Blog Bg Image

Can You Sell A Car Without A Title? — [7 Tips Inside]

Can You Sell A Car Without A Title? — [7 Tips Inside]

You’ve finally decided to sell your car, but now you realize you have a problem. When gathering all the paperwork for the sale, you cannot locate the car’s title. You need the cash from the sale of your car quickly, but without the title, the sale might not even happen at all. Now you’re scrambling to figure out how to sell a car without a title. You need to show proof of ownership so that the potential buyer can take legal ownership of the vehicle. So, can you even still sell the car without the title? If not, what are your options for getting a duplicate title or using alternate documents? Keep reading and we’ll provide 7 tips for selling a car without a title.

What To Expect Before The Sale

There are a few things that you should know before you get ready to sell your car. First, the rules and laws for selling a car vary from state to state, so be sure to become familiar with your local laws before moving forward. Before you can transfer ownership to another person, you must prove that you own the vehicle. This applies whether you’re simply selling the car or trading in the car. A certificate of title is used in most states to prove ownership of a vehicle. This is why it is vitally important to maintain your car’s title in a safe and secure place so that it does not become lost, stolen, or destroyed. If you don’t have one, you need to keep reading to learn how to get a title for a car.

In addition to the title, there are a few other pieces of paperwork that are generally required to sell a car. This includes a bill of sale and, in some cases, registration documents. Without the proper documentation, a potential buyer will likely be scared away from the transaction. Buying a car without a title can be dangerous and can lead to some trouble for the new owner. They may think you are attempting to sell a car that is not yours, or even worse, stolen. You might also be selling a car that currently has a lienholder, which means that the new buyer would not get full ownership of the vehicle. Nobody wants to be part of a shady transaction, so make sure that you have all your documents in order before listing your car for sale.

Option #1: Sell Your Car To Auto Wranglers

If you’re looking for the easiest method out there, then give Auto Wranglers a call. We can walk you through the entire process and provide assistance with all the paperwork. We’ll take care of the bill of sale and all the other legal documents required to legally transfer ownership of the vehicle. If you have the title, we’ll show you exactly how to sign over a car title. If you can’t find your car’s title, don’t worry about it! We can either advise you on the process for getting a replacement title from your local DMV or, if possible, go ahead and buy the car with no title. The rules on buying a car without a title vary from state to state, but since we buy cars nationwide, we can explain the rules to you no matter where you are located!

Not only is our process completely hassle free when it comes to the paperwork, but we’ll also buy your car no matter what condition it’s in. We buy everything from scrap cars to great used cars – you won’t get that with most of the other junk car buyers out there. If you have a car that won’t start or one that still smells brand new, we’ll make you a cash offer to buy it at a great price. We always provide free pickup and towing, so you never even have to leave home. Give us a call to get your instant cash offer and get the process started today.

Option #2: Request A Replacement Title Through Your Local DMV

If you cannot seem to find your vehicle title, then requesting a replacement is usually a good first step. Your state’s DMV can assist you with the process of getting a new title that is just as valid as the original. Once you have the new title in hand, then you can perform a title transfer and sell the car as you please. There are a few pieces of information that will be needed to obtain a duplicate title. Again, these vary from state to state, but many items are the same between states.

First, you’ll need to prove that you own the vehicle. If you have the car’s registration paperwork and a valid ID like a driver’s license, then this is a good first step. Your DMV office should be able to look up the information using this data. You might also need the vehicle identification number (VIN) or other information about the car itself. Some states allow you to complete this process through the DMV website, while others require you to do this in person. The process usually takes about 30 days, although some states offer a rush replacement for an additional fee.

Option #3: Write Up A Bill Of Sale

In some states, a bill of sale is sufficient for selling a car, especially for older vehicles. In Alabama, for example, titles are no longer issues for cars more than 35 years old. If you are selling a car that old, a bill of sale and proof of your registration should be all that is needed. However, make sure that you include all the proper elements to a complete bill of sale.

You will want to make sure that you list both the buyer’s name and seller’s name on the document. In addition, you will need the date of sale, sale price, odometer reading, and VIN shown clearly on the document. Some states require that you use their official template or form when creating a bill of sale, while others allow you to draft your own as long as they include the required information. You can always contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to ask about their specific requirements.

Option #4: Get A Notarized Bill Of Sale

If a regular bill of sale is good, then one that is notarized is even better, right? Having the document notarized is not always necessary, although it can be helpful in some cases. Some states actually require a notary, while others do not. Even in the states that do not require a notary, going ahead and getting one anyway can add some legitimacy to the transaction.

Having a notary witness the transaction proves at least a couple of things. First, it proves that the person selling the car is who they say they are. It doesn’t necessarily prove that person owns the car without other supporting documents, but it can help protect the buyer if questions come up about the transaction later. If no title is involved, then it is a good idea to go ahead and have the bill of sale notarized during the signing process.

Option #5: Notify Your State

Once the transaction takes place, you should go ahead and notify your state that the car has been sold. The new buyer should take care of this when they get their new registration, although it doesn’t hurt for the previous owner to notify the state as well. Doing this allows the state to update their information regarding the owner of the vehicle in case anything comes up about that vehicle in the future. It also keeps you from continuing to pay taxes and fees on the vehicle after it has been sold. If you buy a new car and go to register it, the DMV will often ask whether you traded or sold an old car. However, you should notify them of the sale even if you don’t buy a new car.

When performing a trade-in at your local dealership, you can be almost certain that the dealership will take care of all this for you. However, when selling to a private party, it is best that you do everything possible to keep yourself protected. If you sell your junk car to Auto Wranglers, we always take care of the paperwork for you so that you don’t have to worry about it.

Option #6: Request A Transfer Of Ownership

A transfer of ownership request is another way that you can sell a car without a title. Not all states allow this, but some will allow you to transfer ownership through a request with the DMV. There are some requirements that must be met though. The new owner will only get a temporary permit to drive the vehicle. A new or duplicate title must be issued before the temporary permit expires. It is the new owner’s responsibility to make sure that the new title is issued in a timely manner. You might also be required to perform a new inspection on the vehicle as well.

Option #7: Register Your Vehicle In Vermont

Why Vermont, you ask? Easy – because Vermont allows you to register a vehicle with only a bill of sale and the payment of taxes and fees. Once your car is registered in Vermont, then it serves as proof of ownership in the other 49 states. However, there is a catch. The vehicle must be more than 15 years old for this method to work. If the vehicle is less than 15 years old, then Vermont requires a title to register the car just like the other states. So, if you have an older vehicle with no title, Vermont might be your saving grace!

Can You Sell A Car Without A Title?

It depends. While there is no way to get around the pink slip requirement in some cases, there are other options available depending on your specific situation. If you have a lost title to your car, then you can always request a duplicate from the DMV. However, if you’re unable to get one, you might still be able to sell your car without it. Typically, junk cars that are more than 10 years old and worth less than $1,000 can be sold without a title. In many states, project cars or antiques beyond a certain model year do not require a title regardless of value. You could always visit your local junkyard if you have a junk car to sell, but you’re only going to get scrap car prices at those places. If you’re looking to sell a junk car for $500 or more or even a great used car for several thousand, give Auto Wranglers a call and we can tell you exactly what documents will be needed.

Can I Sell A Car If The Title Is Not In My Name?

If the title to the vehicle is not in your name, your options are a little more limited. You can get a power of attorney from the original owner allowing you to sign the car over to a new owner for them. The power of attorney basically gives you the legal right to act on that person’s behalf for a specific transaction, i.e. selling the car.

Perhaps the car has been abandoned by the previous owner, and you need to get it off your property. You can notify the state of the abandoned vehicle, and they will attempt to contact the registered owner. If no reply is received within a certain period of time, then it is assumed that they have abandoned the car and you will be allowed to sell it to a new owner.

In some cases, the title may be in your name, but it is held by your lender. If you have a car loan, then the bank will hold the title until the loan is paid off. This prevents you from being able to sell the car while still owing money on the vehicle. This situation is extremely common among car owners. You can still sell the vehicle, but the loan must be paid off in order to receive the title.


Maybe you went outside to start your car, but just got a clicking sound instead. Now you’ve decided it’s time to unload that old vehicle. If you have a car you need to sell, you have probably started looking for the title already. But sometimes titles get lost or misplaced, so what then? You do have other options as we have discussed above. In some cases, you may still be able to sell the car without a title. In others, you’ll need to work through the DMV to obtain a replacement title. The specific process depends on your state as well as the age and value of the vehicle. The easiest thing to do when you’re ready to sell is contact Auto Wranglers. We’ll walk you through the entire process, and we’ll come to you and pay cash for your vehicle. You won’t have to worry about getting all those legal forms and paperwork correct because we will do it all for you. Give us a call today to get started.