How To Sell a Car Without a Title - Kelley Blue Book (2024)

How To Sell a Car Without a Title - Kelley Blue Book (1)

Quick Facts About Selling a Car With No Title

  • You typically need atitle to sell a car.
  • If you owe money on the car, most lenders will require that youpay off the note before releasing the title.
  • Some states offer ways totitle an abandoned vehicle.

So you’re trying to sell a car but don’t have a title. Normally, this would be cause for alarm. But sometimes, there’s a perfectly logical explanation, such as the car title being lost or the lender currently holding a lien on the vehicle.

Or the car could be stolen, in which case you should report it to the police as soon as possible.Check out these tips that help you sell a vehicle if you don’t possess the title. Use the links below to skip ahead to the section you need.

  1. Can You Sell a Car Without a Title?
  2. Steps To Selling a Car Without the Title
  3. Request a Replacement Car Title
  4. Explore Alternate Titling Options
  5. Write Up a Bill of Sale
  6. Get a Notary
  7. Be Upfront With Your Buyer
  8. Keep Copies of Everything
  9. Notify Your State of the Sale
  10. Register Your Vehicle in Vermont
  11. Can You Buy a Car Without the Title?

Can You Sell a Car Without a Title?

Even though buying or selling a vehicle without proof of ownership is illegal in most jurisdictions, there are ways you can sell a vehicle without a title. It means you need to do some extra legwork to get a new one. How you go about it depends on your particular circumstances and the state from where you’re doing business when selling a car without a title.

Your Car May Be Exempt

You may be exempt from needing a car title if your car meets specific requirements. In most cases, the exemption is determined by the age of the vehicle that needs a title. For example, if the car is at least 15 years old in Vermont, you are exempt from needing a vehicle title.

However, the age requirement varies from state to state. Typically, vehicles must be at least 25 years old to qualify.

Common Reasons Titles Go Missing

  • Lender holds the lien
  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Damaged
  • Natural disaster

Steps To Selling a Car Without the Title

A car’s title when yousell itproves you own the vehicle. The title contains all the vital information about the car, like its VIN, make, model, and date the title was issued. Without it, there is no way to prove who owns the car — so it’s necessary to keep it safe.

If you need a replacement title, read below how to learn how to get a newcar title.

1. Request a Replacement Car Title

How To Sell a Car Without a Title - Kelley Blue Book (2)

If the title is lost, damaged, or stolen, you need to contact your local department of motor vehicles and find out how to obtain a new one. You can also check the DMV website for details, including the cost to replace or duplicate the title.

Keep in mind that if the odometer reading number or any other part of a title has been altered, the document will not be considered valid by most DMVs and will therefore need a replacement.

RELATED:Car Title Guide: Everything You Need to Know

2. Explore Alternate Titling Options

Again, every state is different, but some offer ways to title an abandoned vehicle or car with outstanding repair bills stacked against it.

In Virginia, for example, you can file a mechanic’s lien for unpaid bills if you provide the proper documentation. You can also file for an abandoned vehicle title. This is a process in which the state uses the vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number) in an attempt to contact the vehicle’s last known owner to give them a sort of right of first refusal.

3. Write Up a Bill of Sale

Some states did not issue titles until as recently as 1975, so selling the car without a title is logical when it’s that old. In that case, a bill of sale may be adequate proof of ownership. If so, check your state’s regulations regarding bill of sale presentation. Some states require that sellers use a state form as a bill of sale.

Most states require a bill of sale form to print out or pick up at a DMV branch. Usually, the same information on the vehicle title is on the bill of sale, which includes the following:

  • Date of purchase
  • Purchase price
  • The car’s year, make, and model
  • The VIN
  • Mileage
  • Name and address of the seller and buyer
  • Signatures of the seller, buyer, and notary (if needed).

4. Get a Notary

Some states require that a bill of sale be notarized, and it’s not a bad idea to take this step anyway. Having a state official witnessing the signing over of a vehicle’s ownership can legitimize the transaction when selling an auto without a title.

Again, regulations vary from county to county and state to state. Make sure you know which laws apply to you.

5.Be Upfront With Your Buyer

If you don’t have a title and can’t get one — this is sometimes the case with an older project or parts vehicles — make sure the buyer knows from the start that you don’t have all the documentation required to make a legitimate sale.

If you owe money on the car, most lenders will require that you pay off the note before releasing the title. However, you may be able to arrange a transfer through the lender if the buyer is willing to pay off or pick up your payments.

6. Keep Copies of Everything

How To Sell a Car Without a Title - Kelley Blue Book (3)

Even after you have sold the vehicle and it’s long gone, ensure you keep copies of all paperwork associated with ownership. You can’t be sure that the new owner will title the vehicle, and you don’t want to be held liable for anything that might happen involving that vehicle in the future.

Also, if there are ownership questions later on (if you’re contacted by someone making an abandoned vehicle claim, for example), you’ll have your bases covered.

7. Notify Your State of the Sale

When selling a car, be sure the state where the vehicle was titled knows that you’ve sold it. Notify the DMV as soon as you’ve signed the bill of sale. This way, you will avoid the assessment of further taxation and fees.

8. Register Your Vehicle in Vermont

How To Sell a Car Without a Title - Kelley Blue Book (4)

Vermont registration is a secret weapon for the title-less, but only for vehicles that are 15 years or older. Vermont wants (no, needs) your money, so if you provide a bill of sale and the fees and taxes the state requires for registration, you can get your vehicle registered there. Since Vermont requires only registration as proof of ownership for vehicles older than 15 years, that document will work as proof of ownership in the other 49 states.

The bill of sale can be typed or handwritten, and it doesn’t need to be notarized. You only need the vehicle identification number, purchase price and date, and buyer and seller details. If your car is newer than 15 years old, this won’t work, but you should probably have a title for it anyway.

Can You Buy a Car Without the Title?

We talked about selling a vehicle with no title. But can you buy a car without one? Technically, buying a car without the title is possible, especially if you financed the vehicle.

However, when buying a car from a private seller, you need the title because it provides proof of ownership. Unless the vehicle is an older model, vintage, or classic car, purchasing a car without the title means you could be buying astolen car. You will also need the title toregister a vehicle, meaning you won’t even be able to drive it legally. Always check with your local motor vehicle agency for requirements on car titles and registration of vehicles.

If you buy a car from a private seller when the bank holds the title, use a reputable escrow service. The service will collect the funds from you to pay off the seller’s loan and send you the title. Alternatively, you could meet the seller at the lender’s office.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated for accuracy since it was originally published.

Related Articles About Selling a Car:

  • How to Sell a Car: 10 Steps for Success
  • How to Sell a Car Online
  • 7 Ways to Help Protect Yourself When Selling a Car
How To Sell a Car Without a Title - Kelley Blue Book (2024)

FAQs

How To Sell a Car Without a Title - Kelley Blue Book? ›

The Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer is a real offer for a specific amount to purchase a consumer's car or apply the amount toward another car. The Offer is valid for 7 days and can be immediately redeemed during business hours at any Participating Dealer, pending inspection.

Is Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer legit? ›

The Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer is a real offer for a specific amount to purchase a consumer's car or apply the amount toward another car. The Offer is valid for 7 days and can be immediately redeemed during business hours at any Participating Dealer, pending inspection.

Can you sell a car in VA without a title? ›

You must have a valid title to sell a vehicle in Virginia. If the owner of the vehicle is deceased, you'll need a copy of the will and a certified death certificate in addition and a 'Authority to Transfer Virginia Title Certification' form VSA 24.

Do you need a title for a car over 20 years old in Massachusetts? ›

The Massachusetts title law requires that all motor vehicles and trailers be titled within 10 days of purchase. Passenger vehicles with a model year of 1980 and older, purchased before November 26, 1990 are exempt from titling. Trailers that are 3,000 pounds or less are also exempt and do not need a title.

Why not to use Kelley Blue Book? ›

Potential problems with Blue Book values include a delay as price information is assessed, the consumer tendency to overrate the value of the car they are selling or trading in, and a mismatch between wholesale values listed by Kelley and the prices used by dealers, who access special industry-only pricing info.

Is KBB a good way to sell a car? ›

Because KBB is a trusted source in determining used-car values and new car pricing, various dealerships around the country have partnered with the organization to streamline the sale of used cars for private owners. Basically, it's a quick, no-haggle way to get cash for your car.

What is the VA code for title jumping? ›

In Virginia, VA Code §46.2-600 requires that every person residing in the Commonwealth who owns a motor vehicle apply to the DMV within 30 days of the purchase or transfer for a certificate of ownership. § 46.2-605 makes it a class 6 felony to knowingly and fraudulently alter, falsify or forge any assignment of title.

Is title jumping illegal in VA? ›

Seller's name isn't on the title of the car you're buying? That's called title skipping & it's illegal in every state! name before selling the vehicle to you.

Can you register a car with a bill of sale and no title Virginia? ›

Virginia requires a bill of sale to register and title cars.

How to prove ownership of a car without the title in Texas? ›

Ask for a manufacturer's certificate of origin

If you bought your car new from a dealer, you might be able to prove ownership by requesting a certificate of origin from the dealership that sold you the vehicle. All carmakers must issue a certificate of origin for each vehicle they produce.

How do I transfer ownership of a car without a title in Texas? ›

Bought a Vehicle Without a Title?
  1. Bonded Title Application (Form VTR-130-SOF)
  2. Any supporting evidence of ownership (Bill of Sale, Invoice, Cancelled Check, etc.)
  3. Acceptable photo ID.

Is it against the law to sell a car without a title in Texas? ›

It is illegal to sell a car without a title in Texas.

Texan law requires an official title for all vehicle sales. This ensures that the seller actually owns the vehicle they are selling. Now that you know you need a title, you may be wondering: how can I get a title for my vehicle that I legitimately own?

How old does a car have to be to be in your name? ›

In most states, you need to be at least 18 to register a car. You must be at least 18 to list your name as the vehicle's owner on the title in most states. If you're under 18, you typically must put the car's title in an adult's name and have the adult list you as a driver on the vehicle.

Can you register a car with no title in Mass? ›

To drive in Massachusetts, a vehicle and trailer needs to be properly registered with the RMV, and the vehicle owner must have a legally acquired title.

How old does a car have to be to not have to have a title in Georgia? ›

The vehicle is at least 20 model years old.

What is black book value? ›

The Black Book value is essentially the wholesale or auction value of a car. Black Book sources pricing data from both wholesale auctions and actual vehicle transactions from across the country. They update or validate their used car prices on a weekly basis.

How far back does Kelley Blue Book go? ›

Kelley Blue Book provides values for used vehicles from model year 1992 and newer. Transactions for older vehicles are too rare, therefore we do not have enough data to analyze and are unable to report values for them.

Do car dealers use Kelly Blue Book or NADA? ›

Trusted by Dealers: Dealers also rely on NADA and KBB to help them sell cars and to determine trade-in values. Multiple Price Options: NADA and KBB each provide trade-in values and retail values. Range of Values: Both NADA and KBB provide multiple values for trade-ins.

How do I sell my car privately in MA? ›

How to Sell a Car in Massachusetts
  1. Step 1: Allow the buyer to have the car inspected by a third party.
  2. Step 2: Organize and gather all related vehicle documentation.
  3. Step 3: Bill of Sale.
  4. Step 4: Transfer the title.
  5. Step 5: Remove your license plates.

What is the safest payment method when selling a car? ›

Bank Transfer

Bank transfers are a secure and efficient way to exchange money in a car sale. The buyer's bank will verify the availability of the seller's funds before processing the transfer. This assurance offers added security for the seller, making a bank transfer an excellent option for high-dollar transactions.

How do you calculate the actual cash value of a car? ›

Actual cash value (ACV)

ACV is used to determine how much of a payout you will receive for a totaled vehicle. It is determined by the replacement cost of your vehicle minus depreciation, which considers things like age and wear and tear.

Is there a way around title jumping? ›

Because the title doesn't list their name and they may have given you a fake name, you're going to have a tough time locating them. Instead, you can get a bonded title from your state's department of motor vehicles (if it offers them) by purchasing a lost-title bond from a surety company.

What defines a jumped title? ›

If a person buys a vehicle without putting it in their name and then sells it, it is known as title jumping. This illegal act is also referred to as title skipping or floating.

Do both parties need to be present for a title transfer in VA? ›

A title transfer is simple with both parties are present, and paperwork ready. The transfer should happen within 30-days of the transaction else you may need to pay a late fee. Every vehicle transferred requires a safety (emissions) inspection done at a local VA DMV.

How do you get around not having a title? ›

How to Buy a Car Without a Title
  1. Run the VIN number to make sure the car isn't stolen.
  2. Meet in a public place and bring a friend.
  3. Get a detailed bill of sale from the seller.
  4. File for a replacement title at your local DMV.
Jan 14, 2021

How do you get around without a title? ›

If you purchased a vehicle without a title, you may need to get a surety bond or bonded title when you register it with your state. Some states may also offer a temporary registration that converts into a full-ownership registration after several years, assuming no one claims the vehicle as rightfully theirs.

Can I get a title with a bill of sale in Virginia? ›

Step 1: Present the following documents

Proof of purchase price, such as a buyer's order, bill of sale or the seller's declared sale price on the title. Note: The bill of sale can be a handwritten statement signed by the seller and purchaser or a Vehicle Price Certification signed by the seller or purchaser.

Can I sell a car for $1 in Virginia? ›

Can you sell a car for $1? In short, yes. But while selling a car for $1 will allow you to avoid capital gains and gifts taxes, the recipient of the car will have to pay whatever rate of sales tax your state charges on used vehicles when they transfer the title.

Is Virginia a no title state? ›

In the state of Virginia, you must have a vehicle title to transfer ownership of a vehicle. If you have lost or damaged the vehicle's title, you must apply for a duplicate vehicle title (Form VSA 67).

What is the penalty for not registering your car in Virginia? ›

A first violation of this subdivision shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $250, and a second or subsequent violation of this subdivision shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of $250.

How do you prove you don't own a car? ›

A declaration of non-ownership is a legal document. It can be filed in court, with the DMV or with another government agency. Drivers in California use it formally to claim that they do not own a vehicle. They can make this claim on the form, under penalty of perjury.

How do I run a VIN number? ›

You can get a free VIN check at the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), VehicleHistory.com or iSeeCars.com/VIN. Just pop in your car's digits and these sites will do the VIN lookup and give you information on the vehicle.

How long does a car have to be abandoned before you can claim it in Texas? ›

In either scenario, the owner(s) and lienholder(s) have 20 days to claim the motor vehicle. If the vehicle remains unclaimed, the certificate of authority is issued on the 21st day after the notification is mailed or posted on this page.

How do I file for a lost title not in my name in Texas? ›

A court-ordered title can be applied for by filing a court case with your local county or circuit court to declare you as the vehicle owner. This is often the last resort title recovery method, but it is a great choice if you are missing most or all of the ownership paperwork.

Can I get a title with a bill of sale in Texas? ›

If you have a bill of sale for your car, you can get a title for it.

What if I sell a car and the buyer does not transfer title in Texas? ›

Failure to title within the 30 days results in an automatic $25 penalty, plus another $25 for each month the title is late. There are no waivers for these penalties, which means the (YOUR COUNTY) county tax office and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles cannot reduce or forgive what you may owe.

What happens if you don t transfer a title within 10 days ca? ›

If the buyer doesn't transfer the title within 10 days, the car's registration is suspended.

Can I register a car with just a bill of sale in Texas? ›

You'll have to prove that you are the owner of the vehicle before you register the car in the state of Texas. Make sure the title is in your name or transferred to your name on the title. Hold onto the bill of sale if you are transferring ownership, this is helpful to the DMV when registering your car.

Can my car be under my parents name? ›

To those asking, “Can I drive a car under my parents' name?” the answer is yes. As long as you are a named driver for their policy, you'll be fully covered by the insurance. In order to have a car in your name under your parent's insurance, your parents will need to be listed as owners on the vehicle's registration.

Do you need a title for a car over 20 years old in NY? ›

New York State does not issue a title certificate for any motor vehicle of model year 1972 or older, travel or utility trailer that weighs less than 1,000 pounds, or limited used motorcycle (including a moped).

Can a 17 year old have a car title in their name in Florida? ›

Yes; in Florida, a minor can own a vehicle. There is no age minimum requirement for having a title for a car, truck, SUV, or another vehicle. However, when a minor signs for a title, they will also need a guardian to sign with them.

Do you need a title for a 20 year old car in Massachusetts? ›

The Massachusetts title law requires that all motor vehicles and trailers be titled within 10 days of purchase. Passenger vehicles with a model year of 1980 and older, purchased before November 26, 1990 are exempt from titling. Trailers that are 3,000 pounds or less are also exempt and do not need a title.

How much is a title fee in Massachusetts? ›

How much does it cost to register your vehicle in Massachusetts? In 2021, registering a normal private passenger vehicle in Massachusetts costs $60 and is good for 2 years. In MA, the Certificate of Title fee is $75. You'll also need to have your vehicle inspected, which costs $35.

How long do you have to title a car in Massachusetts? ›

Massachusetts title law requires all motor vehicles and trailers (over 3,000 lbs) to be titled within 10 days of purchase.

Can I get a title with just a bill of sale in Georgia? ›

When only applying for a title, you will generally need the following: Title (or Bill of Sale if no title is required) A Georgia driver's license for each new owner.

How much is a bonded title in GA? ›

How much does a Georgia title bond cost? Georgia certificate of title bond costs start at $100. The exact cost will vary depending on the surety bond amount required by the Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division. Bond amounts from $5,000 to $50,000 cost $15 for every $1,000 of coverage, starting at $100.

How do I transfer a title to a family member in Georgia? ›

You will need to bring the following to the County Tag Office:
  1. A completed Tag/Title Application.
  2. An emissions inspection certificate if required in your county.
  3. Proof of insurance for the new owner.
  4. Your driver's license.
  5. The original vehicle title. ...
  6. Loan documentation.
  7. Payment for fees and taxes.

What does instant cash offer for car mean? ›

How is an Instant Cash Offer different from Trade-in Value Range? The Kelley Blue Book® Instant Cash Offer is: A fixed offer applied toward your next car purchase or used to sell your current car to a Participating Dealer (pending inspection) Valid for 7 days. No need to negotiate because each offer is a fixed amount.

Is Kelley Blue Book real? ›

90 Years of Pricing Expertise

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book has been one of the most trusted names in the auto industry.

What is instant cash payout? ›

Instant payment (sometimes referred to as real-time payment or faster payment) is a method of exchanging money and processing payments, allowing for almost immediate transfer of money between bank accounts, instead of the more typical one to three business days.

Are cash offer companies legit? ›

Are cash-for-home companies legit? In short, the answer is yes; there are many legitimate companies out there that purchase homes for cash, will provide you with a great experience, and are good on their word.

Why do sellers ask for cash only? ›

A cash offer is an all-cash bid, meaning a homebuyer wants to purchase the property without a mortgage loan or other financing. These offers are often more attractive to sellers, as they mean no buyer financing fall-through risk and, usually, a faster closing time.

Is CarMax instant offer legit? ›

Yes, and our offer will be the same whether you're buying from us or not. Is the online offer a real offer or an estimate? We provide real offers, both online and in-store, and all of our offers are good for 7 days. If you have an online offer to redeem, bring it to any CarMax store.

How do you get around a cash offer? ›

7 Tips to compete with an all-cash offer
  1. Get approved for your mortgage. Getting mortgage pre-approval before you try to make an offer on a house is a must. ...
  2. Waive contingencies. ...
  3. Increase your earnest money deposit. ...
  4. Offer above asking price. ...
  5. Include an appraisal gap guarantee. ...
  6. Get personal. ...
  7. Consider a cash offer alternative.
Apr 12, 2022

Do car dealers use Kelly Blue Book or Nada? ›

Trusted by Dealers: Dealers also rely on NADA and KBB to help them sell cars and to determine trade-in values. Multiple Price Options: NADA and KBB each provide trade-in values and retail values. Range of Values: Both NADA and KBB provide multiple values for trade-ins.

Can I negotiate with CarMax? ›

Can CarMax car prices be negotiated? CarMax advertises “no-haggle” pricing, and it does not offer price matching or negotiation on any car purchases, sales or trade-ins.

Which is more accurate Kelley Blue Book or Nada? ›

KBB factors in the condition of the vehicle, local market conditions, and popularity of the vehicle, so their prices tend to be a lower than NADA. NADA values tend to lean higher because they assume cars are in good conditions. Insights can be gained from both values, but KBB looks at more factors.

Where can I get money instantly? ›

25+ Ways to Make Quick Money in One Day
  • Become a rideshare driver. ...
  • Focus on freelancing. ...
  • Sell unused gift cards. ...
  • Carsharing or parking spot rentals. ...
  • Send app referrals. ...
  • Find unclaimed money. ...
  • Deliver groceries or take out. ...
  • Sell your clothes online.
May 16, 2023

What is the best way to get instant cash? ›

Quick Answer

Personal loans, credit card cash advances and borrowing from friends or family are among the best ways to access cash when you need money right away.

How can you tell a fake buyer? ›

While the situations are not exactly the same, they presented some common red flags. The red flags that may help identify a fake buyer are: The buyer only makes contact via email and/or text message. The buyer is willing to trust an agent they found on the internet without having a conversation or meeting in person.

How do I know if my cash buyer is legit? ›

A legitimate cash buyer should always have proof they can buy your property, have a list of good references to back up their credibility, and they should be easy to get in contact with. Dodged calls and unanswered emails are never a good sign.

Why is a cash offer so good? ›

This is because when selling a home, cash offers represent less risk to the seller. A cash offer vs mortgage for a seller can give sellers more confidence in the buyer. With a cash offer, there's no chance financing could fall through. This ensures the deal goes ahead as planned.

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