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I want to gift my car to my daughter. Where will I have to go, and what information will I need to do this?


State laws and procedures for gifting a car differ so you will need to check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to find out what they require of you and your daughter for you to gift a car to her. Normally you will need to sign over the title to her and perhaps fill out a few other state forms that the DMV has available to you.

For example in Missouri their DMV states that when gifting a vehicle you must provide the following to the new vehicle owner:

  1. Properly assigned Certificate of Title with the word "GIFT" placed in the sale price area (Do not use a sale price of $1);
  2. A safety inspection certificate, less than 60 days old;
  3. A emissions inspection not more than 60 days old, if the recipient resides in St. Louis City or Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, or St. Louis County; and
  4. General Affidavit (DOR-768) or a written statement indicating the vehicle was given as a gift. NOTE: The General Affidavit or statement does not have to be notarized.

The MO DMV also notes you must also report the gift (transfer) to the Department of Revenue within 30 days by submitting a Notice of Sale (DOR-5049) or Bill of Sale (DOR-1957) form.

The California DMV has on its site specific directions on how to transfer a vehicle that is a gift. Here it mentions when a vehicle changes owners whether by sale, gift, or inheritance, and the new owner's name is placed on the department's records, that is considered a transfer.

In CA upon change of ownership, the department reestablishes the vehicle value and determines the appropriate Vehicle License Fee based on the purchase price or current market value of the vehicle. Gifts are not exempt from the reclassification and are reclassified based on the current market value of the vehicle.

Also in California use tax is normally due at the time of any regular transfer. However, if a vehicle is acquired as a gift, the new owner is not charged use tax.

In Florida the HSMV states that it is legal to give a car to a family member or anyone else, however, a bill of sale or an affidavit should be completed by both parties to verify this information for the Department of Revenue. 

In general, state laws do not require recipients of gifts to pay a gift tax. If a state mandates a gift tax it would the obligation of the donor, you in this case when you gift your daughter a motor vehicle.

To find out about any gift tax that would need to be paid ask your local DMV if your state requires this they should be able to advise you how to pay it and to whom it would be paid.

To get the process started of gifting your car to your daughter contact your DMV, or read through their website, to determine what paperwork your state requires of you. In many states when your daughter registers the car in her name she will need proof of insurance. If she needs to shop around for auto insurance she can do that here with us.

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