Michigan Car Title Transfer and Registration

Vehicle registration must be completed with Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS) in order to legally drive on MI roadways. So what do you need to take with you to complete your transaction the first time? It depends on how you own your automobile (leasing, making payments, or owner with title) and how you want to register (single, joint, business or transfer to family member) your automobile.

After establishing residency in the Great Lakes state, you must immediately register your vehicle with Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS).

Vehicle Registration & Title Transfer Process

Vehicle registration and titling generally occur simultaneously. To obtain a Michigan vehicle registration certificate, visit your local SOS office with:

  • Proof of Michigan no-fault car insurance (your former out-of-state auto insurance coverage cannot be used).
  • Current out-of-state vehicle title.
    • All owners must be present. If an owner listed on the title is unable to appear, they must:
  • Out-of-state vehicle registration, if your title is being held by a lienholder (certificate can be current or recently expired).
  • A completed Application for Michigan Vehicle Title (TR-11L).
  • Proof of identification (out-of-state driver’s license, photo ID card, birth certificate).
  • Payment to cover registration and titling fees.

Your Michigan car registration certificate will expire on the owner’s birthday.

To be sure you have everything you need before getting in line at your local Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS) office, visit www.transfermyauto.com, answer 3 to 5 questions to generate a checklist of what is needed. Military personnel often get tax breaks in many states, your checklist will indicate if this is the case.