How to Sell a Car Without Registration

by Louise Balle

You may have to take some extra steps to sell a car that hasn't been registered or needs a renewal. The vehicle registration is a way for the state's department of motor vehicles (DMV) to keep track of information regarding the car. The car registration confirms the name of the owner, address, plate number, title number and VIN. So when you plan to sell a car, you need to clear up any confusion regarding the car registration first.

Draw up a sales agreement (also called a "bill of sale") between you and the buyer. List both names and addresses; information about the car (including VIN number, year, make and model); the amount you're selling the car for; and warranty information (if any). Confirm in the bill of sale that you are the car owner and have full authority to sign it over. Sign the agreement along with the buyer in the presence of a notary.

Visit your local DMV office to ask for paperwork and information regarding the sale of an automobile. Bring your car title with you---you need it to both register and sell the car. If you don't have the title, ask for an application for a duplicate car title as well (you need to show a valid license and any proof you have of ownership of the car, such as a previous bill of sale).

Fill out the applicable forms, sign the back of the title for transfer to the new person and give it along with a copy of your bill of sale to the DMV representative. Pay any fees associated with the transaction---the buyer will also have to pay sales tax and registration fees for his new property. If you have to order a duplicate title for the car, you'll likely have to wait until it arrives to complete the registration process and sign ownership over to the buyer.

Tips

  • check You can also pull forms to sell a car on your state's DMV website, then mail or bring them into a local office (see Resources for a list of DMV websites by state).
  • check Keep in mind that if there's a loan on the car, the bank owns the title. In this case, you can't order and receive a duplicate copy of the title yourself. You must contact the bank directly to make special arrangements if you're trying to sell the car to another party.
  • check In some cases, you may have to bring the buyer with you to the DMV office to complete the car sale.

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About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com