trade in car without title

Can You Trade In A Car Without Title?

Trade In Car Without Title – Trading a car can be a very serious business, you are expected to fill a ton of paperwork and to also do other expedient necessities. One of the most important pieces of paperwork that you would need to put on the table before the sale of a car can be finalized is the title of the car.

Just as the deed to a house is the legal document that proves ownership of the house, a car title is a document that shows legal ownership of a car. Some states call the record a title, certificate of title, or pink slip because they used to be printed on pink paper. Dealers would usually put the legitimacy of your car sale on the ability to tender the title. Does this mean that you can’t sell your car if you cannot provide the title?

That is not a very straight question to answer though, there are plenty of dealers that will not take your car the moment you don’t have a title, but then, there are also plenty of dealers that will take your car if you are willing to do the needful to trade in car without title.

First, what circumstances would warrant you not having the title of your car? Let’s run through a few of the scenarios:

The owner is dead

This is by far the most common reason why most people don’t have their title in hand; the original owner of the car is dead and you want to sell the car. Obviously, you don’t have the title and you still have to do what you have to do. If your name was originally on the title as the next of kin to the owner, you will have to show a death certificate and you will have to also take an affidavit and a copy of the will as well. There are a lot of car dealers that will accept that from you.


trade in car without title

In the event of a divorce, you will most likely find yourself with a car whose title is not in your name. If it isn’t too late, you can have your attorney transfer the title to you as part of the divorce settlement. However, if the deed has been done, it might be a little cumbersome to turn the car over to a dealer. You will have to get your former partner to sign the papers turning the title over to you and you can then go over to the dealer with the paper and the divorce papers too.

Title is lost

It is possible that the title is in your name but you have misplaced it. This could also happen in the event of a natural disaster, it doesn’t mean you are stuck with your car for life. The procedure varies from one state to another but you can get your car sold complete with title. You will have to pay a little fee and prove that you are the original owner of the car and you will be walking out with your title.

Your title is with the bank

If you have placed your car as collateral for a loan, if you are not done paying the loan, you will not have access to your car title. In such a case, the easiest way to get your title back in your hand is to pay off the loan. You can find a way to strike a chord with the dealer, you could get the money to offset the loan but the deal will not be closed until you have tendered the title of the car.

The car has no title

There are states that will not issue titles for cars that have been in use for over a certain number of years. This might be calculated for models but varies from one state to another. In this case, being exemptions, there is paperwork to be completed as well. You will usually have to prepare a bill of sale that will include the specific details of the car you are selling. Things to note in the bill of sale include the make of the car, model, year, the vehicle Identification number and you also have to include any notable feature that distinguishes the car like a recent paint job or an engine renovation. Depending on the state, the dealer, seller, and buyer might need to complete more paperwork. Notarizing the bill of sale confers legality on the entire process and should not be joked with.

Now that we have touched on the reasons why you might not have your title but you have a car ready to be sold, what other means could you use to sell off a car without having to go through the stress outlined above?

Enroll in the Electronic Lien and Title System

Trade in car without title – If you are still servicing a loan on your car and the bank is still in possession of your title, you can enroll in the electronic lien and title system. It is a system that facilitates the paperless exchange of information between lienholders and local dealers, as long as the lienholders and the dealers are in the same state where the car is registered. The major advantage of the electronic system is that it is faster and stress-free. You have to find out if your state allows for the electronic lien and title system.

Talk to people at your DMW

Trade in car without title – The officials at the DMW are specialists at helping you sell your car if you are not with the title. You should have a talk with the officials there and weigh your chances. It might require you to schedule a meeting, but then, think about all the stress it is going to save you. Instead of figuring it out on your own, what if you could talk to the experts? Knowing how to sell a car without a title and how to obtain a title when it’s necessary gives you an unparalleled edge when you’re ready to sell the car off. Whether you’re negotiating a used car sale or a trade-in of your vehicle for a new one, you have peace of mind because the proof of ownership you and the buyer need for a smooth transaction is in your hands. Even if you don’t have it on you, you know how to get it.