Driver's Guide

How to Register a Car Without Title

Howdy, Driver? Could it be possible to register a car without title? Well, let’s discover how you can register a vehicle with no title.

how to register a car without title

You must register a car before you drive it legally in any state; otherwise, the police will pull you over and leave you with a citation or impound your car.

Typically, to register a car, you need certain documents specified by your state, and a car title is one of the requirements.

The title of a car is a certificate that indicates ownership and the motor vehicle department expects you to present it for the registration of your car.

How to Register a Car Without Title

In this section, I will disclose the methods to get a car registered with no title. Note, however, that a vehicle title is required before you register a car.

Below are the ways to register a car without a title:

  • Retrieve title from the previous owner
  • Title the car
  • Get a Duplicate Title

How to get a title for a car without title

Option 1

Retrieve Title from the Previous Owner

If you purchased the car recently, you can reach out to the previous owner or seller for the title of the car.

I am assuming that you already did because when the ownership of a car is transferred, the title is also transferred.

If the previous owner claims that they lost the title, they must fill out an affidavit swearing under the oath that they own the vehicle. In some states, the seller may have to request a duplicate title before the ownership of the vehicle is fully transferred to you.

I bought a car and lost the title before I registered it

Option 2

Title the Car

If you did not purchase the car recently, you should title the car for registration.

Find Out the Requirements

Visit the website of your local DMV to discover the requirements for a car title. Of course, every state has its requirement and some states may request emission reports (pass a smog test) to apply for a car title.

On the website of your local DMV, you may find the required forms to download and complete to take to the nearest office.

Also, check for phone numbers on the site to call the office for more inquiries regarding registering your car without title.

On the downloadable forms, you find on the website of your local DMV, tick the fields according to what you want. For example, if you want to transfer a title, you will tick that you want to transfer a title instead of replace title.

You may also need additional information such as VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), bill of sale, and current odometer reading.

Complete the Forms

After you compile the required paperwork, fill the forms that require additional information.

If you find fields asking for information you do not understand, contact the previous owner of the vehicle, or the DMV.

Do Not Modify Existing Title

All the title holder to complete the paperwork and indicate that they are transferring ownership so that you can receive a car title.

Meanwhile, it is unlikely that there would be an outstanding loan against the car when the title is transferred unless the lender approves the ownership transfer.

Endeavor that information such as VIN and current odometer reading correspond with what you find in the documents.

Can you register a car with a bill of sale and no title

Option 3

Get a Duplicate Title

Regarding how to register a car without title, you could get a duplicate title if your current title is damaged or missing.

Check for the Title Thoroughly

Before you proceed to request a replacement title, be sure that the title is missing. Check every part of the car and your home for the title certificate.

If you cannot find the title, then you have to apply for a replacement title.

Check Whether You are Eligible the Certificate of Title Surety

You need a car title to prove that you own the car. However, if you do not possess a title for the car, you request the title from the previous owner. But if you cannot contact the previous owner, apply for a bonded title, otherwise called Certificate of Title Surety, from the government.

To confirm whether you are eligible to apply for a bonded title, navigate to the website of your local department of motor vehicles, or contact the physical office.

Submit the Completed Forms and Documents

Contact the nearest office in your state and submit your ID, completed forms, and required documents. You may have to fill out the Statement of Facts form and submit alongside an application for a Certificate of Title Surety (bonded title).

Of course, you will be charged a fee in the region of $15 and $35.

Buy a Surety Bond

A surety bond is an agreement that you are liable for the default, failure, and debt regarding the vehicle.

If you are eligible for a surety bond, you will be notified of the amount of bond to purchase.

You will take the letter sent to you as a notification of the bond to a licensed agency that sells surety bonds in the state you reside in, typically an auto insurance company.

Apply for the Certificate of Title Surety

Contact the secretary of the state and apply for the Certificate of Title Surety.

The agency will register your vehicle and it becomes legal for the road.

Registering the Car After You Obtain Title

Can you register a car with a bill of sale and no title

After you obtain a title for your car from the methods above, register the car.

Confirm the Requirements

Check the website of your state DMV for the requirements to register your car.

Complete the Forms

On the website, you may find downloadable forms to complete. Of course, you will print out the downloadable forms and fill the information fields.

Note: Before you exit the website, check for the registration fees and applicable taxes.

Contact the State Office

Visit the registration office with each of the documents and forms required. Required documents would include the vehicle title, emission report (not required in all states), bill of sale, proof of insurance, and VIN.

Final Thought

If you cannot find the title of your car, do not make a fake car title; the police may run a check, which reveals that the title is fake. Of course, you will face legal actions and your car will be towed to the impound lot.

Meanwhile, the agency will not register a car if it is stolen, pending a lawsuit, or discovered to be junked.

Nonetheless, you can attempt to register a stolen car, but it seldom works, and it will end up in the police auction if the owner is not traceable.

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Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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