Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by Joe Regan
How to put a car in your name without title? If your car has no title, you can still put it in your name. You only have to prove that the car belongs to you.
You cannot legally drive without registering your car. To register it, you need a title, so you see the correlation.
A title is proof that a car belongs to you. If you purchased it from a private seller, the previous owner is also reflected.
Since you cannot have the car sit in the garage for nothing, you have to put it in your name without a title.
How to Put a Car in Your Name Without Title
It can be tough to register a car in your name if it has no title. But like the common saying, “nothing is impossible.” It applies here too.
Below are the steps to put a car in your name without title:
Find out the titling requirements
The first step is to find out your state’s titling requirement. The best resource will be your state DMV’s website. You can use the comment section to request the proper resource that will guide you with the requirements to get a title in your state.
Typically, you are required to either transfer or replace your existing title. This will require your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).
Unfortunately, you have no title, so the DMV expects the previous owner to sign over ownership so that you have a title.
If you lost your car title, you need a replacement title as it is acceptable to put the car in your name.
Get the previous owner to sign over ownership
If you financed the car, you have no title for it because the car is put in the lender’s name. Get the lender to remove the lien and sign over. This means you have to complete the loan payment.
If you recently purchased the vehicle from a private seller, reach them to sign over the title so you can put the car in your name.
If the previous owner has no title, they are able to request a replacement title in their name. However, if you cannot reach the previously registered owner, then you have no choice but to get the title in your name without their signing over.
Search for the title
If the title belongs to a deceased, you have to search for it. Give it a thorough search in all possible places.
If the car is a barn find, you might never find the title. But then, most barn finds were registered years ago, and so could get special treatment from the DMV and state laws.
When you ascertain that the title is permanently lost, then getting a new title without a title to put the car in your name is the last resort.
This process can take your time but is worth it. Otherwise, the car will have to sit there until rust takes it apart.
Bit if there is already a title that is damaged, you can get a new replacement title at the DMV. The person whose name is on the title is responsible for this so that you can put it in your name.
If no title at the end of the day, you are going to get a bonded title. In some states, you will get a court ordered title.
Check your eligibility
Go to your state DMV’s website to determine your eligibility for a bonded or court ordered title.
If you are eligible, then you will purchase a surety bond and apply for a bonded title in your state.
To be eligible in most states, you have to be a resident, and the car must not be considered junk.
You will also have the car inspected for theft, after which you will be given an inspection number by the auto theft investigator. Your vehicle might also need to be inspected for theft at the authorized station.
Prepare the paperwork
The required paperwork will be duly stated on your DMV’s website. You need them to prove ownership, including bill of sale or similar purchase proof, valid photo ID, and bond application form.
Purchase a surety bond
If you have ascertained that you meet the eligibility criteria in your state, buy the surety bond. Having submitted the initial forms mentioned above, you will receive a letter from your state mentioning the amount of bond you must purchase.
Typically, the bond amount is higher than the vehicle value. It is determined after an appraisal and information you see in your paperwork.
Take the letter to the institution you want to buy the bond, including an auto insurance agency. You are not to pay the value of the vehicle.
Moreover, depending on your state, you are to purchase the bond within a year from the date you receive the bond notification. Otherwise, you will purchase a new bond so that you can get a bonded title to put the car in your name.
If the car is financed, the bonding institution will make sure that the debt is completed and the lien released.
Apply for a bonded title
Contact the agency responsible for titling vehicles in your state. Present the original surety bond notice and your other paperwork including a completed title application form, vehicle inspection number, and vehicle identification report.
If you are registering a commercial truck, you might need the weight certificate, for example, in Texas.
If the vehicle is an imported vehicle, you also need valid customs to show that the car was properly imported.
Put the car in your name
Now you have a bonded title. You only need basic paperwork such as bill of sale, acceptable photo ID, VIN, and bonded title. You can refer to your local DMV’s website for the requirement.
First, download and complete the registration application form online. Fill in the correct details before you go to the DMV.
If it is a used car, you will be charged a sales tax before you can put it in your name. Nonetheless, you can follow these steps to skip the used car sales tax.
Go to your local DMV to complete registrations. Some states require your vehicle to pass an emission test. Refer to this article to pass a smog check.
You also need insurance for your registration. Ensure to compare and pick the company with the best affordable quote.
Your best shot to put a car in your name without a title is to use a bonded title. A surety bond is only a legal agreement that shows you are financially responsible for the vehicle.
In some states, you need a court-ordered title. Follow the steps as earlier linked above to know how to go about using a court ordered title to put a car in your name without a title.
Note that a surety bond does not completely make you the vehicle owner. If someone comes out and successfully claims ownership against you, you will be responsible for the cost. However, this typically cancels after 3 years of ownership without anyone claiming ownership.