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How Can I Sell My Car Without A Title

How Can I Sell My Car Without A Title

Selling a car without a title may seem impossible, but it is doable in many cases. Read below for the main steps to legally sell your car when you don’t have the title.

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Key Takeaways

  • Check if your state exempts older cars (usually over 15-25 years old) from requiring a title to sell legally.
  • Apply to your DMV for a replacement title if yours was lost, stolen, or damaged. This allows you to sell with the new title.
  • Explore alternate titling options like abandoned vehicle titles or mechanic’s liens if available in your state.
  • Use a detailed, notarized bill of sale if you can’t obtain a title. The buyer will need this to get a new title.
  • Sell to a junkyard or dealer to avoid title hassles, though you likely won’t get top dollar. Be sure to notify your DMV you no longer own it.

Check if Your Car is Title Exempt

Some older cars may be exempt from requiring a title to sell legally. This depends on your state’s regulations:

  • Cars older than 25 years are often title exempt.
  • In some states, cars 15 years or older don’t need a title.
  • Classic cars and collectible vehicles can also be exempt.

Check your state’s DMV website to see if your car qualifies. If it does, you can sell with just a bill of sale.

Apply for a Replacement Title

If your title is lost, damaged, or stolen, you can apply for a replacement:

  • Contact your local DMV and request a duplicate title. Provide proof of ownership.
  • Pay required title fees, which are usually under $25.
  • It takes 2-8 weeks to receive your new title by mail in most states.

This allows you to legally sell your car once the replacement title arrives.

Explore Alternate Titling Options

Some states offer ways to title cars without standard titles:

  • Abandoned vehicle title – If the car was abandoned on your property, you may be able to claim ownership.
  • Mechanic’s lien – If you repaired a car but weren’t paid, you can apply for a mechanic’s lien on the title.
  • Bond title – Post a cash bond for the car’s value to get a bonded title in your name.

Check options like these to get a title without transferring from the previous owner.

Use a Bill of Sale

If you can’t get a title, sell with a bill of sale:

  • Get a bill of sale template from your DMV or make your own.
  • Include VIN, sale price, buyer/seller details, signatures, etc.
  • Notarize the bill of sale for added legitimacy.

The new owner will use the bill of sale to apply for a new title.

Sell to a Junkyard or Dealer

Junkyards often buy old cars without requiring titles. You can also sell to a dealer, who will handle titling hassles for you. While you won’t get top dollar, it makes the sale process easier.

Notify Your DMV After Selling

When you sell a car without a title, notify your DMV that you no longer own the vehicle. This releases liability for taxes, fees, tickets, etc.


With the right process, you can sell a car without a title in many cases, but not all. Be sure to research your state’s regulations and documentation requirements to handle the sale smoothly because they can AND DO vary.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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