If a car is over 25 years old, it doesn’t need a title in a lot of states. The reason for that is because the vehicles’ value drops to less than $500 after a couple of decades. In other words, the cost of issuing a title and registering the car with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would be more expensive than the car’s actual value.
You can sell your car without the title. However, the process will differ depending on the state where you reside. Although it’s not impossible to sell a vehicle without a title, it’s essential to take safety measures to ensure a hassle-free sale.
In this article, I will help you learn more about selling a car with no title. I’ll also talk about the states that allow and don’t allow the sale of a car without a title. Finally, I’ll talk about the legal consequences of selling a car with no title and how to sell such a car.
Why Would a Car Not Come With a Title?
There are reasons your car wouldn’t come with a title. Perhaps you bought a vehicle secondhand, but the previous owner didn’t have a title for one reason or other. Maybe you bought a car that was salvaged and would therefore not come with a title.
Car titles are one of the most important documents that you can have. If you don’t have one, there’s no legal proof that you own your vehicle. You risk getting ripped off by dishonest buyers, and if your car is ever stolen, law enforcement won’t be able to prove that you owned the vehicle.
States That Allow Selling Cars Without Titles
As you can see below, there are states that allow the sale of cars without titles. Even then, the rules vary widely by state depending on the kind of car you have. Also, If you lost your title or inherited the vehicle from someone else, you may or may not need to get a duplicate title before you can complete the sale.
- Alabama. Unless the car is a junker or has been salvaged, Alabama will not allow a vehicle to be sold without the car title. The buyer and seller must complete an Application for a Certificate of Title to transfer the title to the new owner.
- Alaska. Alaska has strict rules about selling vehicles without titles. The seller must apply for a bonded title from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) prior to sale.
- Arizona. A person selling their vehicle in Arizona normally needs to have the title and bill of sale, unless the car is at least 25 years old.
- California. California requires all vehicles being sold to come with a smog certificate, and most importantly, the car must have a valid title if it’s not over 25 years old.
- Colorado. Colorado doesn’t allow a vehicle to be sold without having both parties present at the time of transfer, without a bill of sale, or without transferring the title to the new owner.
- Connecticut. To sell your car in Connecticut, you’ll need to complete three copies of Form H-13B (Notice of Sale) and submit them within two days after selling your vehicle. You’ll also need to bring the vehicle’s registration and insurance card to prove you are insured.
- Georgia. In Georgia, you may sell a car older than 1986 without a title.
- Illinois. You may only sell a car that is old and has been registered as scrap by yourself at the DMV. Or you could apply online by following the DMV website and applying for your car to get scraped. Selling a car though is legally not allowed and would require a replacement title.
- Indiana. Similar to Arizona and California, Indiana doesn’t allow the sale of cars without titles unless they’re over 25 years old.
- New Jersey. New Jersey follows similar rules as Alabama — that is, cars without titles are not legally allowed to be sold unless they’re junkers.
- New Hampshire. Sellers of cars registered in New Hampshire may provide a bill of sale instead of a title. If the vehicle is more than 15 years old, neither is necessary.
- Montana. If the car is older than ten years and valued at under $3,000, you can sell it with just a bill of sale as proof of ownership.
- Iowa. For cars older than 12 years and valued under $2,500, all you need is an odometer reading and statement saying there are no liens on the vehicle.
- Pennsylvania. Like Alabama and New Jersey, Pennsylvania usually doesn’t allow the sale of cars without titles unless they’re junkers.
- Wyoming. Wyoming allows selling cars without titles if they’re older than ten years and valued under $1,000 using only a bill of sale as proof of ownership.
- Washington. Washington allows the sale of cars without titles for vehicles older than 15 years, as long as you have a photocopy of your proof of ownership.
States That Don’t Allow Selling Cars Without Titles
On the other hand, the states below don’t allow the sale of cars without titles at all. They don’t have any “ifs” or “buts” regarding the matter. Even if you have a bill of sale, replacement certificate, or proof of ownership other than the car title, you can’t legally sell cars without titles in the following states.
- New York
- North Carolina
- Washington D.C.
What Happens if You Sell a Car Without a Title?
Cars are valuable assets, and they’re easy to steal. That’s why the laws governing who can provide a title on a vehicle vary from state to state. There’s one common thread among all of them, though: If you don’t have a car title, selling your car will be difficult or even impossible..
A car title protects the buyer and seller from potential legal and financial headaches down the road, such as unpaid parking tickets or tolls, lawsuits or other claims against the vehicle. Each state has its own rules about what constitutes an official transfer of ownership from one party to another.
For example, if someone owned your car before you bought it, that person may need to get a title issued in his or her name by the state before passing it on to you. By getting the title in your name, you are now the legal owner of that vehicle, and now responsible for any claims or issues that may arise with it, such as liens.
How To Sell a Car Without a Title
Selling a car without a title can be significantly more difficult than selling it with one. It’s best to avoid selling a car that doesn’t have a title. But if you need to, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.
Consider the Reason You Want To Sell Your Car
Before attempting to sell your car with no title, ask yourself why you need to do so. If it’s because you want to get rid of a junk car or an old clunker, there are better ways to go about it. For example, you can sell it to a company that buys cars without titles. You can search for these companies online, and check reviews on them to make sure they’re legitimate.
Gather Documents That Prove Your Car Ownership
If you want to sell a car without a title, you need rock-solid proof you own the vehicle. Otherwise, the buyer might think you’re trying to pull a fast one by selling someone else’s car. Again, check your state laws to see if a different proof of ownership can replace a car title.
For example, some states may require you to have a notarized bill of sale. The document must include:
- The buyer’s name, address, and driver’s license number
- The seller’s name and address
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
- A description of the vehicle, including the year, make, and model
- The sales price of the vehicle
Get a Replacement or Duplicate Car Title
Alternatively, you can get a replacement title by applying with your state DMV, as well as paying the required fees. You may also have to provide proof of identification or other documents that show proof of your car ownership, such as registration or insurance paperwork and affidavits.
The first step is to check your state’s official DMV or BMV website regarding the process of getting a replacement title for your car. Once you complete the process, you can ask them how long it’ll take before you get the replacement title. If there are any liens against the vehicle, make sure they’re cleared before selling it.
You may also like to read: How to Get a New Car Title
In many cases, the state will require a title to transfer ownership of an automobile. You can sell your vehicle without a title, but you’ll have to meet certain requirements to do so. If you try to sell a car without a title in states that don’t allow it (or you don’t meet the requirements for doing so), you can face severe legal consequences.
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