Can You Legally Sell a Car Without the Title?


Selling a car feels like a complicated process for many people. It seems like there’s a whole mess of paperwork and legal matters you have to deal with before you can let this vehicle go.

One of the issues many people come across is the question of the title. Also known as the Certificate of Ownership, this is the document that proves you legally own the car. And unfortunately, many people lose their title and wonder if they can get rid of the car without it.

So here’s the question: is it illegal to sell a car without a title? Let’s find out.

Is It Illegal To Sell a Car Without a Title?

The answer to this question is a little complicated. In most cases, selling a car without a title is illegal.

You need to have the title because it’s the means by which you prove that the vehicle is legally yours. It’s the buyer’s way of ensuring they aren’t driving a stolen car. Without the title, a buyer cannot get insurance or register the car, which is problematic if they ever want to sell it themselves.

While there are states where it is legal to sell a car without a title, there are specific rules regarding what cars qualify. For example, in Alabama, you don’t need a title for a car over 35 years old. And in Georgia, cars modeled prior to 1962 don’t require titles for transfer.

These are very unique cases, and in general, it is not okay to sell a car without the title. And while you can get a replacement title, that can be a very complicated process involving contacting the vehicle’s previous owner.

But is it possible to sell a car without a title in different circumstances?

Selling Car Without a Title

You cannot transfer another car to another owner without a title. However, there are other ways to legally make money off of your car without a title.

For example, this junk car site allows you to sell a junk car within a 50-mile radius of Georgia’s Metro Atlanta area. No titles are required, and to top it off, the company will have the car towed away at no charge.

There are some guidelines you’ll have to follow. The car must be at least 12 years old, and you’ll need a valid insurance card as well as a valid driver’s license to receive cash. If you have all those things, this is a great way to get some money off your car.

More on Buying and Selling

So is it illegal to sell a car without a title? The answer is generally yes, though there are unique exceptions. To avoid issues, make sure you keep your title in a safe and memorable place where you can find it.

If you found this article helpful, check our Car Buying section for more tips.


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