How do I sell a friend's car in AZ when friend is out of country?
August 29, 2016 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Friend is in Saudi Arabia. His car and title is here in Phoenix. He is asking for my help in selling his car. If I find a buyer, how do I transfer title to new buyer without him not being here? I have the title for his car but he has not signed it. He is not scheduled to return anytime soon. What do I do? Ship him the title and have him get a notary there in Saudi Arabia? Is there something else that the MVD in Maricopa county will accept for this sale to proceed? My google-fu is failing me in finding an answer. Thank you!
posted by dealing away to Shopping (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Perhaps get a power of attorney?
posted by TuxHeDoh at 10:19 AM on August 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

POA seems like it would work, but I think it would be easier and faster to get the title to your friend, have him get it signed and notarized and send it back to you. I imagine it would take more time and paperwork for you to obtain POA from him, since that would likely require the same signing and notarizing of documents plus more steps.

The state website says "When you buy a vehicle, Arizona law requires that you apply for a title within 15 days of purchase and take the application to an MVD Office or Authorized Third Party provider to complete the process." So the buyer needs to submit the application and not the seller.
posted by soelo at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2016

How much is the car worth? If it's a cheap-ish car, no one really cares what you do. It would definitely be wrong for you to sign his name for him on the form, but how would anyone know?
posted by flimflam at 10:55 AM on August 29, 2016

It would be illegal to have someone just sign the title over when the car is sold, so of course you would never consider such a thing, and I would never have done that when the car I bought was titled by someone who was unavailable. Because even though no one will ever look unless it's challenged, it's not legal.
posted by theora55 at 11:52 AM on August 29, 2016 [5 favorites]

I don't know about Arizona, but I came across a story last week, probably on Not Always Right, suggesting that in some states it's not legal for an owner to sign a title for transfer before the buyer's name is filled in. (The story was told by a notary who would not notarize the incomplete title.) In that case, the POA would be the only way to proceed.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2016

If he is in the military, he should be able to readily arrange a Special Power of Attorney (not a general POA) just for purposes of letting you sell the car. Some states require a Special POA for situations like this. As a military wife, I had a general POA and my name was not on the title of our car and our plates expired and Georgia would not accept my general POA and it was a PITA.

So, have him talk to a lawyer (if he is military, this should be free for him). The lawyer should be able to confirm what is needed here. Also, call the DMV and ask them what they need. If they say POA, make sure you know what type.
posted by Michele in California at 12:15 PM on August 29, 2016

Arizona requires "A signed and notarized vehicle title", so the OP cannot just sign the friend's name.
posted by soelo at 12:33 PM on August 29, 2016

Response by poster: Clarification: He is a Saudi national so will a regular Arizona POA work in this case, or would it have to be an international type of POA like this one: But would he get it notarized in Saudi Arabia or do I do it here?

Or does he do a local POA from a Saudi and then get it translated and then I use it here in AZ? Sorry for all the questions. Really not sure how to proceed and appreciate all the suggestions so far.
posted by dealing away at 1:38 PM on August 29, 2016

Best answer: Here is the POA the AZDOT will accept. Email him the link, have him print it, sign it, notarize it and send it back to you. No need for lawyers.
posted by beagle at 2:28 PM on August 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! I really appreciate all your help!
posted by dealing away at 8:19 AM on August 30, 2016

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