Seal of State of Ohio
Seneca County Clerk of Courts
Title Department
Title Office Hours
Monday through Friday
Hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Watercraft Registration
Monday through Friday
Hours: 8:30am - 4:00pm

103 E. Market Street, Suite 101
Tiffin, Ohio 44883
Phone: (419) 447-0671
Fax: (419) 443-7919

General Information

The information listed below is intended to provide answers to some commonly asked questions. As title procedures and requirements may vary, please call our office for more information before stopping in. Additional documentation may be required.

REMEMBER: That 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 your Clerk of Courts Title Department for complete information.

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 the 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 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.

When Purchasing A Vehicle From Out Of State
When purchasing a vehicle that is currently titled in another state, make sure that the seller completes the assignment on the out of state title. If that state requires a notary, their signature will need to be notarized. A Bill of Sale is required, if purchased from a dealer. Used vehicles purchased out-of-state require a serial number inspection. This is a physical inspection that can be obtained by an authorized new or used car dealer in Ohio or any Deputy Registrar.

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.

Sales Tax
Sales Tax is due at the time the title is issued. Customer will be charged sales tax based on the county they reside.

Surviving Spouse
A surviving spouse may transfer an unlimited number of motor vehicles (car, pickup truck or motorcycle) with the combined appraised value of up to $65,000 into their name. Also, one boat and one outboard motor can be transferred into their name. The surviving spouse would bring in the title, their ID, the Death Certificate of the decedent to transfer the title into their name. Any other titles will need to be probated before they can be transferred.

With Rights of Survivorship
The title must be placed in two peoples’ names. Please let us know if you want WROS on the title. You need to sign your name and write WROS behind your signature. If you sell the vehicle, both owners will need to sign off of the title and include the WROS behind your signature. If one of the owners passes away, the surviving owner brings in the title, their ID, and the Death Certificate of the decedent and transfers the title into their name. A transfer on death beneficiary (T.O.D.) may be added in addition to WROS on your title. If one owner passes away, the second owner can transfer the title into their name and keep the T.O.D. beneficiary assigned or change at the time of title issuance. If both owners pass away at the same time, the T.O.D. beneficiary may transfer the title into their name.

Transfer On Death (T.O.D.)
A Transfer on Death form is necessary to designate your beneficiary(s). You will need the full legal name, social security number, and date of birth of the beneficiary(s). The T.O.D. must be indicated on the original title. If the owner passes away, the beneficiary(s) brings in the title, their ID, and the Death Certificate of the decedent and transfer the title into their name(s). A T.O.D. beneficiary may also be added in addition to WROS on a title (see paragraph above).

Watercraft Title Information

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 now require a title. The seller is required to provide the buyer of jet skis and wave runners with a title assigned to the buyer. Canoes and kayaks are exempt. Before purchasing a boat, motor, jet ski, or wave runner, be sure the seller has the Certificate of Title.

Serial Numbers
Effective July 4, 2002, all watercraft are required to have a 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 Div. of Watercraft. Forms may be obtained at your County Clerk’s office.