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Can I Sell A Car I Just Bought Without Registering It? Is it Legal To Sell An Unregistered Car? 

Can I Sell A Car I Just Bought Without Registering It? Is it Legal To Sell An Unregistered Car? 

“Can I sell a car I just bought without registering it?” is the question of the hour and we have the answer and guidance you need, to make an informed decision and sale! 


If you’re looking to sell a car without its registration, then you may have a few extra steps you need to take- in order to sell that vehicle, the legal way.  A car’s registration is important. The vehicle registration is the only way that your local DMV or car license and records department can keep up-to-date information about your car. This can benefit you in the cases of theft, collision or an accident. Your vehicle’s registration also provides vital information regarding the owner of the vehicle. Your registration also houses the VIN number, plate number, owner’s address and title number. 

Some of the possible additional steps you may need to take as you prepare to sell your car without the registration include the following: 

Crafting and Signing a Bill of Sale 

The first item on your agenda for the sale of your car without the registration is to create and sign a bill of sale. This is the document that needs to be given to the buyer, with a copy kept for yourself. The bill of sale should include both you and the buyer’s complete names, addresses, the VIN number of the vehicle, the year, make and model of the car.  The bill of sale should also include the EXACT amount of money that the car is being sold for. You as the owner should also sign the bill of sale (usually in front of a notary, as many states require such). 

 

Visit your Local DMV/ Car Office for Documents 

The next step you should take is to visit your local DMV or state’s car title and registration office. You will need to obtain the documents and information needed for selling a car.  If you don’t have the title to the car, you will need to fill out paperwork to obtain a duplicate title. Don’t forget to have your driver’s license in hand, your birth certificate and proof that you own the vehicle.   

 

Obtain a Title Transfer 

Be sure that you take the time to fill out all pertinent documents that the DMV or the car registration office has given you, so that you can successfully sign the title and give it to the new car owner. Then, take all of that paperwork alongside your bill of sale and submit it to the DMV. Don’t forget to pay any fees that you have to pay. These differ from state to state.  The buyer will be responsible for all state sales tax as well as registration too.  If you applied for a duplicate car title, you will wait until you have that duplicate title, before the car can be sold to anyone. to be able to complete the sale of your car. Are you selling car that you are still making payments on? Then, the company financing your car will have the title. So, you will have to call the bank, credit union or whomever is financing the vehicle, to transfer ownership of the car to the new car owner. 

 

Is it Legal To Sell An Unregistered Car? 

It is legal to sell an unregistered car and there may be various reasons that your car does not have registration. You are able to proceed with the sale of the vehicle to a dealership or privately even if the car does not have a registration document. But what you are not able to do legally, is sell a car that you don't own, which centers around the vehicle title and not the vehicle registration. 

 

So, What’s the Difference Between a Car Title & A Car Registration? 

Many people get the car title and the car registration confused. Let’s discuss the differences in both of these important documents. 

A Vehicle Title is… 

…a piece of paperwork that clearly states who the owner of the vehicle is. When you buy a vehicle outright, your “government” name appears on the title, showing you as the owner of the car. If you're financing a vehicle, then your lender is listed as the secured party or the lienholder- and they will be listed on there, till you pay the vehicle off. 

A Vehicle Registration is… 

… a piece of paperwork that states who the car is registered to, in any given state in our country. It also shows that the car has been issued a licensed plate. The vehicle registration makes the vehicle legal to drive. The registration also lists the owner of the vehicle, the VIN and the state that the car is registered in. 

Unregistered Vehicles 

Once you sell your vehicle, you have to make sure that the sale of the vehicle is done within the realms of the law. This means that you must have a clear title (free of liens) and you also have to ensure that no one else can claim ownership of the vehicle. (Selling a car with a bank or another financial institution as the owner will require additional work.) During this time of sale, your car may or may not be registered. Keep this in mind: only vehicles that are registered, can be legally be driven on the roads. 

So, when and why would a car ever be unregistered? An unregistered car may be in the hands of an owner who allowed the registration to lapse. The car may also not be the primary source of transportation for the owner. So, the car may not be one that is being driven on roads. Another reason that a car may not be registered, is due to the car owner moving to a different state, selling the car before it is re-registered. Regardless of the reason for the unregistered car, you want to make sure that your state requires some sort of registration at all times. Most states DO require some kind of car registration. Depending on where you reside, you may be able to apply for a temporary car registration- for example if you have a vehicle that is non-operational.

 

Why Do I Need Registration to Sell My Car?

Let’s face it.  Having your vehicle’s registration makes its sale quite easy. Once you have the registration, you can prove that the car is registered in a specific state.  A car registration also displays the VIN and the license plate of the car. A vehicle registration further helps your state’s local DMV or motor vehicle office keep track of the car.  As we stated earlier, this can be helpful to you, should the car ever be stolen or involved in an accident. 

 

Can I Sell a Car with A Registration That’s Expired?

The laws for selling an unregistered vehicle will differ, depending on the state that you live in. But regardless of where you live, you will need to prove that the sale is a lawful car sale. This may require that you show a clear title, a bill of sale or some other vital document that your local DMV or motor vehicle office requires. If you don’t own the car and the bank or credit union does, then you have to present additional documentation for such a circumstance. 

 

We state once again: at the time of the sale of your vehicle, you may not have a valid registration for the car. Only registered vehicles can be driven on the roads. 

 

Does Cash Cars Buyer Purchase Cars Without Registration? 

Cash Cars Buyer stands happy to purchase your car without a title, but we DO require that you have your registration for the vehicle. The registration shows proof of ownership. And if you are ever unsure if we will buy your car, you can always call us and speak with one of our friendly car representatives. 

And if you do have the registration to your car…. 

…then we are ready to buy that car from you fast! No need for you to schedule repairs for your car. We buy all makes and models, AS IS! We buy vehicles with:

  1. Missing doors 
  2. “check engine lights” illuminating from the dash 
  3. Missing doors, keys, hoods, tires, wheels and windows & more! 

You can get a FREE online offer on your car in a matter of minutes! Just click here and tell us all about your vehicle! 

We also offer personalized service right to your door. So, there’s no need for you to have your car towed anywhere. We bring our junk car selling offices to you!  Once we arrive to your home, we will go to work fast, to appraise your car, then pay you on the spot!  We have over a decade of car buying experience, that we are ready to put to work for you, NOW! You can feel confident selling your car to Cash Cars Buyer, as our goal is to pay you fair market value for your car, using the most state-of-the-art technology! So, grab that car registration, then click here! Tell us all about your car, call us, agree to your offer and turn that car into fast cash today!