selling vehicle without title
February 27, 2008 4:07 PM   Subscribe

I've got a vehicle whose title is in the process of being transferred to me. I've got to do the reregistration by mail from Oregon to California. I've had an offer on the vehicle. The potential purchasers say a bill of sale and them putting the vehicle on their insurance is sufficient to let them drive legally. They also mentioned a temporary registration, which I've never heard of. Is this a bad idea, or a practical one to get the car sold now.

I've got a vehicle in my possession that belonged to a deceased relative. I'm a resident of Oregon, the car title is in California. I've sent the title and paperwork down to the California DMV in Sacramento and of course there is some glitch that means the paperwork will have to come back to me and then get resent down there.

In the meantime, a couple have made an offer on this vehicle, a good one. Since the title is in limbo at the moment, they are saying we can do a bill of sale, then they put the vehicle under their insurance and I transfer the title when I get the paperwork completed.

I'm not clear on the potential downsides of this. Given that they look like solid citizens and will pay with a cashier's check, so it's not an issue of money, what happens if they get into a wreck? The vehicle title is soon to be in my name, then I have to re-register it in Oregon, then sign it over to them. That's probably at least another three weeks minimum if nothing goes awry.

While the paperwork is getting completed, they'll have the vehicle. My worst fear would be that if they got into a smashup, the title would point to me and I'd be named in a suit. Is that a reasonable fear or am I just being too paranoid?

It would be nice to have the car sold now. It's a Pontiac Aztek, 2001, with only 18,121 miles on it. There's no problem waiting though until the title is completely clear before doing this if that's the best course of action.
posted by diode to Travel & Transportation (1 answer total)
Scratch the cashier's check. Ask for cash and call it a day.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 4:24 PM on February 27, 2008

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