You need to be extra cautious while buying used car in Ohio. Auto frauds are rampant especially odometer frauds. Around three million used cars have their odometer turned back. As a buyer you should be on a look out for indicators of excessive car usage like worn out accelerator pedals, brakes and clutch. If possible, before buying the car, have it inspected by a mechanic and order a VIN history check.
When you are satisfied with the condition of the car, you can proceed to the first step in obtaining ownership, namely, the title transfer. In Ohio you will need to handle the process of title transfer yourself if you are buying it from an individual. An Odometer Disclosure Statement form is mandatory in this case. It must be completely filled and signed by the seller and the buyer. But if the vehicle is under ten years old, you can simply fill in the mileage at the back of the title. Next, as a buyer you must make sure that the seller releases the ownership by signing the title in the presence of a notary. The title has to be signed by all people listed on the title and once you sign it as well, it will indicate that the car ownership has been transferred to you.
You should then visit a County Clerk of Courts title office with Application for Certificate of Title, title and bill of sale from the seller. You must also pay a five dollar fee along with sales tax in the form of a pay order, check or in cash. You have to change the title in your name within thirty days of the sale date.
For registering your vehicle, you can visit a local Deputy Registrar Agency. You should bring the original Certificate of Title having a Clerk of Court's seal or Memorandum Certificate of Title. An acceptable identification is also required along with a smog inspection certificate or exemption form if applicable. A power of attorney from the leasing company will have to be furnished if your vehicle is leased.
You are not required to submit a proof of insurance in Ohio, rather you will be asked to sign a statement declaring that you maintain financial responsibility.