How to Sell a Car Without a Title?

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Are you planning to update your car?

Before you purchase a new vehicle, you are likely to want to sell your existing vehicle. Selling a car can be stressful at the best of times and will be even more so if you have lost your car title.

In most cases, you will need your vehicle title in order to sell your car. However, you may find that your car title has become lost, stolen, or damaged beyond repair.

So, let’s find out how to sell a car without a title…

how to sell a car without a title

What is a Car Title, and Why is it Necessary?

A car title is a particular document that proves you have legal ownership of your car. It’s essential to keep this document safe at all times and be willing and able to produce it on demand. Otherwise, you could be accused by a police officer of illegally driving and possessing the vehicle.

This document is given different names by different states, such as a certificate of title or pink slip. The motor vehicles department of each state issues titles to a vehicle owner and transfers ownership after it is sold.

Why the fuss?

Buyers in most states need a certificate of title to complete the title transfer process. After the process is complete, they will have full ownership rights. Otherwise, the vehicle’s new owner could be stopped by the police and accused of stealing the vehicle.

Applying for a New Title

When considering how to sell a car without a title, obviously it’s best, if possible, to at least try to replace your title before arranging to sell your car. Some states require you to hold a title for thirty days before transferring ownership of your vehicle. Here are the basic steps you must go through to apply for a new car title.

Provide Proof of Ownership

If you never had a title for your car and never registered it, you will need to find your original bill of sale. If you do not have a bill of sale, find out which documents can serve as valid proof of ownership. The necessary documents are likely to be slightly different from state to state.

Provide the necessary documentation when applying for a new title and sign an affidavit on ownership. You may need to provide proof that your car is in good working condition. You will need to obtain a certificate of inspection from a state-approved inspector.

how to sell car without a title

Visit The DMV Website

Head to the title replacement page on the DMV website for your state. The exact process of requesting a duplicate title or replacing a lost title will vary slightly from state to state.

Discuss Your Options

Find out if your state can transfer ownership of your car without a title. Some states permit buyers to obtain a temporary permit allowing them to drive a vehicle while waiting for a duplicate title.

In other states, the seller needs to fill out a transfer of ownership form. This will allow the new owner to drive the car before the new title arrives. However, you will still need to apply for a duplicate title to complete the transfer process.

Using Express Services

The DMVs in some states print out your title straight away for an extra fee. Otherwise, you will receive your title by mail in one to two weeks.

Duplicate Title Request Form

The title replacement page on the DMV website provides a link to a title replacement form. It is possible to fill out the form at home, print it, and then take it to the DMV. You can also just fill out your form at the DMV if you prefer.

Gather The Necessary Documents

You need to take your ID, registration, VIN, and other compulsory information to the DMV.

Your state may want you to provide a photograph or pencil rubbing of the VIN, which is found on the driver’s side dashboard. You might also need to fill out an odometer disclosure form.

Pay The Duplicate Title Fee

After submitting the form and the required documents, you will have to pay for your title copy. Fees typically range between $10 and $80 and vary according to vehicle type and state. There will also be an additional fee to have an express title printed on-site.

Create a Bill of Sale

Write a bill of sale listing the year, make, model, sale price, and VIN of your vehicle. Make sure that you include the date of sale and the names, addresses, and signatures of both buyer and seller. Give the buyer the bill of sale and keep a copy for your personal records.

A template bill of sale may be available at your DMV. This will ensure you include all of the necessary information. You can also use this sample bill of sale.

Complete The Transfer Section

There is a transfer section on the back of the title that needs to be filled out. Once you receive your replacement title, you can fill this out. Include your full name, the name of the buyer, and the vehicle mileage in the appropriate fields.

Sign the form and then give it along with a bill of sale to the new owner. Some states may also need the sale price to be listed on the title.

Selling a Vehicle with a Lien

If you are still in the process of paying off installments on your car, you will not have the title. First, you need to find out how much still needs to be paid, which may mean calling the lienholder. If you owe more than the buyer is willing to spend, you will have to pay the difference.

Explain The Process To The Buyer

If the buyer is uneasy about the situation, get the lender to explain the situation to them. If you are selling your car to a dealership instead rather than an individual, they will handle the title clearing process. The dealership will contact the lender on your behalf and take care of all of the details.

Setting Up an Escrow Account

If the buyer is still unsure about completing the purchase, an escrow account will add security. A third party, like a bank, oversees an escrow account and manages the money involved in a transaction. The third party will also release funds at certain stages in the sale agreement.

how to sell car without title

Obtain a Written Statement

Obtain documentation from the lender after paying off the vehicle. After the buyer has paid off the balance, get a written statement that the loan has been paid in full. Make sure that you keep this statement safely in your personal records.

Check in on The Title

Inform the lender where to send the title after the vehicle has been paid off in full. The lender will then release the title to you either in person or by mail.

Transfer The Title to The New Owner

The transaction is complete when you transfer the title to the new owner. Make sure that you fill out the section on the back of the title. Give the buyer the title along with the bill of sale.

Selling a Title-Exempt Vehicle

Check to see if your state provides a title-exempt bill of sale form. Certain states issue titles for older vehicles and offer standardized bill of sale forms that buyers present when they register their car. You will have to make your own bill of sale if your state does not offer a standard bill of sale form.

Notarize The Bill of Sale

The buyer should be able to register the car with a bill of sale. Getting the bill of sale for your vehicle notarized will add validity and may make the registration process smoother. You need to visit a notary public with the buyer to sign the bill of sale and have it notarized.

Fill Out The Title Exempt Form

Fill out the title exempt form for your state and pay the applicable fees. Depending on your state’s requirements, you, the buyer, or both of you need to fill out transfer of ownership forms. You may also have to provide a certificate of inspection from a state-approved inspector.

Finalizing The Transaction

Double-check that the buyer is able to register the exempt vehicle if they are out of state. If the purchaser resides in a state that titles older cars, the process can be a bit tricky. The bill of sale should be sufficient for the buyer to apply for a new title in their state.

You may also need to provide an affidavit stating that you were the previous owner. Other potentially necessary documents include a copy of the vehicle registration form when you owned it and your ID. Before you finalize the transaction, the buyer needs to check their state’s procedures for registering an untitled and title-exempt vehicle.

Are You Just Selling Your Car or Looking To Buy?

If you are, you may want to read about How to Purchase a Car on eBay Motors?

You may also be interested in finding out How to Clean Headlights, How To Find a Car Wash Near Me, How To Remove Smoke Smell from a Car, and How Much does it Cost to Paint a Car in 2021?

And to keep your car in tip-top condition, take a look at our reviews of the Best Car Carpet Cleaners, our Best Clay Bars for Cars Reviews, the Best Convertable Top Cleaner and Protectant, the Best Wheel and Tire Cleaners, as well as the Best Steam Cleaners for Cars you can buy.

Back to selling your car without a title…

Now You Know How to Sell a Car Without a Title!

Selling a car without a title should only be attempted if there is no other option. If your title has been misplaced, it is worth taking the time to search for it one more time. Being able to produce the title will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

If it is not possible to track down the title, make sure you proceed with caution. Check all of the steps carefully to make sure you have covered all the details. Before taking any type of action, it is a good idea to contact your local DMV and seek their advice.

Good luck and happy motoring!

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