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Can I sell my car if I have the title but not registered in my name?
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Can I sell my car if I have the title but not registered in my name?

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I bought the car a month ago from the original owner. Then I became a victim of domestic violence. After he got arrested I had to use ALL my money for rent and utilities. I never had a chance to register it. Now I just want to sell it. But the title says the car must be registered within 10 days...The owner before me signed it as sold on March 10th. So can I dtill sell it to someone else?? Will I have to pay a penalty since I never signed it or registered it? Can i just sign the back and sell it even though I'm not a "registered owner"?


You CAN NOT sell this car until you register it in your name. Until you do it is still legally the property of the person you bought it from because they are still the owner according to the records of your states DMV. As of now you don't own this car.so it's not yours to sell.

You cannot sell it until you get a title for it in your name. You may be arrested and fined if you just sign the back without also getting a new title. I wouldn't worry much about the 10 day limit. Better late than never

If you never retitled the car to your name, then you can't sell it - it's not legally yours until you retitle it.

You might have a fine to pay, when you retitle it, but it won't be much. Title it, then sell the car.

If you start signing and writing all over the back of that title, it will void the title out, and the guy you bought it from, will have to do a duplicate title and resign it over to you. It will be A MESS.

vicki g
In CA what you have described is what we call multiple transfer.
Yes, you can sell the car. The DMV just wants a paper trail of all those involved and they want their $15 transfer fee for each transfer...and they don't care who pays it...so it's commonly paid for by the last buyer...
Since the title is running out of room for signatures, you can get additional forms from the DMV.
Have you already signed the title for your transfer? Then the next buyer will need to use form REG 227 duplicate for title and REG 262 Bill of sale and odometer disclosure. You need to sign them as well. You and the first guy are transfer #1 and you and the second buyer are transfer #2. In CA the seller is responsible for getting it smogged (good for 90 days, so you can still use the last one)

If you haven't signed anything yet, then pretend you never took possession of the car and skip you altogether (which works unless the seller sign and turned in a Release of liability, then the DMV knows about you) The new buyer can use an Error Statement REG 101 saying a wrong date was written down.

the penalty doesn't kick in until after 30 days btw, so you're good.

Note some replies from US correspondents to this question, and it begs the question: are you asking about a car in the USA or a car in the UK?

Under UK law, if you are the person holding title to the car, you are permitted to sell it, and it is irrelevant to whom the car is registered. Title of ownership is all that matters.

Seems the US have other rules about this.

Natasha F
yes you can

as long as the person or persons who's name('s) on the title/ registration agrees with the conditions,etc. It's best not to step on toes,but if the title is in your name (& your name only) well then you have the power!!

Lover not a Fighter
Yes. The title is THE certificate of ownership.

Good luck.......

Barbara Jordan
I sold my 1999 ford ranger to a man that lives in my community. I know him vaguely. I left my license so he could get it changed. I sold it to him in Jan./Feb. 2013. Now I got a letter from his insurance company that it had been wrecked and was still in my name. what do I need to do. and how did his insurance co. issue him cover on a truck that is not in his name? Thanks!

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