Can I Sell a Car Without Registering It?
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When it comes time for a new vehicle, and you need to sell or trade in your old one, you have to pay attention to many details.
When selling a used vehicle privately, it could take weeks or even months to find a buyer. Conversely, trading in is simple and can last a matter of hours.
But whether you want to sell or trade your current car, what if it's unregistered? And do you need the title to trade in a car?
Selling and trading in explained
Whether you decide to sell or trade in your current vehicle, each has its pluses and minuses.
Usually, selling a car privately often nets you more money versus trading in. However, selling your vehicle to a private party is time-consuming, with the possibility to take a significant amount of time.
Before selling a car, you have to clean it inside and out, take clear pictures, and post advertisements. Then you have to be ready to answer phone calls from potential buyers before agreeing to a sales price and meeting for delivery.
On the other hand, trading in a used vehicle is easy. The only thing you have to do is accept an offer and put the money toward a new-to-you car. Trading in may take only a few hours rather than a potentially long wait to find a buyer.
When you're ready to sell your used car, Shift makes it easy. All you'll have to do is enter the make, model, year, and mileage on Shift's easy-to-use website, and you'll instantly receive a purchase offer that's valid for seven days. You can get a fair offer, better than at the dealership, driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data. From sports cars to SUVs, Shift has a wide selection of quality used cars located across the country. Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every vehicle sold and have complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new. You can buy any of Shift's cars directly online from the comfort of your home, understand it has no hidden issues (from our 150-point inspection) and get a fair, up-front price. Want to take a test drive before you buy? If you live in one of Shift's many service areas, a concierge will drive to you, letting you get a feel for the car's performance before signing the papers.
What do I need to trade in my car?
Do you need the title to trade in a car? When you trade in a used car, you'll need to have both the vehicle title and registration with you.
The title proves you're the vehicle owner and allows another party to become the new one. Your name will be on the title if you own the vehicle outright. But if you're currently financing, a secured party is listed instead. In that case, bringing along a payoff letter or a 10-day payoff amount from your lender helps smooth the process.
You also need your car's registration when trading in if you plan on transferring the license plate to your next one. This is a requirement in many states, but not all, so checking with your local DMV can help you know the specific regulations.
Several other documents are good to have on hand when you trade in your vehicle.
Service records demonstrate you've kept your car well-maintained, and it's a good choice for someone else's next vehicle. The better the car's condition, the higher its value, and service records provide proof of this.
After you trade in your old car, you'll probably want to finance your next one. To obtain a loan, you'll need to bring with you your driver's license, proof of income, personal references, and credit report, to name a few.
When a lender reviews your application, they assess risk and the likelihood of you repaying your obligation. Having your documents in order shows you're a trustworthy borrower and could help you secure better terms.
Though it's fun buying a new-to-you vehicle, obtaining financing can be a hassle. Where can you go for excellent service and a great deal on financing? Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best deal on financing. Applying for financing with Shift is quick and easy, with no cost or obligation. Most applicants receive an offer within minutes instead of days. Financing with Shift is so convenient that 9 out of 10 customers choose us when they need a loan.
Can you sell an unregistered car?
Yes, it is possible to sell an unregistered vehicle. Your car might have an expired registration for several reasons. Maybe it's a garaged collector vehicle that you rarely drive, and you chose to leave it unregistered as the years pass. It could be that it has mechanical issues, and you haven't been able to pay for the repairs and let the registration lapse.
However, since the DMV uses vehicle registrations to keep track of owners, their location, VIN, title number, and license plate number, not having one represents a challenge when selling.
If you have an unregistered car, the easiest thing to do is contact your DMV and apply for a new registration. Not only will this make the selling process uneventful, but it can also give potential buyers peace of mind.
But if you have to sell an unregistered vehicle, you can take several steps to smooth out the transaction.
First, you should write up and sign a bill of sale between you and the person purchasing the vehicle. Information to include on the bill of sale consists of your and the buyer's names and addresses, the VIN, and the car's make, model, year, purchase price, and time of sale. After that, both you and the buyer should sign the bill of sale in the presence of a notary.
Next, a visit to your local DMV gives you the chance to obtain other necessary documents related to selling a vehicle. If you don't have your car title on hand, you'll need to secure one before going forward with the sale. Additionally, you'll need to bring your driver's license along with proof of ownership in the form of the bill of sale from when you originally purchased the vehicle.
Lastly, to complete the sale of your unregistered car, you have to sign over the title to the new owner to transfer ownership. Next, you need to visit the DMV with all necessary forms signed, the transferred title, and the bill of sale to complete the transaction. There could be additional fees and sales tax, and the new buyer will need to pay for a new registration themselves.
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April 15, 2022
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