process generally works:

Step 1: Gather the information you’ll need to get an accurate quote

The first thing you’ll need to do is gather some information insurers will use to give you a quote.

Some of this information is straightforward, like your full name, address, and date of birth. However, you’ll also probably need to provide details about your vehicle and driving history, such as:

This may seem like a lot of information, but it’s meant to help you get the most accurate car insurance quotes online. While it might seem quicker and safer to go with a car insurance provider that promises quick quotes anonymously so you don’t have to hand over sensitive personal information, those rates are often inaccurate. 

By providing these details about yourself and your vehicle history, you can get a more accurate car insurance quote and make meaningful comparisons to other rates, including your current policy. 

Step 2: Get a car insurance quote online

Once you submit your information, the car insurance company will generate a quote estimating your cost per month or year. This doesn’t usually take long — with Metromile, for example, you can get a quote in minutes and quickly see how much you can save (our customers save 47% on average compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurer). 

Step 3: Understand your car insurance coverage options

Before deciding which policy is best for you, you need to understand your car insurance coverage options and how much coverage you need. While most states require certain types of coverage, such as bodily injury (BI) liability insurance and property damage (PD) liability insurance, other types, such as comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, are usually more optional. Knowing what you need and what you want can help narrow down your options.

Step 4: Compare and choose the best car insurance policy for your situation

The average cost of car insurance is $1,630 per year, or around $136 per month. That’s no small chunk of change, so you may want to compare multiple car insurance quotes online so you have a good idea of what you might need to pay and can figure out the best option for you.

Don’t just base your decision on the initial quote — there are many other factors you’ll want to consider, such as the types of coverage you want to buy, whether you can score any discounts to bring the price down, the deductible and premium you’re most comfortable with based on your financial situation and risk tolerance, and more.

Step 5: Purchase your insurance instantly

Once you’ve decided on the best plan for you, all you need to do is choose a payment method and buy your insurance! From there, you can download your proof of insurance and hit the open road.

What factors to look at with car insurance quote comparisons

When reviewing insurance quotes online, there are various factors you want to look at to get a fair assessment. 

  • Deductibles. An auto insurance deductible refers refers to the preselected amount you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurer covers anything else. 
  • Liability limits. A liability limit is the maximum amount a car insurance company is obligated to pay in the event of an accident or injury. 
  • Coverage types. Car insurance costs can vary depending on the coverage type. There are six types of coverage in a basic auto policy, including personal injury protection, bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
  • Discounts. Many car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers for various reasons, ranging from being accident-free to installing safety equipment in your vehicle and more. Review which types of car insurance discounts are available with each company. 
  • Extra perks. Compare any additional perks a car insurance company offers. For example, Metromile charges you based on how much you actually drive, so you can save if you don’t drive often. 

Doing your research and looking at all of these factors can make the auto insurance quote comparison process easier. 

What determines the cost of auto insurance 

If you’re looking to buy cheap auto insurance online, you probably want to know what actually determines the cost of auto insurance. Here are some common factors that determine the cost of auto insurance:

  • Your age. The older you are, the more affordable your rate may be. Younger, more inexperienced drivers are likely going to have higher rates. 
  • Where you live. This matters because where you park and the city you live in can affect the likelihood of theft and accidents. More populous city drivers typically have higher rates. 
  • Driving history. Your driving history matters. If you have a clean driving record, you’ll score the best rates. If you have speeding tickets or at-fault accidents, your rates will be higher. 
  • Type of car. Your car type determines repair costs, the likelihood of theft, and more, so it affects your car insurance rates. 
  • How much you drive. The more you drive, the more at risk you are for accidents. So how much you drive can affect your rates. 

Some other factors that may be considered include your gender and your credit score, according to the Insurance Information Institute

How to get quotes on car insurance online with Metromile 

If you’re tired of paying for miles you aren’t driving and are looking for new car insurance online, look no further than Metromile — on average, our customers save up to 47% compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurer, and we offer four levels of liability protection, along with choices for comprehensive and collision deductibles. Get a risk-free, instant online quote in minutes.

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

How to Transfer Car Ownership in Oregon

Oregon is a nature lover’s dream and many adventures are possible within a short distance via car. Whether you need to buy a new set of wheels or want to sell yours and opt for public transportation, there must be an official Oregon DMV title transfer. In this guide, learn how to transfer a car title in Oregon. 

How to Transfer a Car Title in Oregon | Metromile

What is required to do a title transfer in Oregon? 

When doing a title transfer in Oregon, you’ll need to prepare various documents for the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services (DMV). You’ll need:

Having these documents handy can help you figure out how to transfer car ownership in Oregon and make it a smooth process.

Does Oregon require emission testing? 

The state of Oregon requires emission testing for some vehicles in the Portland and Medford areas. In Portland, all vehicles from 1975 and later powered by gas (including hybrids) must take an emission test. Oregon is a CARB state and has stricter emission requirements than non-CARB states. 

In Medford, vehicles that run on gas and hybrids that are up to 20 years old or less must take an emissions test. 

Some notable exceptions are electric vehicles, motorcycles, vehicles outside the Portland and Medford areas, plus newer vehicles from 2019 and later. 

How to do a title transfer in Oregon 

When a vehicle goes from one owner to another via buying or selling or gifting a vehicle, or even moving to Oregon, an Oregon DMV title transfer needs to happen. This ensures the transfer of ownership and that all documents are up-to-date. Below are some common scenarios when you’ll need to do a title transfer. 

Buying from a dealership 

When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, they’ll typically take care of the title and registration for you. If you do it yourself, you must submit:

  • An Application for Title and Registration
  • A Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • An odometer disclosure
  • Bill of sale
  • A lien release (if you have a lien on the vehicle, your lender or lienholder will likely need to submit documents on your behalf) 
  • Title fee, which can vary 

You can choose to make a DMV appointment or mail the documents to:

DMV Services 

1905 Lana Ave NE 

Salem, OR 97314

Buying from an individual 

If you purchase a vehicle from an individual, they need to sign the Oregon title and give it to you. The buyer and the seller must also complete the bill of sale. Within 30 days, submit an Application for Title and Registration to officially transfer ownership.

For vehicles that are from 2011 and less than 20 years old, an odometer disclosure will need to be provided. Vehicles from 2010 or before are exempt. If applicable, provide a lien release as well. You may also need to do an emission test based on the type of vehicle and pay the required title and registration fees, which may vary. You can make an Oregon DMV appointment or mail the documents to complete the process. The address is:

DMV Services 

1905 Lana Ave NE 

Salem, OR 97314

If you go the appointment route, fill out the bottom part of Form 6775 to see if a late fee will be tacked on. If you complete the process within 30 days, you’re good. After that, you may pay a $25 late fee for days 31 to 60 and up to $50 on days 61 and beyond. 

Selling a vehicle 

As a seller, you want to take the appropriate steps and learn how to transfer car ownership in Oregon. The buyer is responsible for most of the paperwork when it comes to doing an Oregon DMV title transfer, but as the seller, you need to provide a few documents including:

You must report the sale within 10 days either online or by filling out the Notice of Sale or Transfer of A Vehicle and mailing to:

DMV 

1905 Lana Ave NE 

Salem, OR 97314 

Missing a title? 

To sell a vehicle in Oregon, you need to transfer the title. If you’ve lost or misplaced the original vehicle title, complete the ​​Application for Replacement / Duplicate Title form and submit it to the Oregon DMV and pay any applicable fees, which may vary. 

Title transfer in Oregon as a new resident from out-of-state 

If you’re a new resident in Oregon and have an out-of-state title, you need to get a new title and registration in Oregon. You’ll need:

To finalize the process, you’ll need to get Oregon license plates. 

Title transfer in Oregon if the owner has passed away 

If the owner of the vehicle has passed away and there is a family member to inherit the vehicle, in Oregon you need to transfer the title to the new owner. This can vary depending on whether there was a will and if it needs to go through probate or not. 

Without probate 

If not going through probate, you’ll need:

With probate 

If there is a court process to deal with the estate, you’ll need:

  • The original vehicle title, if you have it 
  • An Application for Title and Registration
  • Copies of court documents such as Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration
  • Odometer disclosure, if applicable
  • Release of the bill of sale from an estate representative
  • Any previous bills of sale from the prior owner(s) (not the deceased)
  • Lien release, if applicable
  • Title fee

In both cases, you can make an Oregon DMV appointment or mail documents to: 

DMV Services 

1905 Lana Ave NE 

Salem, OR 97314

Gifting vehicle to family 

Sometimes cars can change hands within the family. But the Oregon transfer title process still needs to happen. If you gift a vehicle to a family member, you need the current title signed and hand it over to the family member to transfer ownership. 

Get a bill of sale as well and mark the sale price as zero. Notify the DMV of the sale and the family member will need to take steps to transfer the title, as outlined in the buying a vehicle from an individual section. 

Cost of Oregon DMV title transfer 

The cost of an Oregon DMV title transfer can vary based on the type of vehicle you have. There is a fee calculator you can use, but in general, you can expect the cost to be between $101 and $192. Here is the breakdown of fees, according to the Oregon DMV website:

Vehicle year is 1999 or older​$101
​Vehicle year 2000 or newer, has 0-19 Combined MPG​$101
​Vehicle year 2000 or newer, has 20-39 Combined MPG​$106
​Vehicle year 2000 or newer, has 40+ Combined MPG​$116
​Electric Vehicle​$192

The bottom line 

If you decide to buy or sell a car in Oregon, or move to the state, learn how to transfer car ownership in Oregon. You want to make things official and avoid any trouble or late fees. Based on your situation, follow the steps above to complete the Oregon transfer title process and check the Oregon DMV’s website for current information. If you need to update your insurance during this time and don’t drive that much, consider pay-per-mile insurance where you pay based on how much you drive. Get a quote with Metromile today


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

How to Transfer Car Ownership in Illinois

Do you live in Chicago and think of selling your car and taking public transportation instead? Or live in the ‘burbs of Illinois and need a new car to get around? Whenever there’s a change in vehicle ownership, there needs to be an Illinois car title transfer. In this guide, find out how to transfer car ownership in Illinois. 

How to Transfer Car Title in Illinois | Metromile

What is required for an Illinois car title transfer? 

As part of doing a title transfer in Illinois, you’ll need the original vehicle title. The buyer and the seller of the vehicle must sign the title. Include a bill of sale, and an Odometer Disclosure Statement. Buyers will need to complete the Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) and Tax Form RUT-50 must be completed as well as part of vehicle sales among private parties. 

Is emission testing required in Illinois? 

In Illinois, vehicles that run on gas and are from 1996 and later may require an emission test after the vehicles are four years old. This emissions test must be done before registration is updated. You can use this Vehicle Eligibility Check tool and find testing locations here. If you’re selling a vehicle, make sure everything is up-to-date. If you’re buying, you can ask about the emission test status. 

How to transfer car ownership in Illinois 

In order for a vehicle to switch owners, there needs to be a title transfer in Illinois. The steps to do this can vary by situation. Below are several situations where you’ll need to transfer a title in Illinois. 

Selling your car in Illinois 

When you sell your vehicle, you’re changing ownership and need to do a title transfer in Illinois. You must have your title to sign and complete and give to the buyer. Additionally, provide a bill of sale, with the final price and date and an odometer disclosure. To finalize the process, fill out and submit a Seller’s Report of Sale and mail it to:

Secretary of State 

Vehicle Services Department 

Record Inquiry Division 

501 S. Second St., Rm. 408 

Springfield, IL 62756

Remove your license plates before handing over the keys. 

If there’s a missing title 

Your vehicle title illustrates that you’re the rightful owner. If you don’t have the title, you need to get a new one before selling your car. Submit an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) and check “duplicate title” and pay $50. 

Buying a car from a dealership 

If you end up buying a vehicle in Illinois at a dealership, the dealer will likely handle the title and paperwork on your behalf. Paperwork for your title, taxes, etc. must be sent to the Secretary of State (SOS) within 20 days. 

Buying a vehicle from an individual 

If you buy a car from another individual, make sure you have the vehicle title and both you and the seller sign it. Make sure the VIN is included, plus the mileage on the odometer. 

Once you have the title completed, signed, and dated, you can use the Electronic Registration and Title (ERT) System to fill out an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190). You may need to pay taxes on the vehicle and submit Form RUT-50. Take all associated materials and mail them to:

Secretary of State

Vehicle Services Department

ERT Section, Rm. 424

If Expedited Title, Rm. 629

501 S. Second St.

Springfield, IL. 62756

You have a 20-day period of time to submit the documents and transfer the title in your name. 

Title transfer in Illinois if you have an out-of-state title 

Are you a new Illinois resident? If so, you have 30 days to get an Illinois title and register your car in the state once residency has been established. To do an Illinois car title transfer with an out-of-state title, you’ll need:

  • An Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD-190) 
  • Illinois address 
  • Mileage from odometer 
  • A description of the vehicle, including the year, make and model
  • List of any lienholders, if applicable
  • Owner’s signature
  • Form RUT-25 and pay any applicable taxes 

If the vehicle is leased, you’ll also need:

  • Lease agreement
  • The original out-of-state registration
  • The current out-of-state title
  • The Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • Bill of sale 

You can submit these documents at a local Secretary of State office or mail them to:

Office of the Secretary of State 

Vehicle Services Department 

014 Howlett Building 

501 S. Second St. 

Springfield, IL 62756-6666 

Title transfer if gifting a car to a family member 

Want to give your old car to your son or daughter or sibling? It’s possible to gift your vehicle to a family member but the car title transfer process remains the same. 

You need to sign the title and give it to your family member. The family member then needs to submit an Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD 190) within 20 days to get the title in their name and must file Form RUT-50 and pay any applicable taxes. 

Transferring a title after the death of an owner 

If the owner of the vehicle passes away, the vehicle may be passed down to an heir. What happens can depend on whether the estate goes through the probate process or not. 

Probate

If going through probate, you’ll need:

  • The car title
  • Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD-190) with mileage
  • Certified copies of either the letters of administration or testamentary, which name the representative 
  • Form RUT-50 and any applicable taxes
  • Title fee of $155 

Without probate 

If you avoid the probate process and the estate is less than $100,000 it’s possible to go through the Small Estate Affidavit Procedure. For this, you’ll need:

  • The Small Estate Affidavit 
  • The car title 
  • Copy of the death certificate
  • Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (VSD-190) with mileage
  • Form RUT-50 and any applicable taxes
  • Title fee of $155

If your situation falls outside these two scenarios, you can learn more about what to do here. 

Illinois car title transfer cost 

To get a new title in Illinois the current cost is $155 for a title. A replacement is $50. On top of that, registration fees are $151 for a passenger vehicle. 

The bottom line

Regardless of your situation, if a vehicle is going from one owner to another, you need to figure out how to transfer car ownership in Illinois. Follow the steps above for your situation to complete the title transfer in Illinois and make sure to file paperwork quickly and pay taxes to avoid any issues. Be sure to check the Illinois Secretary of State website for current information at the time of the transfer.

If you need to update your insurance, review if you have enough coverage or if you could find something more cost-effective. Don’t drive that often? Pay-per-mile insurance could be just what you need. Pay less when you drive less. Grab a quote using Metromile today. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Your Guide to Washington State Vehicle Title Transfers

Thinking of taking advantage of the hot car market and selling your car? Or perhaps you need a new ride because your car is on its last legs? Regardless of buying or selling, a title transfer must happen to officially mark a change in ownership. Read on to learn more about how to transfer a car title in Washington state and what to do in various situations.

How to Transfer a Car Title in Washington State | Metromile

What is needed for a title transfer in WA?

What’s required for a title transfer in WA will depend on whether you’re buying or selling — there are nuances in the process based on the situation (more on that later). But in general, you’ll need:

Does Washington require emission testing? 

According to the Department of Ecology in Washington, the program was phased out on January 1, 2020, after a 38-year run.

Instead, with The Clean Car Law, Washington state has adopted California’s strict emission standards and vehicles from 2009 and later must be CARB-compliant. If not, it won’t be possible to register the vehicle in the state. 

If you’re buying a used vehicle from 2009 and later, it must meet the required emission standards. Buyers must know this important fact before buying a car from a private individual or dealership. 

Vehicles from 2008 or earlier and cars purchased by a nonresident who later became a WA resident are two of the notable exceptions. 

How to transfer a car title in Washington state

As noted above, there are some different processes when it comes to doing a Washington state vehicle title transfer based on the situation. Here are some common situations and how to transfer a car title in Washington state. 

Buying from a dealership 

If you buy a vehicle from a dealership in Washington, they’ll take care of the title transfer process for you. All you need is your current driver’s license. The dealership should complete the Washington state vehicle title transfer process within 45 days. 

Buying from an individual 

If you bought a car on the private market from an individual, you’ll need to transfer ownership within a 15-day period to avoid penalties (from $50 up to $125). You’ll need the current title from the previous owner and to fill out a Vehicle Title Application. If the car is from 2011 or later, fill out the odometer disclosure. 

Here’s the important part: the title application must be signed in the presence of a notary public or a qualified licensing agent from a local office. 

You and the seller must also complete a Bill of Sale. Bring the Bill of Sale, title, title application, and payment to a local office. The office can determine how much you may pay in fees. 

It can take between 8 to 10 weeks to receive your title. If you need to expedite the process, you can pay $85.50 for the title and fees and go to a Quick Title Office. To finalize the process, you’ll need to get new license plates. 

Selling a vehicle 

If selling a vehicle, you need to complete a title transfer in WA to make the change in ownership official. As part of that, make sure you have a valid title. 

Fill out the Bill of Sale and include the VIN, license plate number, sale price, and buyer info. Remove your license plates before handing over the car. Finally, submit a Vehicle Report of Sale form within 5 days and pay $13.25. 

Missing vehicle title 

If you have lost the vehicle title, you’ll need to get a replacement to transfer ownership. You can do that by filling out and submitting an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest that is signed and notarized. To get it within 8 to 10 weeks, you’ll pay $35.50. If you need it ASAP, pay $85.50 and go to a Quick Title Office to get one immediately. 

Title transfer in WA as a new resident with an out-of-state title 

If you move to Washington, you’ll need to update your license, title, and registration. Get a new Washington driver’s license within 30 days of your move. 

Gather your current title and fill out and submit a Vehicle Title Application to a local office. If you go into the office, you can sign it in front of an agent. If mailing, it must be notarized. 

Have a lien on your vehicle? Your lender must send over a copy of the title to the licensing office and when the vehicle is paid off you can get a Washington title. 

If your vehicle is from 2011 or later, you’ll need to fill out the Odometer Disclosure on the title. Vehicles from 2010 and before are exempt. If the car is from 2009 or later, it must meet certain emission standards. 

If you’ve owned your car from another state for less than 90 days, you’ll need to provide a Bill of Sale. The last steps are to pay fees determined by the licensing office and get new license plates. 

If the car owner has passed away 

If the owner of the vehicle passes away and you inherit the vehicle, you’ll need to fill out a Vehicle Title Application within 15 days. 

Without probate 

If the process avoids probate and the estate has a value less than $100,000, submit a death certificate and Affidavit of Inheritance/Litigation

With probate 

If it is part of probate or other legal or court actions, then you must fill out the same form plus a letter of administration or testamentary.

Giving the car to a family member 

As you change cars, you may hand down your old vehicle to a family member who could use it. You must complete a Bill of Sale and put the sale price as zero since it’s a gift. 

Sign and hand over the title and submit a Vehicle Report of Sale to finalize the process and pay $13.25 according to the Washington State Licensing Department. Gifting a car is one of the exemptions that don’t require removing license plates. 

The recipient of the vehicle will need to take steps to transfer ownership within 15 days and can follow the steps in buying a vehicle from an individual section. 

Washington state vehicle title transfer cost

Getting a new title in Washington will cost you $35.50 and will take approximately 8 to 10 weeks. If you can’t wait that long, the cost will be $85.50 to get a title ASAP. 

The bottom line 

The process for how to transfer a car title in Washington state can vary a bit based on your unique situation. Follow the steps above to make sure you take the appropriate steps to complete a Washington state vehicle title transfer and check the Department of Licensing website for current information. When updating your title, it might be a good time to shop around for new car insurance as well. If you’re a low-mileage driver, making the switch to pay-per-mile car insurance could be more affordable. Pay based on the miles you drive and save, because if you drive less, you should pay less. Grab a free quote with Metromile


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Is Car Insurance Tax-Deductible or Not?

During tax season, you want to consider every possible tax deduction to make the numbers work in your favor. This is especially the case if you’re not getting a tax refund and owe money to Uncle Sam. After looking at all the potential deductions and your expenses, you might wonder “Can I write off car insurance?” In certain cases, car insurance is tax-deductible. However, certain conditions must be met to qualify.

Is-Car-Insurance-Tax-Deductible-

Is car insurance tax-deductible? 

Car insurance is tax-deductible in some instances, such as for self-employed individuals and business owners who use a vehicle to run a business. 

But is car insurance tax-deductible for self-employed people only, or do employees qualify as well?

Unfortunately, deducting car insurance as an employee is no longer an option. If you do business in your car for your employer and don’t get reimbursed, still, not an option. 

This new change was ushered in with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) which eliminated the ability for employees to itemize certain deductions, like using their car for work. Most of the tax provisions set forth as part of the TCJA are in effect until 2025. 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. So basically, car insurance being tax-deductible is an option for business owners and in most cases, not employees. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does outline some notable exceptions for who can deduct “unreimbursed employee travel expenses.” According to the IRS website, these taxpayers include: 

  • Armed Forces reservists
  • Qualified performing artists
  • Fee-basis state or local government officials

Writing off car insurance on your taxes 

If you’re a business owner and are curious “Is car insurance tax-deductible for self-employed people?” now you know that yes, it’s possible. 

So if you’re self-employed and use your car for business purposes, you might just be able to deduct a portion of your insurance premium

For example, if you’re a contractor and you use your truck to carry supplies to and from job sites, you can likely write off your full insurance premium, plus the cost of other expenses like gas. The catch here is that your vehicle has to be used for explicit business tasks primarily; using it to commute to and from the office isn’t enough to justify a business expense.

But when thinking about deducting car insurance, there’s something important to consider. According to the IRS, there are two ways that self-employed people can tally up their car expenses:

  1. Vehicle expenses (including car insurance, gas, depreciation, registration fees, etc.)
  2. The Standard Mileage Rate, is used to deduct a fixed amount per mile when deducting vehicle expenses. In 2022, that rate is 58.5 cents and in 2021 it was 56 cents. 

You typically need to use one of these ways to deduct vehicle expenses from your taxes. So if you want to deduct car insurance directly, it would need to be part of the actual vehicle expenses. 

However, opting for the Standard Mileage Rate may be more beneficial in some cases. This rate is set by the IRS each year and bakes in many of the costs into it. It’s best to calculate both ways to see which option offers the most benefits. It’s always best to discuss specific tax questions with a professional like a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Splitting personal vs. business use 

If you use your vehicle for both personal and business use, then you may be able to write off a portion of your insurance. 

So if you’re using your car for both business and pleasure (think: Lyft or Uber drivers, for example), you can only write off the cost of your insurance up to the proportion of time it’s used for business. 

Let’s say you’re using it to work as a rideshare driver 25% of the time, and driving around town for personal reasons the other 75% of the time. In this case, you can only list 25% of the insurance premium cost on your taxes, and that would be if you opt to deduct your actual expenses versus the standard mileage rate. 

When you can’t deduct car insurance 

“Can I write off car insurance?” is a common question with an answer that has changed over the years with new tax laws. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed many of these rules over the past several years. 

It’s no longer possible to deduct car insurance or mileage as an employee. It’s also not possible to deduct a car insurance deductible in the case of theft. So if you were hoping to deduct car insurance for personal use or as an employee, it’s currently not an option. 

The bottom line 

Figuring out if car insurance is deductible can depend on whether you have a full-time or part-time business and how much you use your vehicle for that purpose. It also depends on the tax laws, which can change year to year. If you do run an eligible business and can write off car insurance be sure to assess whether deducting all expenses or using the standard mileage rate works best for you. If you don’t drive that many miles and want to lower car insurance costs, consider pay-per-mile coverage. Rethink your auto insurance coverage and only pay for the miles you drive, plus a low base rate. Grab a free quote to see how much you could save. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

How to Prepare for Inflation, Because It’s Here

Nearly everywhere you look right now, prices are rising. You go to the grocery store and your $50 groceries are suddenly $75 for the same items. You fill up the gas tank, and your jaw drops as you see the final total. If you’re wondering if it’s just you, it’s not. We’re in a period of high inflation, the highest rate seen in four decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the consumer price index (CPI) rose 7.9% in February compared to the previous year. While much of this is out of your control, there are things you can do to try and combat higher costs. Here’s how to save money during inflation increases. 

How to Save Money During Inflation Spikes | Metromile

How to prepare for inflation in 6 steps 

Step 1: Review your numbers 

Whether you’re a personal finance newbie or professional or somewhere in-between, there’s one major thing everyone should do. And that’s reviewing their numbers. Look at the nitty-gritty and the big picture by looking at the following:

  • Your take-home pay. What you think you make and what you actually make after taxes and deductions are different. 
  • Your current expenses. All expenses including rent/mortgage, food, insurance, health, gym, etc.
  • Your current debt obligations. What are your monthly payments, interest rates, and how much do you owe?

Taking this step can help you create a plan with real numbers and can help you see where there might be spending leaks. 

Step 2: Make a budget 

After reviewing your numbers, you know your total take-home pay and expenses. Whether you have a budget or not, you can make a budget from scratch or adjust the one you have. 

A budget is a way to dictate the flow of your money. Go through each category and write down how much you want to allocate for that particular category. Some might be fixed expenses that don’t change, and others might be variable, so do your best to put a number that makes sense given your previous spending. Your total expenses should be less than or equal to your income (but make sure debt and savings are part of that!), so you’re not “living beyond your means.” 

Figuring out how to prepare for inflation can be tough. But with your budget, you can take steps to limit variable spending and cut out or reduce non-essential spending.

Step 3: Reduce expenses where you can

In most cases, your top three expenses will be housing, food, and transportation. To make the most significant dent and learn how to save money during inflation, focus on these top categories. 

That may mean trying to negotiate your rent (it’s possible and the worst they can say is “no”), downsizing, and trying to cut utility bills. You can meal prep and try to avoid higher-cost convenience foods and buy in bulk for certain items at Costco. You can look at GasBuddy.com for the most affordable gas; opt to walk, bike, or take public transportation instead. 

Also, see if there are subscriptions that you aren’t really using anymore. Cancel and free up some cash. You can see if there are barter opportunities as well, such as working the front desk at a yoga studio in exchange for classes. 

You don’t have to give up everything, but consider reducing the frequency. If you go out to eat three times a week, scale back to once a week. Reducing the major expenses and focusing on the small ones can help free up cash. 

Step 4: Think about making the switch to pay-per-mile insurance 

As noted above, transportation costs can make a dent in your budget. As part of that, there is car insurance. The good news is that you may be able to score some serious savings by switching auto insurance. 

If you’re a low-mileage driver and drive 10,000 miles or less each year, think about switching to pay-per-mile car insurance. That way you get a rate that is based on how much you drive. At Metromile, you can get an affordable base rate and pay several cents per mile you drive. You may be able to save up to $947* per year, depending on how much you drive. 

Step 5: Earn more

Let’s just say it — it sucks that your dollar isn’t going as far as it used to. It feels like your money is vanishing in quicksand. Reducing expenses where you can is key, but sometimes you cut back and hit a frugality plateau. In other words, you can’t really cut back any further. In that case, earning more can add more money to the pile. Here are some ideas:

  • Sell items you no longer use or want on OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace
  • Rent out your car on Turo or Getaround
  • Ask for a raise 
  • Pet sit on Rover or Meowtel
  • Work overtime, if applicable 
  • Freelance and leverage your existing skills (what do you do for your day job or what do people always tell you you’re good at?)

Focusing on earning more can at least help your income during times of inflation. 

Step 6: Pay off or refinance debt 

Paying debt is paying for your past choices, which can make it tough to have enough money in the present and the future. Of course, interest is what can really make the process tough. That’s why it’s recommended to pay off debt or refinance to a lower interest rate, if possible. 

This is especially the case with high-interest credit card debt. Consider a 0% balance transfer credit card, just make sure you’ve addressed what caused the debt in the first place so you don’t get stuck with more debt. 

Consider refinancing your home to get a better rate. If you have federal student loans, you can take advantage of the payment pause and consider income-driven repayment plans when payments start back up again. 

You can free up that monthly payment and reduce the total amount of interest you pay on the loan by paying down debt or getting a lower interest rate.  

The bottom line 

Dealing with prices rising right now can feel like another blow after a difficult two-year period. Learning how to prepare for inflation requires action and taking steps, both big and small to reduce costs and increase income. If you don’t get behind the wheel all that often, consider making the switch to pay-per-mile car insurance coverage. Grab a free quote to see about potential savings. 

*Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

A California Gas Rebate Could Offer $400 for Drivers

Living in California can mean sunny days, the beach, the forest, arts, culture, and entertainment all at your fingertips and within a short drive. But it comes at a cost. Rents are notoriously high as are the taxes. In fact, it has the highest sales tax, highest gas tax, and highest top rate on personal income tax, according to CalTax.org. If you’re a Cali resident, you know the gas prices are staggering right now. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), as of March 28th, gas in the state cost $5.76 per gallon. The U.S. average for the same period is $4.23. If you’ve been wondering, “Why is gas so expensive in California?!” read on to learn more and about a potential California gas rebate. 

A California Gas Rebate May Help Drivers | Metromile

Why is gas so expensive in California? 

Gas is so expensive in California for a number of reasons. As noted above, one of the reasons is having the highest gas tax in the U.S. Currently, the California gas tax is 51.5 cents per gallon

This gas tax was set to rise in July and there were talks about pausing the hike for a six-month period. However, the bill proposing this idea was ignored twice — and then passed but replaced with a different measure, according to CalMatters.org

The new measure would tax gas suppliers and offer a rebate to drivers thanks to the tax revenue. 

Aside from the gas tax being so high, there are also environmental differences that play into it. The state of California has strict emission standards. Because of that, making the gas to meet the standards set is more costly. Additionally, it comes down to basic supply and demand. 

According to the EIA:

“California gasoline prices are generally higher and more variable than prices in other states because relatively few supply sources offer California’s unique blend of gasoline outside of the state. California’s reformulated gasoline program is more stringent than the federal government’s program. In addition to the higher cost of this cleaner fuel, state taxes on gasoline in California are higher than they are in most states.”

So between high gas taxes, environmental factors, supply and demand, California gas prices remain high. 

A potential California gas rebate is in the works

On March 23rd, California Governor Gavin Newsom released details about a proposal for a gas rebate that would put money back into the hands of drivers. This would help drivers offset the high cost of gas in the state. 

According to the press release on the matter, the proposal would offer a $400 California gas rebate as a direct payment to drivers. The rebate would have a limit of two vehicles, so technically a family could receive up to $800. 

The press release states:

“The tax refund will take the form of $400 debit cards for registered vehicle owners, and individuals will be eligible to receive up to two payments. An average California driver spends approximately $300 in gasoline excise tax over a year. The proposal provides up to two $400 rebates per vehicle, for owners to support families with more than one vehicle in use.” 

What makes the California gas rebate beneficial to everyone is that eligibility is based on vehicle registration, instead of income or tax records. There is no income cap on eligibility. This is just a proposal as of now and would need to be passed. 

Another proposal came from Senate President Pro Tempore (meaning for the time being) Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Their proposal wouldn’t be universal for Californians and would offer a $200 California gas rebate to people earning less than $125,000, according to news site KRON4. Married couples earning less than $250,000 could get up to $400 plus an additional $200 for each dependent. 

When will the California gas rebate go into effect? 

California gas prices are high now and seem to rise every day. So if you’re looking for relief ASAP, you might still have to wait a bit. 

These are still just proposals for now. On Newsom’s end, the release notes that he’ll be meeting with the legislature to iron out details of the proposal. The release states that once the proposal is approved by the legislature, payments could arrive in July. 

The bottom line 

If you’ve wondered why gas is so expensive in California, there are various reasons from taxes to supply and demand. Given these high-cost times and rising inflation, there may be a California gas rebate in the works to help lessen the sting of gas prices. In the meantime, you can save by driving less. If that’s possible for you, look into pay-per-mile insurance coverage. You’re used to paying for gas by the gallon, so it makes sense to pay for car insurance based on the miles you drive. Get a free quote with Metromile today. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.