If you own a car, you probably know what a vehicle title is, but do you know how important it is? We all know the DMV can be a stickler when it comes to documents, but it’s important to know just how careful you should be when completing your title once you sell your car and exactly how to fill it out.
The title document essentially lays out all the information the DMV or potential new owner will need to know about the vehicle- the year, make, model, vehicle identification number and its legal owner. As the owner, it is your responsibility to make sure all the needed sections are completed and the new owner’s name is listed as the purchaser/buyer. If ownership is not transferred, you are never really released from the liability of the car. Say the new driver, on his way home from McDonald’s, sees the light in front of him turn yellow. Just like many of us, he thinks “I can make it” and hits the gas, passing that white line right as the light turns red. The camera sitting on top of the street light flashes and the license plate on the car comes back to you. Yes, even though you were not driving and you have the new 60” smart TV to prove you sold the car, you will be held responsible. This is because the purchaser of your beloved car failed to transfer ownership.
How can you prevent this from happening? Be sure to complete all the purchaser information. Your state will also offer some form of a release of liability. Typically, this is a simple form you will complete listing the new owners information. This just notifies the DMV that you did sell your car, even if the new owner has not transferred ownership.
In order to successfully sell your car and transfer ownership, you need to make sure you have the correct paperwork. You will need the most recently issued vehicle title. If you have lost your title, contact us or your DMV to confirm what you will need. Some states offer a title exemption that will allow you to legally sell your junk car without going through the hassle of ordering a duplicate title. It is also important to check the front of the title and see exactly who needs to sign off as the seller(s). The front of the title will list the registered owner(s), this is who needs to sign. If you are the sole owner of the car, only you need to sign! If it lists more than one person, and says nothing or “and” between the names, both people need to sign. If it lists “or” between the names, sometimes represented with a “/” only one of the owners needs to sign. Once all the seller(s) have signed and the purchaser’s name and address are listed, the only thing left is the odometer reading. In most states, this is exempt if the vehicle is ten years or older. You can always contact us or your local DMV to confirm. If your car is newer than ten years, you will need to complete the odometer reading. It is important that it is exact, or it could affect the value of the vehicle.
Lastly, hand all the completed documents to the new owner of your junk car. Now that the car is out of your possession, make sure you fill out any release forms the DMV requires and turn in your license plate, if needed. After this is done, you can sit back and relax knowing you just got cash for your junk car!
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