by Armando Martinez

License Plate Transfer Process in Indiana

In Indiana, the license plates stay with the  seller and can be transferred to another vehicle they buy or already own if they choose or they can destroy them.  The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) does not require non-transferred plates to be returned to them. As a  buyer, you will either transfer an existing plate from your previous vehicle or purchase a new license plate for the vehicle they are buying when they apply for their new title and registration. The buyer has 60 days from the date of purchase to transfer the title and registration for the vehicle they purchased into their name. If the buyer doesn't have an existing license plate, they can obtain a new one from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). 

To transfer ownership of the vehicle, you need to provide the buyer with a signed and dated title, a Bill of Sale, and a current odometer reading. The title should also include the selling price and date of sale. If there is a lien on the vehicle, the lien holder will have possession of the title until the loan is paid off. Once the loan is paid off, the lien holder will release the title to the seller or the buyer. In Indiana you can register your vehicle online at or at a BMV Connect kiosk.

License Plate Fees in Indiana

The license plate fees in Indiana can vary based on the type of vehicle and other factors. Here are some of the fees you may need to pay:

- Title fee: $15

- Transfer fee: $9.75

- Sales tax: 7% of the purchase price

- Registration fee: $21.35 for passenger vehicles

If you're obtaining a new license plate, there will be an additional fee of $9.75.


Selling your car in a private party sale in Indiana can be a smooth process if you understand the license plate transfer process and associated fees. Remember to provide the necessary documentation to transfer ownership, including a signed and dated title, Bill of Sale, and current odometer reading. As the buyer, expect to pay title fees, transfer fees, sales tax, new plate fees, if applicable,and a registration fee. By following these steps, you can successfully navigate the license plate process and have a successful private party car sale in Indiana. For an interactive instruction on how to title and register your new-to-you vehicle in Indiana visit the BMV’s interactive instructional guide at

This article was written by Armando Martinez. Armando Martinez is among the nation’s experts on automotive titling, registration, DMV services and document operations. With nearly two decades of experience across a broad range of financial services functions and some of the largest names in auto, from Wells Fargo to Uber, Armando combines vision and ingenuity with a wealth of information so auto shoppers and sellers can learn from his experience.

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