Before you can start to drive a car on major roads, you have to have it registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state. Driving without registration is illegal, and can attract fines and even time in prison.
Because of the trending topic of car registration, some believe that there is nothing wrong with registering a car that is not theirs in their name or letting other people register their car in another name, as long as the car is registered.
The question now is, can this be done? Can someone else register my car in their name?
Yes, although, generally they shouldn’t be able to. The law states that you cannot act upon a document or property on that your name isn’t written on.
For this reason, many states do not allow people whose names are not on the proof of ownership to register a car in their names.
This can differ according to state though, as some states allow someone else to register a car that isn’t theirs in their name, provided that they have complete and utter approval from the owner.
What is the Purpose of Car Registration?
It is just like giving a child a name, passport, and birth certificate when a child is born. It is a means of identification peculiar to the child, to help other people identify the child and call upon him or her when necessary.
Car registration is like giving a birth certificate and identification to a car in the state where the car will be operating in.
This registration ensures that the car isn’t without identification for many reasons such as criminal reasons, tax-paying reasons, or whenever the car and its owner fall into any kind of unfortunate incident.
If cars are not registered, they wouldn’t have unique identification or license number that will help the state authorities recognize the car in any situation, and this is why not registering your car is a criminal offense.
Registering your car puts you in right standing with the state, and enables them to track your car if it goes missing or gets stolen.
Asides from that, car registration makes it easier for the authorities to find criminals and also helps them in assessing taxes for government revenue.
Can Someone Else Register My Car in Their Name?
The general rule regarding this is that you cannot register or take such a relevant action on a document or property, like a car, if the car is not yours. That is, if it doesn’t have your name on the title deed or proof of ownership.
However, this differs with states, as some states allow you to register cars that don’t have your name on them, but there is a catch; you have to have gotten undeniable approval from the owner of the vehicle; that is, the person whose name is on the proof of ownership.
For this reason, it won’t do justice to answer a straight no or yes to this question, since it varies with states.
In some states, you must show that your name is on the proof of ownership of the vehicle before you can be allowed to register it, while in some other states, as long as you have the owner’s approval, then you can register the car in your name.
Even with this information, it would do you good to make assumptions about the general rule, which says you cannot register a property that doesn’t have your name on it.
Simply put, in reality, most states will let you do the registration in your name if you have complete approval from the owner.
Pros of Someone Else Registering my Car in their Name
The only advantage of allowing someone else to register your car in their name, for you, is that you don’t have to bear the consequences alone when something goes wrong, or you commit a crime with the vehicle.
When something goes wrong while driving, perhaps you committed a crime; run a red light, commit a hit and run, tax evasion, or any other issues on the road, the very first thing they check to locate the car is the name on the registration.
Also, if you have a crash, it becomes the registrar’s problem, not yours. It will affect their insurance premium instead of yours.
By this, consequences meant for you would be for someone else instead, and in as much as this shouldn’t be a pro, it still puts you in a better position, especially if you are a consistently terrible driver.
If you also want to total the car, you need to notify the DMV about the totaled car, if you’re not the registered name on it, it might be overwhelming for you.
Cons of Someone Else Registering my Car in their Name
All perks that should have been for you as the owner of the cargo to the person whose name is on the registration document of the vehicle.
Also, whenever you are stopped and pulled over by authorities, you might have issues trying to explain the discrepancies in the names on all the documents of your car. It is in your interest to avoid this as much as possible.
Another disadvantage of letting someone else register your car in their name is that you will never have complete control over your vehicle. Imagine needing someone else’s permission to make decisions on your car.
For this reason, it is generally advisable to register your car by yourself, or at least, whoever is registering it for you should do so in your name.
Documents Needed to Register Your Car in their Name?
For another person to register your car in their name successfully, they need certain documents to convince the relevant authorities that they have gotten approval from the correct owner of the vehicle.
- Title Deed of Vehicle: This is the proof of purchase of a vehicle. It is the first document you provide as proof that you are a legal owner of a vehicle.
- Proof of Insurance: Insurance should always be bought before, or at least immediately after you purchase your vehicle. Proof of insurance is what you get after purchasing insurance for your vehicle.
- Registration Manual Application: This is an application form for registration, and it must be signed by the original owner of the vehicle; that is, the person whose name is on the proof of ownership.
- Power of Attorney: This is not required in all states, but in states like New York, the authorities demand that the person registering should have power of attorney signed over to him or her by the real owner before he or she can sign any form for the vehicle owner.
Cost of Someone to Register Your Car in their Name
There are several costs involved in registering a car that isn’t yours in your name. In total, the person needs between ten dollars ($10) and two hundred and thirty dollars ($230). This depends on your state and what works there. Also, the cost tends to change as well.
The best thing to do, as a car owner, is to register your car by yourself, and in your name, as they’re literally won’t be any tangible benefits of letting someone else register the vehicle in their name, except the person is the one who would be using the vehicle over time.