The processes for transferring car title vary from state to state, and depend on the circumstances under which the title has to be transferred. The main reasons for a title transfer include selling your car, buying one, inheriting a car, donating or gifting a vehicle, or junking your old car. The easiest process is in the case of donating a car. Owners will want to contact the intended charity to find out if the car is an acceptable donation. Not all charitable organizations have the need for a vehicle, or the means by which to resell one.
Donating a Vehicle
When donating a vehicle, be sure to remove the license plates because those will have to be returned to the state motor vehicle department. The Certificate of Title will have a “Gift” box on it so check that box to indicate that it was willingly presented as an actual donation. The back of the title ill need to include the date of the transfer, the odometer reading, and the name and signature of the donor.
Buying a New Car
People who purchase a new vehicle from a dealership will not have much to do in the way of paperwork. The person who sold you the vehicle will have the paperwork prepared when the car is picked up from the lot. If the car is financed the title will be sent to the bank or credit union that approved the loan.
Purchasing a car from a private seller may require both parties to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at the same time. If the title is simply signed over to the new owner, it has to be taken to the DMV. Additional documentation required is typically a bill of sale, proof of insurance, and contact information for the seller.
Call ahead to find out exactly what paperwork is required. That will save a significant amount of time and aggravation when arriving at the DMV. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting in line only to be told more documentation is needed. The process will go smoother when everything is in order. Be sure to inquire about the total amount of fees and prepare for those as well.
Selling the Car to a Junkyard
The first item to research is different junkyards in the area. Some offer excellent prices for old cars, while others may assign a much lower value to the make and model. There are even some junkyards that will arrive at the location with a flatbed truck and collect the car. That is perfect if the vehicle does not run and is being sold for scrap metal.
Most junkyard owners require a title before they will accept a car. It indicates due diligence on their part to ensure the car is not stolen. Remember to take off the plates and cancel the insurance coverage. Get a receipt for the car in case any issues arise in the near future.
For a site that allows you to sell your car to a junk dealer, see http://FlipYourWheels.com.
The Transfer of Ownership
Following the appropriate process when transferring ownership is imperative so there is no question regarding who owns the car. That reduces liability risks for the former owner. If the title remains in the name of the original owner, that person can be held responsible for any damage done, illegal activity committed with the use of the car, and any personal injury or medical bills incurred in an accident.
This modern society is a litigious one so it is critical to protect personal interests when ownership of a car is altered for whatever reason. It is wise to research the process online, call the DMV, or consult a lawyer before handing over car keys.