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Did you buy a car with no title? If you have, you’re not alone. Navigating the auto market can be tricky, but it gets even more so when you find your vehicle is missing its title. Whether you’re planning to sell a car without a title or you’re buying a car with no title, it’s imperative to know ahead of time that buying or selling a vehicle without a title is actually illegal in most jurisdictions. Typically, vehicles cannot be registered without a title and if your vehicle cannot be registered, you cannot legally drive it.
However, just because there’s no title doesn’t mean you can’t still get one. The first step in obtaining a title for a car without a title is to determine if the car was legally obtained or if it was stolen. One way to check the history of your car is through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) by searching your car’s VIN through their database. This database not only can tell you if your car was previously stolen but will also tell you if it has ever been junked. If your car’s VIN is found in the NMVTIS record as junk, you may not be able to get a title. If your car’s history is clear and you have the necessary documentation to obtain a car title, here are four methods for title recovery for cars without a title:
A bonded title can be obtained if you have a car with no title and limited documentation. The bonded title process requires the vehicle owner to purchase a surety bond for the vehicle which typically is under $100. The surety bond allows for protection for the lender if someone else were to prove ownership of the vehicle or otherwise invalidate the bonded title. Once you have your bonded title, you can register the vehicle at your local DMV. Be sure to check your state laws as not all states accept bonded titles.
The Vermont title loophole has been used for years as a way for vehicle owners to get a title for a vehicle over 15 years old. Vermont is a non-titling jurisdiction, meaning they do not produce titles for vehicles over a certain year. The loophole is that just about anyone, not just residents of Vermont can use this method if they have a bill of sale and a car over 15 years old. By registering your 15+-year-old car in Vermont, the registration itself is the state’s version of a car title for that age of vehicle. After you register your car in Vermont, you can then transfer the registration to a title in your home state.
Were you the last titled owner of the vehicle? If so, filing for a duplicate title is the easiest way to get a new car title. Simply visit the DMV in the state where you were the last titled owner, provide the necessary documentation and identification, then they’ll reissue you a title. If you’re applying for a duplicate title, please note that you cannot apply for a duplicate title in a state other than the last titled state. For example, if your car was last titled in Florida, but you now live in Colorado, you must contact the Florida DMV to obtain your duplicate title. Similarly, if you were not the last titled owner of this vehicle, this title recovery method will not work.
If all else fails, your county court may be able to help. A court-ordered title is a very valuable method to get a title. It may take some extra steps, but once you have a court order from a judge that declares you the owner of the vehicle, the DMV is required by law to issue you a new title in your name. Use this method as a last resort as the courts will likely require you to attempt to get a title using other methods first.
Using any of these methods may be beneficial to get you a car title, make sure to check with your state and local laws to ensure these methods are valid in your location. The vehicle title provides proof of ownership and if you’re buying a car, getting the title in your name is the best way to ensure your asset is safe. Need assistance getting your car title? Our Title Experts can prepare documents for any of the listed title recovery methods whether you’re selling your car or buying one. Not sure what type of title best fits your situation? Text TITLE to (402) 698-4853 or (402) MY TITLE.
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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!
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Order Vermont Title LoopholeOrder Deceased Owner Title TransferOrder Bonded Title ProcessOrder Abandoned Vehicle ProcessOrder Prior Owner ContactOrder Lien Release Request Letter
Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.
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