Clinton County Clerk of Courts

Title Information

The Certificate of Title to your automobile is similar to the Deed to your real property; take good care of it. Do not carry your certificate of title on your person or in your car, keep it in a safe place. It is your only proof of ownership. If you are in doubt concerning the transferring, buying, selling or mortgaging of a motor vehicle, always call the Clerk of Courts Title Office for complete information.

Attention Notary Public's

Before notarizing any assignment on titles, the seller is required by law to enter all information, or you can complete it for them, before it is signed and notarized. Please note that if the vehicle was jointly owned, both individuals must sign for the notary.

When you buy a car

Never make any alterations or erasures on a Certificate of Title. If this is done, the title becomes null and void and a replacement title will have to be obtained. Do not fill in any part of the assignment or application on the reverse side of the title unless it is done in the presence of a Notary Public or other duly authorized officer with power to administer oaths. All signatures must be notarized. If two names are to appear on the title, both signatures are required for all transactions in the State of Ohio. It is required that a state issued picture I.D. or Ohio Driver's License be presented at the time of transfer. Your title must be issued within 30 days after the assignment or you will be subject to a $5.00 late fee. Always check the Serial Number on the vehicle and make sure it corresponds with the serial number on your Certificate of Title.

WROS (With Right of Survivorship)

A vehicle can be titled upon request to - two owners with rights of survivorship. When one of the parties passes away, the survivor presents the title along with a copy of the death certificate and a title will then be issued in their name.

Transfer on Death (Effective 7/23/2002)

When a title is issued, you may designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Full legal name, social security number, address and date of birth is required for beneficiary.

When you sell a car

Do not execute the assignment on the reverse side of the Title until a bona fide sale has been made. Seller is required by law to enter all information, including the true selling price, odometer reading and purchaser’s name. Initials or "nicknames" are not acceptable. Use full legal name.

Duplicate Titles

If original title is lost, stolen or destroyed, you may obtain a Duplicate Title. If, after issuance of Duplicate, the original is recovered, please destroy. Bring your registration, or year, make and serial number in when applying.


A Title is not required on any trailer weighing less than 4,000 pounds. To obtain a license plate for trailers weighing less than 4,000 pounds have the trailer weighed and present the weight slip to the BMV to purchase plates.

Motor Homes, Travel Trailer and Truck Camper

All are required to be titled. To convert a van to a motor home or after installation of a camping unit on your pick-up truck, you must record the "body change" with your Clerk of Courts Title Office. Both titles for the truck camper and pick-up truck must be presented to issue a new title.

Manufactured Homes

The owner of a manufactured home is required to obtain a title. All manufactured home titles must have a "tax approval stamp" from the County Treasurer and County Auditor offices where the manufactured home is located before transferring. The transfer is done in the same manner as motor vehicle titles.

Out of State Vehicle inspection

Any vehicle transferred from out of state to an Ohio title must be physically inspected by an authorized car dealer in Ohio or any Deputy Registrar.

The customer pays $3.50 fee to the Inspector and $1.50 at the Title Office.

Power of Attorney

No person can sign for you without a notarized Power of Attorney form. This POA is attached to our files and becomes a part thereof. Durable and general POA’s are also accepted.

Minor Consent Form

A minor consent form is required when buying or selling a vehicle and must be signed by a parent or legal guardian for anyone under 18 years of age. State issued I.D.'s are required.

Sales Tax

Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.06 requires Ohio sales tax be paid to the Clerk of Courts when an application for a Title is presented. A Use Tax must be paid by a resident of Ohio when he purchases a vehicle outside the State of Ohio. If tax has been paid out of state at the time of purchase, the customer must furnish proof of payment from the department of Revenue/Taxation to receive credit. If there is a difference in the tax, only that amount is due and collected.

Junk Vehicles

When you dismantle, destroy or change the character of your automobile so that it no longer is a complete vehicle, you must surrender your Title to the Clerk of Courts for cancellation.

Salvage Title

State law prohibits any vehicle that has been titled as salvaged to be on the road until said title is issued as a rebuilt salvage. Questions please contact the title office.

Memorandum Certificate

A memorandum title (white copy) is used only to purchase license plates. You cannot transfer ownership of an automobile with a memorandum title.

Surviving Spouse

A surviving spouse may obtain up to two vehicles with an appraised value of up to $40,000. Also, one boat and one outboard motor can be transferred upon the death of a spouse. Titles need not be probated. A motorcycle qualifies as one of the vehicles.

Change of Name

If your name is changed through marriage or divorce, the name on your title cannot be changed. Name changes on a title can only be issued by court order.

Social Security Number

Social Security numbers are required on all transactions pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.07.

Buying a Boat or Motor

A title is required on all boats 14 feet or longer and all outboard motors 10 HP or more. Jet skis and wave-runners also require a title. Canoes and kayaks are exempt. Before purchasing a boat, motor, jet ski, or wave-runner, be sure the seller has the Certificate of Title.

Selling a Boat or Motor

Do not execute the assignment on the reverse side of the title until a bona fide sale has been made. Make certain that the buyer’s full name and address is inserted before you sign the assignment. You must have your signature notarized. If the title is in two names, the notary must witness both signatures. If you do not have a title for your boat or motor and purchased it prior to Oct. 10, 1963, your Clerk of Courts may issue a title to you based on your registration and sworn statement. If you purchased a jet ski or wave-runner before a title was required, you must obtain a title and assign that title to the buyer.

Serial Numbers

Effective July 4, 2002, all watercraft are required to have 12-character Hull ID # before a title can be issued.

If there is no manufacturer's serial number, or if the manufacturer's serial number has been removed, a serial number must be affixed to the boat or motor before a title can be issued. Application for a serial number is made to the Division of Watercraft.

Forms mentioned herein may be obtained at the Title office or can be found under forms on this website.

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