Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Didn’t Get A Title From A Car Dealer?

So here’s another example of curb stoning or backyard car sales that proves it’s still going on. This is something that’s been happening for 40+ years. In the ’90s, it fell out of favor, but with less prosecution or regulation, more people are engaging in it, especially in Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

Legal Requirements for Car Dealers
If you’re someone who buys and sells cars for a living, you have to have a dealer’s license. Obtaining a license is challenging and requires having a licensed automotive dealer, insurance, a commercial location, and more. Many individuals opt to avoid these requirements and instead flip cars, buying them on platforms like Craigslist and selling them on Facebook.

Risks for Buyers
The problem for consumers is significant. Vehicles from backyard dealers are not properly represented. Licensed dealers have to provide certain assurances about the vehicle’s safety and inspections, even if it is sold “as is.” Backyard dealers, lacking a license, sidestep these obligations, putting buyers at risk.

Unlicensed Backyard Car Sales
According to a lawsuit, a person in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, was selling used vehicles, many in need of major repairs, through Facebook Marketplace. Despite using the name “Dave’s Auto Sales” in ads, the individual was not licensed to sell these vehicles, leading to potential legal issues for buyers.

Deceptive Advertising and Title Issues
The person advertised the vehicles as roadworthy, but they needed repairs and did not have valid titles. This creates a situation where buyers might not receive a proper title, leading to various issues. The individual made themselves out to be a trustworthy dealer, deceiving consumers about the reliability of the vehicles.

Lack of Written Agreements and Paperwork
The unlicensed dealer refused to provide customers with a written agreement, submit paperwork to PennDOT, and complete the title. In some cases, the person illegally repossessed vehicles, further violating legal and ethical standards.

Protecting Yourself as a Buyer
When purchasing a vehicle, it’s crucial to ensure it’s from a licensed, legitimate dealer or, if from a private seller, to scrutinize the title carefully. Checking the legal owner’s name on the title and verifying it against the seller’s ID is essential to avoid potential title issues.

Title Problems and Solutions
Many title problems can be prevented at the time of sale. Issues like flip titles, jump titles, or damaged titles can be avoided with due diligence. While a bill of sale is helpful, it might not be sufficient in all cases, as some vehicles may not be eligible for a title or may have outstanding taxes or liens.

Risks of Purchasing a Vehicle Without a Title
Buying a vehicle without a title poses risks, and ensuring you protect yourself is crucial. While solutions exist, such as those on, resolving title issues may require substantial effort. It’s important to be aware of potential obstacles, such as leans, salvage designations, or probate issues.

Inspection Requirements and Emissions
In some states, when a title is transferred, the car must undergo inspection. Failing inspections or emissions testing can complicate the title transfer process. Understanding the specific requirements in your state is essential to avoiding unexpected challenges.

Seeking Assistance and Conclusion
If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve purchased a vehicle without a title, various solutions are available. Visiting websites like can provide helpful resources and assistance. While there’s no magic bullet for obtaining a title, persistence and proper guidance can often lead to a successful resolution. If you’re facing challenges, seeking assistance from experts in the field can make the process more manageable.

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

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