Selling a car has always been a business people enjoy doing. You can either sell your car to purchase another one or help someone to sell their car. Therefore, the question is, can I sell a car if the title is not in my name?
You cannot sell a car that doesn’t have your name on the car title because it is illegal and you can be fined for doing so. However, if you wish to sell a car whose title is not in your name, the person whose name is on the title should put his signature on the car title or transfer the ownership to you.
Every car owner or car dealer must have a car title or documents of the car that they own or are about to sell because that is the legal proof that you own the car or cars as the case may be.
So when you want to sell a car and the title is not in your name, just quit thinking about it and get a car that has your name on the title so you can sell it whenever you please.
What is a Car Title?
A car title is one of the documents that you will sign when you acquire any vehicle. It is the most important document that you have as a car owner because it carries information that shows that you legally own the vehicle.
Whether the vehicle is bought new or it’s a used vehicle, you should still have a car title that carries your name as the owner.
A car title is usually issued or given by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state where you reside in.
A car title contains vital information about the vehicle which includes the make of the vehicle, the model, the year, the vehicle’s identification number (VIN), the license plate numbers, the name and address of the owner, and some other technical information.
A car’s title when it is newly bought is clean but as time goes on the status of the car title changes depending on what happens to the car or what Is done to the car.
When the car title of a car is clear, it means that the payment for the car was completely made and there’s no debt against the car.
A car title that states “salvage” is often used for vehicles that have been damaged and wrecked and you may not get any company to insure this kind of vehicle because of the nature of the damages that have been done to the car.
The last type of title that can be given to a car title is reconstructed or rebuilt. This means that the car used to be titled as salvage but it has been rebuilt and fixed so that it can be safely driven in its current condition.
Note that the words used to describe these titles can vary depending on the state that you reside in. A car title is also one of the requirements for selling or registering a vehicle.
How Do You Obtain a Car Title?
As reiterated earlier, a car title is issued by the department of motor vehicles (DMV). Getting a car title is dependent on whether you’re getting a new vehicle if you’re buying a used one.
If you’re buying a new car from a car dealer, usually they’ll send your car title directly to the department of motor vehicles that’s closest to you so that it can be processed.
However, if you’re buying a used vehicle, the former owner would sign over the car title to you because the car has been owned before, you don’t need to get a new one.
In cases where the car isn’t fully paid for yet, the lien holder will still have the car title which means that either one of you has to pay off the lien holder or come to an agreement with the lien goal set on who will pay up the debt.
If an agreement wasn’t reached with the lien holder then the whole process of car sale cannot be completed because the lien holder won’t hand over the car title until they have been completely paid off.
When buying a used car, it’s important to check through and make sure that the seller has filled the transfer of ownership section at the back of the car title.
Also, while filling any section of the car title because in some states, when there’s a mistake and you cancel anything, it renders the car title void, so you should calmly fill the car title.
Can I Sell a Car if the Title is not in my Name?
Trying to sell a car whose title is not in your name is the same as trying to sell a car that’s not your own.
The only way you sell a car whose title is not in your name is by getting the owner or owners of the car to put their signature(s) on the car title.
When they have signed it, then you can sell the car even though your name isn’t on it but you have the signatures of the owner which means you’re doing it with their consent.
The act of trying to sell a car that doesn’t have your name on the title is illegal, you could be fined or even get some jail time for doing such.
Although, some people sell cars to other people with no name and just a signature on the car title. This act is illegal and it is known as “skip titling” or “title jumping”
How to Sell a Car if the Title is not in my Name
The only way to sell a car that is not in your name is first to acknowledge that you do not have any right to sell any property that doesn’t have your name on it.
What you need to do next is to get the owner of the vehicle to transfer the ownership of the vehicle to you so that you can sell the car.
You could act as a middleman and notify the real owner of the day you’re making the sale so that they would be present at the sale. The owner has to be ready by the time you get a customer that is interested in buying the vehicle.
Then on the day, you’ll show the papers of the car to the buyers so that they’ll know that the sale is legal and also to show you’re trustworthy and reliable.
Cons of Selling a Car Whose Title is not in my Name
The dangers of selling a car whose title is not in your name are:
Risk of Getting Fined
When you sell a car that does not have your name on it, you can get fined. When law enforcement officials find the car and trace the sale back to whoever sold it without a name on the title, they can get fined because it’s an offense.
Possible Jail Time
Selling a car that doesn’t have your name on its title is equivalent to selling a stolen car because the car title proves that a person legally owns a vehicle and your name is not on the car title which means the car is not legally owned. This is an offense and can get you jail time.
Can You Go to Jail for Selling a Car Whose Title is not in your Name?
Yes, you can go to jail when you sell a car whose title is not in your name because it means the vehicle is not yours or legally owned by you.
People who steal vehicles often do the same. They usually do not have their names on the car titles but want to sell the cars off because cars can be easily tracked.
You should not try to sell a vehicle whose car title isn’t in your name because you could be accused of car theft and there’s no way to prove you didn’t steal the vehicle if the car is not in your name.