The title to a car is an extremely important piece of paper that proves you are the owner of the vehicle. For years you may have taken great care of a car you’re about to sell, but not having a properly filled out title that includes all of the pertinent and accurate information when selling a car can lead to questions as to whether or not the car is yours. Purchasing a vehicle is hectic enough without having to deal with such a hassle!
There are several steps that one must take when signing over a title. When you go to buy a new car from a lot, generally the dealership and lender will handle most of the paperwork. The lender will keep the title until you have completely paid off your loan and then it likely will be mailed to you. (That is a great feeling to receive that in the mail!)
However, when you are buying a used car or selling a vehicle, it is the responsibility of the buyer and seller to make certain all of the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed so that there is no confusion as to whom the new owner is. This simple piece of paper releases the seller from future car obligations once it is sold, as well as makes the new owner the true owner.
Below are several tips to consider:
- Proper VIN – The vehicle identification number (VIN) must be correctly written on the title and match the VIN that is on the vehicle’s windshield. If this does not happen you could have a problem on your hands when you go to register the car. Before you buy a car, double check what the person has written against the actual VIN on the car.
- Bill of Sale – In addition to the title, when you buy a used car you should ask the seller to write a bill of sale. This will show what you paid, the date of the transaction and signatures.
- Odometer Reading – The mileage on the odometer should match up exactly with the mileage on the title. If the odometer reading is lower than what is on the original title then this may be an indication that the odometer has been altered and you should think twice before buying the car.
- Accurate Signatures – The signatures need to be on the correct lines. If the new owner signs in the seller’s signature spot, that is a problem! Read all the fine print thoroughly before signing.
- No Liens – Check with the Department of Motor Vehicles and make certain that the current owner has no liens on the car he or she is selling. The lien must be paid before they are able to transfer the title to the new owner.
- Check, check and check again! – Even if you are irritating the seller, tell them that you want to double check everything and make certain all is correct. Explain that if there is a mistake it will be a complete hassle for the both of you.
Life, unfortunately, is full of hassles! You can save yourself a lot of unnecessary frustration by taking these important steps and being cautious and observant when buying or selling a car. Continue reading for additional information on motor vehicle titling requirements in the state of Missouri.
Stop by the Bryant Motors new and used car dealership at 2901 South Limit Avenue in Sedalia to check out our vehicle inventory of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram models, serving Jefferson City, Clinton, Boonville and all of central Missouri. One of our experienced and friendly sales representatives can help you select a vehicle that will be suitable for you and your family. We believe in a hassle-free car buying experience!