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How do cars end up for sale without a title?

Old 01-12-2019, 05:36 AM
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Default How do cars end up for sale without a title?

I was looking at Facebook marketplace and saw a car for sale that said "No title - bill of sale only" in the description. Every car I've ever bought involved me and the seller signing the title and taking it to the DMV to be processed for a new title. What set of circumstances bypasses this? I messaged this particular seller to inquire why there's no title, got no response.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:40 AM
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I,don’t know the American system but that sounds like
Caveat emptor
buyer beware.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:44 AM
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Some of these cars sitting 20-25 years and the owner passes away and the heirs and sell the car. in New Jersey I can get a list of every single car I've owned all the way back to 86 when I moved into the state. in Pennsylvania if something hasn't been registered in 10 years, it drops off the list and ceases to exist. So then you can't go get a lost title duplicated because there is no record of it in the first place. I'm sure PA is not the only state like that. Then there's other states which are bill of sale only. At least four cars of a certain age.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:04 AM
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I bought a car out of Maine like that. Some states dont require them after a certain age as mentioned above. My PO had the car for one smmer as was just flipping it. I just needed the car to registered to the owner, him, then Mass would take his registration as ownership and process me a registration and new title. I paid him the $100 to register it, then he gave me the registration with a bill of sale. Check with your DMV. Your results may vary, Not for use in California, 4 out of 5 Dentists prefer colgate, side effects can include nausea and leaking bowels,,etc.....

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Old 01-12-2019, 09:47 AM
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See your insurance agent and see if they can get a "bonded title".
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:22 AM
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Every state is different. In Ga they don't issue a title if a car is over 35 years old unless you already have one or one from another state. I bought a pickup truck with only a bill of sale and Ga gave me a plate and registration and I drove it for years. I moved to NC and went through a ton of BS and time to finally get a title for that truck. Living in NC I would now never buy a car without a title.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:19 AM
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Same here in NYS no fancy titles for older vehicles . Your registration is the tittle Like the old days when you raced forpink sheets.!!!

I asked theSMV once why not. The answer was since the re it’s don’t go back that far they can’t garruntee that the title is valid. Comforting isn’t it!! Ike
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:28 AM
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In MN you must have a title. Bill of sale doesn't cut it. I did a bonded title once. It was a bit of a hassle.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:25 PM
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In NY they do not issue (or use) titles for a car older than 1973. Just a transferable registration. I Moved to AR and they issued a title for it when I went to get tags. Not much trouble at all because I was not transferring ownership. I suspect it helps AR because they can tax personal property in this state. No title means no property to assess which means no taxes to collect....they do like money after all.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:39 PM
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2 basic scenarios... sometime the title is simply lost for whatever reason. This can be a complicated fix depending on the states it’s in’s DMV rules for Replacement Titles, or if a buyer is from another state which further complicates things.

The other situation is when the car is in a state that simply no longer issues titles on cars over a certain age. I bought a car in CT which had no title, legally according to their rules. I brought the bill of sale to Illinois where I applied for a Replacement Title and an Illinois Title was created. Again, it all depends on the states involved.

Sometimes a more complicated issue is a “skipped title,” where a seller never got his car titled because he was trying to evade State taxes. This can become a complicated, sometimes expensive problem for a buyer.

Another title concern is “washing” a title, where someone might try to clear a negative branding from a title like “Junked” or “Flood,” titling through a state that might issue a clean title.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:48 PM
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Depends on the age of the car. On the negative side, could be unpaid lien or stolen. Also to correct Post #6, Georgia no title required 1962 or previous. 1963-1985 will title generally if no unbroken chain of ownership.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:52 PM
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My concern with a bill of sale is the some else could have the real title and then could come and claim the car after you paid the guy with the bill of sale? Also if you have title the DMV can check if it's the current title because there could be a "newer" duplicate title out there floating around.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:41 PM
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I bought my car in new york over 10 years ago and all I got was a registration brought it to njdmv and titled the car ,, It was a PINK SLIP
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:15 PM
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Reminds me a little of the blem title discussions,

I will sound very ironic with my thinking here,
I would much rather buy a car with a known blem title than some car with no title especially one thats been sitting years all kinds of headaches could form , i guess you can have that vin ran by dmv but is that a 100% guarantee youre safe?
I did call fl dmv to ask about it, they said no title states are fine "IF" the cars registration is up to date in that state otherwise it could be a mess.

Lots of great cars with no question titles out there

Last edited by The13Bats; 01-12-2019 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:45 AM
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nowadays most states, if not all, subscribe to the magical national database of car titles, even though they may be a non title state.. you can't hide a previous blem, stolen, lien, title jumper, etc..
call the dmv in both your state, and seller's state. run a NMVTIS report on the car, and run a background check on your seller
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:56 AM
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In many states, nothing to stop someone from obtaining a duplicate title, then taking out a loan, then selling car with the original title, which is now useless. So, short story, do your due diligence.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:13 AM
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In NY the older non-titled car Regi will say Transferable on the Regi.

Newer Car Regi's say non- transferable. You need a Title to sell the car.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:25 PM
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In Alabama, the DMV doesn’t issue titles for vehicles over 30 years old. You simply have a state registration.....but no title.

However, a valid registration in the owners / sellers name is required to transfer ownership to someone else and purchase license plates.

Federal law states that all states must accept the legal form of register from one state to another. For example, if I sell my 1971 Corvette w/o a title, (but I do have all other legal Alabama registration), to a buyer in a state that does issue titles, they’ll accept my states paperwork and then issue a title in that state to the new owner.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:32 PM
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Interesting thread!
I had no idea some states might not provide a title for older cars!

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Old 01-14-2019, 07:00 PM
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I realize that a couple of guys have mentioned that in New York, titles aren't issued for vehicles older than 1973....

THAT'S BECAUSE PRIOR TO 1973 (OR THEREABOUTS), NEW YORK DID NOT ISSUES TITLES FOR CARS!!! Prior to that, sales transactions were handled strictly with "bills of sale" and a valid registration.
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