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Practice Corner: New Law Adds Extra Step to Private Car Sales

By March 28, 2016April 28th, 2020No Comments

On January 1, 2016 a new law came into effect that adds a reporting requirement to the private sale of a car.

Under the statute, a private sale is defined as a sale that occurs between two individuals.

In other words, the new statute does not apply if one of the parties are a dealership, charity, or company.

The law – Wisconsin Statute § 342.41 – requires the seller to complete, deliver and file with the DOT a new MV-2870 Form within 30 days of the sale.

The one-page form is available for completion and submission online.

Information needed to complete the form includes the seller’s name, contact information, birthday and driver license or social security number.

The Vehicle Identification Number and the vehicle’s year, make and model are also required.

Finally, the date of sale, sales price, and buyer’s name must be included.

This new law is an addition to existing automobile sale requirements.

It does not replace existing requirements for a private sale transaction.

For example, the seller must still sign and date the title and complete the title’s vehicle odometer mileage statement.

Of course, if you still have debt or another lien on the vehicle that lien will need to be addressed prior to sale.

Certain disclosures must be made as well, including whether the vehicle was salvaged or has suffered flood damage.

In addition to the above requirements, it remains good practice for private individuals to memorialize their car sale with a bill of sale.

The bill of sale should describe the vehicle, parties, date of sale, and price.

If you have any questions regarding the new private car sale requirement, contact your FOS attorney.