Transferring Car Ownership to Another Person? Here’s What to Do

There comes a point in your life when you have to sell your old vehicle and buy a newer one. And it's not as easy as you might think (at least for some people). When I sold our old car, it literally took me half an hour to get out of the driver's seat--and another half to give the keys to the buyer.

Call it over sentimental--but heck, that car drove me through my entire college years daily without a single complaint. What's more, french fries never tasted better than when I'm using my favorite food holder on the dashboard.

But still, it has to be done. When transferring your car ownership to a buyer, you need to make sure that all your documents and procedures are right on track. That way, there won't be any loose ends that will suddenly throw you off-kilter.

"Registered Owner Rule"

Loose ends here, mean liability. According to the Registered Owner Rule, the person registered on the certificate will be responsible for anything that the car will be involved in--and that includes the driver hitting a pedestrian or even using the vehicle to rob a bank.

Therefore, it's very important that you properly transfer your car ownership to the new owner. The last thing you want here is to get locked up in jail for something you didn't do.

How to Properly Register Your Car

Here are the documents you need when transferring your car ownership to another person:

  • Original copy of the Certificate of Registration (CR) or Certificate of Registration Encumbered (CRE)

  • Original copy of Official Receipt (OR) of payment of latest (up-to-date) Motor Vehicle User's Charge (MVUC) and other fees

  • Original copy of the Deed of Sale/ Transfer/ Conveyance

  • Confirmation of CR/OR in case the transacting district office is different from the district office that issued the current certificate of registration

  • Deed of sale with assumption of mortgage with bank's conformity

  • Written consent from the financing company in case of CRE

  • Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate.

  • Duly accomplished and approved Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)

  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover (COC)

  • Taxpayer's Identification Number (TIN)


  1. Go to LTO District Office. This is on any Online District Office. Make sure all your documents are complete, and submit them to the evaluator.

  2. There will be an actual inspection of the car. This will include emissions testing, with duly accomplished MVIR.

  3. Proceed to the cashier when your name is called for the necessary fees and get an Official Receipt (OR).

  4. Wait at the Releasing Counter for your Certificate of Registration (CR), plates, stickers, and other requested documents.

Tips and Guidelines

1) Getting your Motor Vehicle Clearance Certificate will take you around 3 working days from the date of application or any HPG directory office. Here is their schedule:

Days and Time:

 Monday - Friday / 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, with no noon break

Location: PNP Highway Patrol Group (PNP Camp General Crame, Q.C., MM.)

2) Remember that PNP-HPG will confirm your chassis and engine numbers as valid and untampered with. This requires them to use a macro-etching procedure that uses a paint remover.

 3) Don't know how to write your deed of sale? You might want to try this template.

4) In case you don't know what an Insurance Certificate of Cover (COC) is, it's the document presented to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) that proves your car has an existing Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL) coverage.

Remember, selling your car will take a lot of effort on your part--and that includes properly transferring your car ownership to a buyer. Make sure you tie up all the loose ends first before you bid adieu to your vehicle. That way, you'd get to enjoy your new car without worries and hassles down the road.

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