In the US most states require that a car owner have a title of ownership in order to sell it. This means that it is typically not legal to sell the vehicle unless you possess that title. Some owners might have lost their title or the bank may have had a lien on it and the owner failed to get a clear title when they finished making the last payment to the bank. There are a few states that don’t provide titles when a car is very old. Here we’ll take a look at the rules for selling a car without title.
What Is A Car Title And Why Is It Important?
The title to a car is an official document that proves a particular person owns that vehicle. If you’ve heard the term pink slip then that too is a term that often refers to the title. When someone buys the car from you they will expect you to sign over the title to them showing that they now on the car.
The title itself will indicate certain things about the car. If the car has never been in a major accident then it will show as a clean title. If it was in a bad accident and the insurance company totaled it out then it might indicate on the title one of several different conditions. It could be that it is a salvaged vehicle, it could be a rebuilt vehicle, or it could have some term that represents the fact that it is considered to be an unrepairable vehicle.
Get The Title Replaced
If the car is legitimately yours and you simply lost the title then you should look into getting it replaced. Very often if you intend to sell the car in most states without a title, you could receive a ticket and a misdemeanor charge. The Division of Motor Vehicles in your state should be able to instruct you on how you can get a new title for your car. If you happen to live in a state where old cars are not titled then in that situation a bill of sale will be sufficient to legally transfer the car’s ownership to the new owner.
Check To See If It’s Possible To Transfer Car Ownership Without A Title In Your State
If you’re selling a car without title then you’ll need to check to see what the rules are in your state for doing so. It might be that the DMV will issue a temporary permit and then later send a duplicate title. If it is a state that allows an older vehicle to be sold with just a bill of sale then you can get that from them as well.
Sell It For Junk To A Salvage Yard
If you feel the car is in such poor condition that it won’t bring very much money and you don’t want to go to the trouble of getting a duplicate title then you might call on a salvage yard. They will sometimes pay you a small amount for the vehicle and haul it away with no charge. They will pay you cash and they usually only want to see the car registration and your driver’s license.