How Do I Sell My Car On My Own?

Side view of a speeding red car

If you are thinking about selling your car without going through a dealer, there are two simple steps you need to take in order to prevent headache and heartache as a result of a mishandled sale.

First, make sure you have a valid copy of the car title.

If you do not, get one from the Secretary of State’s office. Once you have that car title, fill out the “assignment of title” section towards the bottom of the page. This will include the Seller’s name and signature, Buyer’s name and signature, the date of the sale, and the odometer reading. Once that is done, the buyer needs to take the title to the local DMV to transfer title into his or her name.

However, if you thought that was all you have to do, you are not done!

Second, the seller must send in a “Notice of Sale” document to the Secretary of State’s office. This can either be found at the bottom of the title, where you can fill out the required sections, rip it off, and send it in the mail, or you can download a Notice of Sale form on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, fill it out, and mail it in. This form only requires the seller’s signature.

After you have mailed in the Notice of Sale form, voila!, you have taken the necessary steps of reporting your sale to the State of Illinois. Taking these steps could save you a heap of trouble later—if the seller gets into an accident and isn’t insured, and title hasn’t properly been transferred, you could be getting an unwanted collection letter and/or phone call.

So, if you are planning on selling a vehicle by yourself, make sure you at the very least take the two steps above to help protect yourself down the road.