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5 Possible Consequences Of A Lost Car Title

Possible Consequences Of A Lost Car Title – Titles are more than just a piece of paper because they’re legal instruments denoting ownership. Whether referring to a car, land, or home title, this document is proof you own the property, and you remain responsible for any incident involving the said asset.

A car title is a piece of paper containing important details about the vehicle you own. It’s essential in any transaction where you need proof of ownership such as vehicle registration.

Unfortunately, a lost car title is a common occurrence. This document may be destroyed, stolen, or simply go missing, as with other documents. When dealing with this, a car owner should act quickly to request a duplicate to avoid potential problems down the road.

What Could Happen When You Lose Your Car Title?

Ideally, your car title should be in your possession not only to serve as proof of ownership but to complete specific legal transactions such as selling, trading in, as well as registering it in another location. Without it, you may have to face the following issues:

1. You May Have A Hard Time Selling The Car

While it’s not impossible, it’ll be a challenge to sell your car without the title because it’s illegal to operate a vehicle without the proper documents. If you get arrested for this offense, you may spend a few weeks or months in jail.

Since you will need a replacement title if you plan on selling your car, the best thing to work around this problem is to request the document through the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) closest to your area. This office has the database of all vehicles in the state, so this is your go-to place if you need to ask for a replacement for a lost car title.

If you’re selling a car under lien, the car title will be held by the loan provider until the borrower can pay in full. What you can do is to ask the bank how much you owe them before offering the vehicle to interested buyers.

The lienholder will set a grace period when your remaining balance should be settled. Once you’ve paid off, the bank will release the car title to you, and you can now transfer the ownership to the buyer.

2. Car Dealers Would Not Accept Your Vehicle For Sale

Following a car crash and the subsequent repairs needed, you may decide to sell your vehicle as soon as possible to buy a new one. In this case, car dealerships may be your best bet at getting your vehicle sold quickly.

Unfortunately, car dealerships aren’t allowed to sell a vehicle without a car title as it’s an unlawful act that could land them behind bars. Selling a car requires someone with legal ownership to complete the transaction. Without a car title named after the owner, any transaction is deemed unlawful.

3. You Can’t Use Your Car As Loan Collateral

Most lending institutions offer quick secured loans, and one such type is called car collateral loan where you’ll be asked to submit your car title. In this loan product, a borrower uses the vehicle as payment security to the lender.

Instead of taking possession of the car, most financing institutions insist on taking the title for assurance. With a lost car title, you won’t be able to fulfill this requirement.

4. You May Get Into Serious Legal Trouble

If you’re thinking of giving your car to your family member, you may not be able to formalize the transaction without a car title. Also, you need to transfer car ownership to protect yourself from potential legal problems.

For instance, if you sold your car without the necessary paper works and it’s used in committing crimes or it’s involved in a hit-and-run incident, you may be implicated on both accounts.

You May Face Challenges Recovering Your Vehicle

If your vehicle is stolen or is impounded, you need to show proof of ownership and pay the corresponding fees before you could recover your car. If you don’t have the car title, you may have to wait until the replacement is available or until you seek the help of an attorney to get out of the legal problem as soon as possible.

Wrapping Up

Once you’ve realized your car title is missing, you need to act fast and apply for a replacement as soon as possible. Requirements and fees, as well as processing times, vary from one state to another, so make sure to check out the nearest Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office near you. Some states will allow you to apply for a title replacement online while some offices may require you to show up in person for processing.

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