Information Release

ST 1982-01 - Documentary Fees -Updated November, 2004 UPDATED - Supersedes Information Release Dated January 29, 1982

This department was contacted by the Ohio Auto Dealers Association regarding a “documentary fee” charge being made by some auto dealers.

Based on the explanation given by this Association that this is an additional charge to the customer for various services such as paper work, title runners expenses, costs incurred in making financial arrangements, etc., they were advised that these charges are part of the tax base and subject to the sales tax. Such charges are considered within the definition of price and part of the income from the sale of the motor vehicle.

5739.01(H)(1)(a) Ohio Revised Code states in part:

(H)(1)(a) “Price”, except as provided in divisions (H)(2) and (3) of this section, means the total amount of consideration, including cash, credit, property, and services, for which tangible personal property or services are sold, leased, or rented, valued in money, whether received in money or otherwise, without any deduction for any of the following…:

(iii) Charges by the vendor for any services necessary to complete the sale;

The charges for notary and title fees, which are separately stated on the customers' invoice, are not subject to the tax.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact one of our Taxpayer Services Centers at 1-888-405-4039, or e-mail us through our website at

Telephone: 1-800-750-0750