This post places emphasis on the seller's responsibilities, relating to DMV documents when selling a vehicle. As a vehicle title consultant and expert in vehicle titles; majority of my clients are buyers of vehicles; rather than those who are the sellers. I feel the need to aim my focus on sellers in this segment because there are people who sell vehicles without taking into consideration the documents that they must provide to the buyer; only to find themselves in an unfortunate title situation down the road. In this segment, I will highlight DMV related documents that are necessary when selling your vehicle as well as consequences that follow when these documents aren't provided.
Documents That Are Necessary To Provide the Buyer When You Sell Your Vehicle:
A. Certificate of Title: this particular document is the most important document to provide to the buyer. If there is a situation in which the seller still owes you money, you can put a lien on the title and you will retain the title until the buyer satisfies the payment agreements.
Note: if there is a situation in which you will be the lienholder, I recommend going with the buyer to DMV for the title transaction or take another precautionary measure to ensure that you are to be recorded as the lienholder.
B. Bill of Sale: providing a bill of sale acts as a receipt, shows that you are taking an additional step to indicate that you've sold or transferred a vehicle to someone and will even act as a safeguard for the buyer, when DMV looks at what the vehicle was sold for, versus the true value of the vehicle.
C. Odometer Disclosure or Statement: the odometer disclosure is very important to provide because it shows what the mileage is for the vehicle at the time of the sale or transfer. The odometer disclosure is to be submitted on the title. As the seller, if there is some reason why you can't provide the odometer disclosure on the title (due to a mistake, unclear reading, lack of space, etc.), it will be wise for you to use a DMV odometer disclosure form (from your state).
Consequences That Occur When The Seller Don't Provide The Necessary DMV Documents to the Buyer:
1. When the seller of a vehicle fails to provide a title to the buyer, the buyer will run into a problem getting a title in his or name at the DMV. As a result, a civil matter resulting in the seller and buyer going to court may occur.
Note: The fact that a title is lost or destroyed isn't an excuse when it comes to why a title isn't being presented to the buyer. If this is the case, the seller must obtain a duplicate title. Again, the only legitimate reason that a seller has for not providing a title to the buyer is if the buyer still owes the seller payments on the vehicle.
2. When a bill of sale isn't given to the seller, sometimes doubt may arise as to whether or not the buyer did in fact receive legal rights to the vehicle, paid what he or she actually indicated or is trying to avoid paying the required sales tax amount on the true value of the vehicle, etc. In essence the bill of sale goes hand in hand with the vehicle's title and basically should reflect the information provided on the title and seal the deal.
3. Failing to provide an odometer statement or disclosure on the title and or on a DMV odometer disclosure form; opens the door the possibility of odometer fraud of the vehicle. Being discreet with odometer readings, not providing the correct odometer reading, or tampering with the odometer reading period, is a federal offense; which will place the seller in the hot seat.
Of course there are shady buyers that may try to distort vehicle information for their own illegal gain. Because of this possibility, it is even more important that the seller of the vehicle, protect him or herself by adhering to the above points and provide the necessary DMV documents when selling a vehicle.
If you are a seller of a vehicle and can't find the title to the vehicle that you won't to sell, don't have time to deal with the title process or you are stuck in any type of title situation; Wisdom & Authority Title Solutions is available to provide you with the professional and accurate help you need.