Can I put a car in my name if someone else signed the title?

Car ownership is based on the name that appears in the title of the car. Each state issues its own titles, so each time a car changes ownership or status the owner must obtain a new title. The process of registering a car for a person varies depending on whether the car is new or used, but both cases follow the same basic rules of ownership.

Used car

The transfer section of a car title is where a buyer and a seller write their names, addresses, sales price and signatures. The title must be in the name of the seller so that the seller can fill out this section, and in the same way, the person who completes the subsections of the buyer’s section will be the one whose name will remain as the new owner of the car. Therefore, if another person signed as the buyer in the car title, that will be the only person who can claim the title in his name at that time.

New car

When it is a new car, it is generally the dealership that is responsible for carrying out the paperwork related to the title deed. The person who signs the papers at the dealership and pays for the car is the person whose name will appear on the title. Therefore, if you want to have the car title in your name you must attend the dealership. If you bought financing to buy the car, the loans must also appear in your name.

Title Transfer

If someone else has already signed the title but the car is supposed to be in your name, the person will need to transfer the title to you. You must first obtain a title in your name by attending the state department of motor vehicles, paying the title transfer fee and waiting for this title to arrive. This will be the moment when the two will be able to fill out the sections of that title to carry out the transfer of ownership, writing their name as the seller and yours as the buyer. They can then take this document to the department of motor vehicles to obtain a title in your name.


Some states do not allow property titles for cars to be written in the name of minors. Therefore, the father must sign the title and obtain a new title in his name. When the minor reaches the age of majority, the father may want to transfer ownership of the vehicle. In this case, father and son must follow the instructions for transferring the title as if it were two independent parties. To avoid delays and costs of transferring the title, check before buying the car if it is possible that the title is written immediately in the name of the minor.