A vehicle’s title is one of its most important documents. Just like a deed shows ownership of a property, a title shows ownership of a vehicle. In fact, without a title, a vehicle essentially belongs to no one. A title is also needed to legally sell a vehicle to an individual, dealership or a car buyer.
In virtually all states, a title includes important descriptive information regarding the vehicle to which it belongs, as well as important personal information regarding the owner of its corresponding vehicle. This personal information typically includes the owner’s name, address, phone number and signature. In addition, a title may include information regarding previous owners of the vehicle.
A title is generally given to an individual once they purchase a vehicle, but this can vary in different purchasing situations. For example, if someone has financed a vehicle, the finance company generally holds the title until the vehicle is paid off. In the event that a person falls behind on payments, the finance company can then repossess the vehicle, as it is the entity which legally holds the title. This once again shows that whoever has their name on the title is the legal owner of the car, even if they are not driving the vehicle.
When it comes to selling a vehicle, the title must then be transferred to the new owner. This is important to do so that the new owner can register the vehicle in his or her state. In order to transfer a title to a private buyer, the vehicle owner typically has to visit their local Department of Motor Vehicles, and they may also need to visit their local administration building. In most states, the seller and the buyer do not have to both be present in order to transfer a title, but this can vary depending on circumstances. The seller will generally have to have the buyer’s personal information to have it changed on the title, and a new title will then be issued to the buyer with the updated information.
Selling a vehicle to a dealership or car buyer may be an easier process, as they will be able to handle the transference of the title for you. In addition, if you do not have the title for the vehicle you are selling, a car buyer or dealership may be able to obtain it for you. This is especially true in situations where the vehicle has been financed and the finance company holds the title.