Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Getting a Title From a Closed Car Dealership

If you recently bought a car from a dealership that is no longer in business, you might have an issue getting the title transferred to your name. Unfortunately, when a dealership is getting ready to go out of business or having financial troubles, they’ll sell vehicles that they don’t have the title for or can’t obtain the title for without paying off a lien first. This way, they avoid extra fees for registration and/or liens since they’re going out of business anyway. So where does that leave the new owner? The dealership is hoping that this will now be their problem, but there are still ways to get your car title from a closed dealership.

States like New Jersey have a clear process for acquiring a car title, should the dealership go out of business before you get the title. If you bought a car without a title from a dealership in New Jersey that went out of business prior to issuing your car title, you can apply to acquire a title from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC). This is a 14 step process that allows for emergency application for vehicle title in the event that your dealership has gone out of business prior to issuing your: title, plates, and/or registration. Each state handles this process differently, be sure to check your state’s requirements before proceeding with any official application.

Other states, like Indiana, have a different process requiring you to contact the dealership directly. If your state requires you to contact the dealership directly, the first step is to look up the business in your state’s Secretary of State database and search for the principal name, registered agent, and addresses. Next, write your letter clearly stating what you need from the dealership and send it by certified mail to the principal, registered agent, and any additional officers listed. Before sending any letters, it’s important to review your state’s requirements to ensure all of the criteria are met and that the correct parties will receive your letter. Sending your letter to multiple contacts within the company increases the likelihood that you will receive a response and provides proof that you attempted to make contact.

Car buying might be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. But if you’re scammed, it can quickly become unpleasant. The best way to prevent yourself from buying a car with no title is to ask for the dealership to show you the physical title. While they may not be able to hand over the title at that time, they can show you that they physically have it. If they’re a reputable dealership, they’ll show you the title. Even if you’ve already bought a car without a title, there are still ways to get the title you deserve.

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

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

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