Can You Sell A Car Without A Title?

Selling your car without a title may pose difficulties, but it's not always impossible. You just need to do your research and figure out what documents you can use in its place. Car-Worth can help.

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A car’s title is a legal document that verifies you as its owner. It also provides information about the status of the vehicle. For instance, a clean title indicates that the car is structurally in good shape. On the other hand, a salvage title indicates that the car has been totaled in an accident.

To sell, trade in, and even scrap a car, you do need to have your car’s title—or at least some proof of ownership. A title allows for the simplest and smoothest transaction process.

sell car without a title

However, you might not have a title if your car is very old or the title is lost. That’s when things get a little more complicated. You won’t be able to legally sell, trade, or scrap the car with some information proving ownership, but the proof you need and the form it must take will vary by state and transaction.

Keep reading ahead to learn all about selling a car that you don’t have a title for.

Is It Illegal To Sell A Car Without A Title?

In many states, it is illegal to sell a car or any of its parts without a title. In the states where you don’t need a title, you do need to provide another official form that verifies your ownership of your car before you sell it.

In other words, you need to provide legal proof of ownership, with or without a car title depending on which state you live in.

If you do sell a car without a title, you might be title jumping, which is illegal. On the other hand, you might find it difficult to find a buyer for your car if it’s missing a title.

A special case in which you wouldn’t have a car title is if you have a lien. Millions of drivers have liens, which means they technically don’t own the vehicle. In this case, you’ll need to work with your lien holder if you’re planning on selling your car.

What Is Title Jumping?

Title jumping is an illegal practice that happens when you sell a car after purchasing it, but you never registered a title for that car. This means that there is no legal record of you owning it.

While title jumping may not sound like a big deal, it leaves buyers vulnerable to dishonest sellers.

In the case that you are trying to sell a car with no title, you might be at risk of title jumping if you can’t prove that you own the vehicle before selling it.

What Do I Do If I’ve Lost My Car’s Title?

can you sell a no title car

Replacing a lost car title is usually pretty easy and requires visiting or contacting your local DMV. Here’s how to do this:

  • Visit your state’s DMV website to find a title replacement form.

  • Collect documents like your Social Security Number, VIN, and driver’s license.

  • Fill out the form and submit any copies of the necessary documents.

  • Receive your car title replacement.

The process and timeline can vary depending on where you live, but those four steps are the basics. For further assistance or information about replacing your car title, you’ll want to reach out to your DMV.

Are There States Where You Don’t Need A Title To Sell A Car?

While a title is preferred, there are several states that allow you to sell a car with other forms of documentation. For example, a Bill of Sale is a common alternative.

In some states, this document can be obtained from the DMV. In other cases, you can simply type one out yourself and include information like:

  • VIN

  • Year, make, and model of car

  • Odometer reading

  • Names, addresses, and signatures of the buyers and sellers

  • Purchase price and date of vehicle

Car-Worth Buys Cars Without Titles

If you’ve lost your car title or your vehicle is so old (about 15 to 25 years old) that it doesn’t even have one, Car-Worth will still buy your car.

One thing you might need though is a Bill of Sale. As a reputable and reliable junk car buyer, we do need proof of ownership so that your car can legally be transferred over to us.

You can call our team when you’re ready to sell for assistance if you don’t have a title.

When you are ready to sell your car, here’s what you need to do:

  • Get an offer by filling out a few details on our website.

  • Wait 90 seconds to get a fair market quote.

  • Accept our estimate and schedule a tow truck pickup.

A driver will be over in 24 to 48 hours to retrieve your vehicle and hand you your check.

This process is totally free and takes just a few minutes. Get a quote for your car today at Car-Worth!

How Do You Prove Ownership Of A Car?

Vehicle ownership is proved with a title of a car. A title is a legal document that verifies ownership as well as other important vehicle information.

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Title?

Replacing a car title can take up to 30 days depending on the state you live in and how busy your local DMV is. Even if you apply to get a replacement online, it will still take several days to a few weeks to process your request and have it sent through the mail.

Can I Get A Copy Of My Title Online?

Many DMV locations allow you to apply for a car title replacement online. However, this official document will be sent to you in the mail rather than being available as a digital copy.

Can I Register A Car Without A Bill Of Sale Or Title?

It can be tricky to register a car that doesn’t have a title or Bill of Sale. Even the most lenient states require some proof of ownership. If you can’t obtain a Bill of Sale or a title, you’ll need to ask your DMV about alternate titling options.

There is one exception: Vermont does allow drivers to register their vehicles without a title. You will need a Bill of Sale, but it does not need the original owner’s name on it.

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