Buying A Car Without A Title

Buying A Car Without A Title: What To Do

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Buying a car without a title is like owning a vehicle without any proof of ownership, and this is a bad idea. It is quite risky because in case someone out there has a title to that vehicle you drive, then there’s every possibility you will lose your vehicle to them even though you might have genuinely bought it. 

A car title basically means that you have legal ownership of the vehicle. If you buy a car without a title, whoever has possession of the title can claim ownership of the vehicle even though you had paid for the vehicle. And in order to register that new car, you need to title for proof of ownership. Despite this fact, there can also be circumstances that prompt buying a car without a title. However, what you need to do is to find ways to mitigate the risks that arise from such buy. In any case, there are ways to go about it to keep your vehicle safe and secure. If you plan on buying a car without a title, we will enlighten you on ways to go about it in this article.

What is a Car Title & Why Do You Need It?

Before we offer tips on how to go about buying a car without a title and what to do about it, let’s go through some of the reasons why owning a car title is necessary. After all, the question is ‘what’s the big deal about title ownership?

In simple terms, a car title is a document that confers the ownership of a car on you. It is proof that the car is your legal property, that it truly belongs to you. The idea behind a car title is that the original owner legally sold it to you. 

It features essential personal information required by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It also contains details about the registration process and cost. In the document are also the records of the history of the purchase of the car., how and where the purchase took place, as well as the signature of the seller. 

As a buyer, you will need to put the correct information in the car title. You must also keep it safe to avoid creating an issue when you’re required to provide it.

  • Conduct an Extensive Research

There are some genuine reasons while most vehicle sellers do not have the title of the vehicle they are planning to sell. There might be a possibility that the documents of ownership got lost a long time ago. 

In most cases, some of the vehicles that also lack titles happen to be vintage types. When the former owner of the car doesn’t have a title for the car, it becomes difficult for the buyer to get one as well. 

However, you must have it in mind that since there are genuine reasons, chances are there might also be illegal reasons. In most cases, it might be a stolen vehicle. It is why we recommend you conduct extensive research before buying a car without a title.

  • Obtain a Surety Bond

Depending on your state of residence, you can register your car without a car title. This is only possible if you can acquire a financial security measure. Surety Bond is a declaration that you have the security of the asset (in this case your car) you’re buying or investing in. This security can cover risks and penalties arising from vehicle ownership. Make sure the vehicle is lien-free before you buy. However, you should not buy a vehicle that comes with encumbrances.

  • Implement a Bill of Sale

It’s a great idea when you implement a bill of sale, even if there is no cause for alarm. This document will also play a vital role in the registration of your vehicle. Every necessary information about the seller and the vehicle must be included in this document, including identifying the vehicle, brand, and class of the vehicle. 

The seller should also have the sale price of the vehicle in this document. The information of the buyer and the seller is also necessary, and where possible, a photocopy of the seller’s ID card should be included. 

Once you have established a better understanding between yourself and the seller, then you can go ahead to make the proposed payment for the vehicle. When making payments, you shouldn’t do so via cash, it is better to pay via check or bank draft so that you can have a valid proof of payment just in case anything goes wrong.

  • Get a Replacement Title from the Seller

If you’re buying a car without a title, you should consider asking for a replacement title from the seller. However, this is applicable when the seller has registered the vehicle in his name. It’s no news that vehicle insurance and registrations are renewed every year in the United States. 

If the seller has owned this vehicle for up to a year, then there’s every possibility that he has a replacement title that is registered under his name. 

  • Find the Old Title

There is a likelihood that the seller did not register the car in the first instance. In this case, you will have to carry out some detective work. Here, the first step is to look for the title owner and hunt him down. You will find the list of the current and past owners on your VHR. Once you can lay your hands on the name of the past owner, you’ll quickly contact the DMV for details of the past owner of the car.

  • Contact the DMV for a Duplicate Title 

However, if the car has been registered by the previous owner with the Department of Motor Vehicles, then you may not need to look for the old title or details of the previous owner. But you’ll need the seller to do get you the official title.

The seller will make a request for the duplicate title from the office of the DMV with documents and proofs, including the VIN, ca mileage, and proof of ID. Double-check to see that the information provided by the seller correlates with the details the title is carrying.

Final Thoughts 

If you’ve ever considered buying a car without a title, then you should know the necessary actions to take to ensure that you are not left exposed to the risks involved. These points we’ve stated in this article will help you reduce the risk of owning a car without a title.

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