Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Can You Register A Car Without A Title?

Is it legal to register a car without a title? The short answer is: sometimes.

A car title, or vehicle title, is a legal government document that assigns ownership of a specific vehicle. The proper way to transfer a car title is to have the prior original certificate of title signed over to you by the prior owner. The new owner can then take the title to the DMV and apply for a new title and registration in their name. But what happens when you’re missing the title?

Registering a car without a title

In most states, you’ll need the properly assigned title to register a vehicle. The vehicle registration states who is authorized to operate the vehicle, while the title states who owns the vehicle as well as the title brand of the vehicle (if any). However, there are a few scenarios where you may be able to register a car without a title:

  1. The vehicle was last titled in a state that does not issue a title certificate for proof of ownership.
  2. The vehicle model year is too old to be titled in your jurisdiction.
  3. You’re using the Vermont registration process to get a title for an out-of-state vehicle.

Many states have title regulations that do not allow for vehicles above a certain age to receive a title. Usually, this threshold is 20-30 years old at the time of purchase. In this case, a registration document will be your state’s equivalent to a title for your age of vehicle. There may be other scenarios where you can register a car without a title in your state, but these are the most common.

If you’ve recently purchased the vehicle, but simply lost the title, didn’t get it, or damaged it before it could be transferred, you’ll likely have to get a new title in your name before you can register the vehicle.

How to get a new title

There are many methods to get a new title for a vehicle, all depend on the amount of ownership documentation you currently have.

Prior owner contact

Contact the prior owner to obtain the original certificate of title. If they don’t have it, request that they get a duplicate title and sign that over to you instead. Ownership records are considered private information and protected by the DMV. If you don’t have access to the prior owner information, can help locate them and make contact.

Vermont registration process

Also known as the Vermont registration loophole, the Vermont registration process is a method used by out-of-state residents to get a title for a 15-year-old or older vehicle using a bill of sale. You’ll receive a registration document for your vehicle that you can then transfer to a title and registration in your state.

Bonded title

If your state accepts bonded titles, you can obtain a surety bond, or title bond, to secure your claim of ownership. If your state allows for this process, this is typically the most direct way to get a new title.

Typically you’ll need the signed original certificate of title to get a new title and registration for your car. Before using the title recovery method listed above, make sure that your vehicle is required and eligible to be titled in your state. If it’s your car, you deserve a title and registration in your name. takes the hassle out of applying for a title for your vehicle. Our team of title experts can help prepare your paperwork for your bonded title, Vermont registration process, prior owner contact, court-order title, or any other title recovery method provided.

Want to discuss your complex title problem with a title expert? Schedule a no-obligation, live consultation with a title expert through!×72.jpg

Want a professional to do it for you?

For as little as $159 for most processes, we will save you the headache and prepare all of the car title paperwork needed to get you a new title. Simply choose the title recovery method you’d like to use and we’ll get started!

Select your title recovery method:

Order Vermont Title LoopholeOrder Deceased Owner Title TransferOrder Bonded Title ProcessOrder Abandoned Vehicle ProcessOrder Prior Owner ContactOrder Lien Release Request Letter

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

Book a consultation with a Car Title Expert from to get personalized guidance on your title recovery journey.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

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