If I Paint My Car a Different Color Do I Have to Change the Title?

If I Paint My Car a Different Color Do I Have to Change the Title

After several years, some car owners might want a different look for their vehicle and as a result, decide to repaint it a different color.

With a different color, it seems to everyone else, the authorities included, like these car owners purchased a new vehicle, which makes them wonder whether they need a change of documents.

Also, on the title, the color written down and filed would now be different from the one that they have changed to, which begs the question; if I paint my car a different color do I have to change the title?

No, you don’t have to change the title of your car if you paint it a different color. This is because, inherently and legally, your car will always be the same color that it came in, irrespective of whether you covered it in new paint. However, it is wise to inform the DMV about the color change.

When Should I Paint my Car a Different Color?

There are three important times that you should consider changing the paint of your car to a different one entirely.

First, when your preferences change. This happens a lot. Our preferences and tastes as humans change from time to time, and so, even though you could have preferred a light blue car when you were purchasing it, your preference can later change and then you decide you want a black car instead.

The easiest way to get that is to repaint it, especially if you love every other working of the vehicle, and you don’t want to swap it or sell it off to get a black car.

The second time when you might want to consider changing the color of your car to a different one is when you want to keep up with the times and update the color of your car, especially when the car is still in perfect working condition, and you don’t have enough money to purchase a new car yet.

For example, several decades ago, the trend was purchasing bright colored vehicles such as bright green, blue, pink, etc, but now in the 21st century, except it’s a white vehicle, most people prefer less shouty colors such as navy blue, quiet red, black, etc.

The times have changed, and so has the trend. If you had a bright yellow vehicle, a color that was trendy at the time, you might want to change the color to a more modern one, especially if it is still very good and can still run for a couple more years.

The third important time you might want to change the color is when you want to resell it and the color the vehicle came in has faded, and you just simply want a very new look to attract buyers.

Getting a different color, or just repainting it works a lot when trying to resell your car.

If I Paint My Car a Different Color Do I Have to Change the Title?

No, you don’t need to change the title of your car simply because you changed the color of the car. The details on the registration, such as the model of the vehicle, year, and color are all sourced from the factory condition. This means that the color on the registration document or car title is the color that the car came from the factory.

Although you are encouraged to inform the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), as well as your insurer, of any changes in your car, and the color of your car, you still don’t need to change the title of your vehicle, unless otherwise advised by the DMV.

When Should I Change My Car Title?

To know when to change your car title, you should first know what a car title is. A car title is a document that confirms the ownership of a car.

This means that the name of the person or people on the car title represents the owner(s) of the car, and then some other details in the car title are model of vehicle, year, color, brand, etc.

A change of car title, then, is required when there is a change of ownership. This means when Mr. Audrey is transferring ownership of his vehicle to Mr. Brownie, either through purchase, gift, inheritance, or donation, there must be a change of car title.

Also, you might have to change your car title when you need to make corrections to your name. This means that if Mr. Audrey was spelled on the car title as Mr. Oadrey, he would have to change his car title, so it would represent on paper that Mr. Oadrey is transferring ownership to Mr. Audrey, which is the correct name.

Importance of Changing or Updating Car Title

Here are some of the importance of changing or updating your car title:

1. Trouble with Highway Patrol Officers

If you don’t change your car title or update when you should, then you will invariably get into trouble with patrol officers when they pull you over for random checks.

If they find out there are any discrepancies between your valid documents and the car title, or that the car title is not the obtainable standard at that time, you will get into trouble.

2. Proof of Ownership

If you sell your car to another person, or if you purchase a car from another person who’s owned the car earlier, you and the buyer or seller, as the case may be, have to change the title of the car to the updated details.

This means that the name of the old owner will be replaced by the name of the new owner, as proof to authorities and anyone relevant that ownership of the vehicle has changed.

3. Registration Purposes

To register a vehicle that hasn’t been registered before in a state, your car title must be updated, and all the details are correct.

4. Resale Purposes

Also, you have to change or update your car title with the recent and relevant information if you are looking to resell the car.

If there’s inconsistency with the car title, then it is not enough to prove that you are the owner of the car, and as a result, you might not be able to sell the car.


You might change the color of your vehicle for any reason, and although it is advisable to tell your insurer and the DMV of this change, or any other relevant change, you don’t have to change your car title as a result.

You are only required to change your car title when there’s a transfer of ownership, or there’s an update in your details, such as a change of name, or a correction of name.