One of the most important factors when selling a vehicle is transferring the title (certificate of ownership) to the new owner. You can be held liable for the car if the title is not transferred when the time is right.
Your first priority in order to transfer the used car title would be to keep the insurance until the transaction takes place. You will have to make sure that the person who buys the car will insure it once he takes possession of it. This is necessary because the DMV asks for this insurance when you want to transfer the title of the vehicle.
If you have lost your title, you will have to get in touch with the lending institution and ask them to give you another one. If the lender is no longer in the business, you will have to contact the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as they will give you a helping hand.
After you’ve taken care of the title, you will have to meet with the buyer at your local DMV to make sure that both of you sign the necessary documents. The requirements vary from state to state, but in all of them you will most likely be asked to provide a driver’s license, the aforementioned proof of insurance, the title paperwork, a bill of the sale (with the price), the current odometer reading and the car’s VIN (vehicle identification number).
Depending on the state in where you live, you will be asked to pay a transfer fee that will set you back from $200 to $300. Don’t forget to check the DMV for other guidelines that are applicable when selling a car.
We recommend that you provide a bill of sale even if you live in a state that doesn’t ask for this. This document will list the car’s description, VIN, purchase price, date of sale as well as the names of both the buyer and the seller who are involved in the transaction.
If the buyer doesn’t fulfill his portion of the transfer, the car’s title will remain in your name which means that you will be responsible for paying toll violations, parking tickets, even if you are not to blame for these. The local authorities have the power to seize the vehicle if it was used in order to commit an act of crime.
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