Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

You Should File A Notice To Get Your Sold Vehicle Out Of Your Name ASAP

In our weekly discussions with customer service representatives and sales staff, we often unravel unique questions that vehicle sellers face. This week, one question took the spotlight: What steps should you take to notify or enforce the sale of a vehicle when the buyer delays transferring the title? Selling a car through platforms like Craigslist or eBay can pose concerns for sellers if the buyer fails to promptly transfer the title, leading to worries about potential liabilities or legal troubles. In this blog post, we’ll explore essential steps to safeguard yourself in such situations.

Key Considerations When Selling a Vehicle

1. License Plates:

  • In most states, license plates do not stay with the vehicle after a sale. Remove the license plates before completing the transaction to prevent potential liabilities associated with the buyer’s actions.

2. Title Signing:

  • When signing the title, ensure you put the buyer’s name on it. Avoid leaving the title blank or signing it as an open title. Many states require the inclusion of the buyer’s name on the title.

3. Documenting the Sale:

  • Prepare a bill of sale documenting the details of the transfer. Both you and the buyer should sign the document, and it’s wise to keep a copy for your records. Additionally, take note of the buyer’s name and address.

4. Copy of the Title:

  • Make photocopies of both the front and back of the title at the time of transfer. This documentation can serve as evidence of the transaction.

Post-Sale Actions: Protecting Yourself from Liability

1. Obtain a Notice of Sale or Transfer:

  • Most states provide a form for sellers to submit a notice of sale or transfer. This informs the DMV that you are no longer the owner of the vehicle. Even if the buyer fails to transfer the title, submitting this notice is crucial.

2. Example from the State of Missouri:

  • Illustrated with an example from the state of Missouri, such forms typically require sellers to complete sections, sign the notice, and mail it to the specified address. Keeping a copy for your records is advised.

3. Timely Submission:

  • Some states mandate that sellers submit the notice within a specified timeframe, usually within 30 days of the sale. Failure to comply may result in processing issues.

4. Visit the DMV in Person:

  • If your state doesn’t provide an online form, visit the DMV in person. Present your photo ID, bill of sale, and VIN number, explaining that you’ve sold the vehicle and want to remove it from your name.

Seeking Legal Guidance:

  • If concerns about potential liabilities persist, consider consulting an attorney. While we can’t provide legal advice, an attorney can guide you on the best course of action.

Navigating the complexities of vehicle sales and title transfers requires careful attention to detail. By following these steps, you can ensure that your sale is properly documented and that you mitigate potential risks associated with delayed title transfers. Stay tuned for more insightful videos, and feel free to leave your comments below if you have questions about unusual title scenarios that we can address in future content.

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