Skip to content

How Do Car Title Transfers Work?

Buying or Selling a vehicle can be a lot more in depth than some may realize. There is more to it than a mere handover of money and a set of keys. Shocking I know.

One of the biggest and most important parts of a vehicle sale or purchase is transferring a title. Failing to transfer a title or transferring it improperly can put you in a world of hurt and could lead to complications.

If you are the seller you must have a title in order to make the sale. If you are purchasing the vehicle, you must make sure the seller has a valid title for the vehicle.

I know what you might be thinking:

What is a vehicle title, and why do I need it?

A title is a legal document that shows proof of vehicle ownership. Without the title you can not sell, buy, or prove ownership. You also need the title to register the vehicle.

What happens if I have a vehicle loan on the car through a bank or other creditor?

When selling your vehicle to a private buyer, or even a dealership, keep in mind that your loan doesn’t just vanish into thin air, you have to rectify the funds and pay it off. Selling the vehicle does not get you out from under what you still owe.

Once you receive payment, you must get ahold of your lien holder and find out what needs to be done to payoff the loan you still owe them. Such a hassle, but it has to be done. That’s why we created Flip Ride, to make things less complicated. This process is taken care of without hassle if you use FlipRide to sell or buy a vehicle!

Selling a vehicle.

Now that you are selling your vehicle, what happens to that title?

You have to sign it, and then it has to be transferred out of your name and into the new owners name. You also have to have what they call a “Bill of Sale” drawn up. This is a documented agreement between the buyer and seller in a private party transaction..

Signing, Transferring, and the Bill of Sale.

Every State may have their own set of requirements, so you will need to do some digging into what your state fully requires of you when selling a vehicle, or purchasing one from a private seller.

Transferring the Title may have its own set of rules to follow depending on where you are located. Such a pain, right?

What exactly does a Title contain? That’s a really good question. Here are the basics of what you will find on most Titles in each state.

  • Your legal name
  • Your mailing and physical address
  • Your vehicles VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number
  • The vehicle body type and usage
  • The vehicle make, model, year, and exterior color
  • The license plate number on the vehicle
  • Last but not least, the mileage on the vehicle and the date that mileage was read

When you are selling your vehicle you need to sign the Title in all the right places, as well as the person who is purchasing it. Without your signature, the title is useless to the buyer.

What happens with your title when you have a lien (finance) on your vehicle.

When you purchase a car via financing through someone, or somewhere, that title to the vehicle does not belong to you, it belongs to the lien holder.

Your lien holder will have access to your address and has the right to repossess the vehicle if you fail to make payments. It isn’t until you make that final payment to the lien holder that the vehicle becomes yours, and yours alone.

After the payoff the lien holder will issue the title to you. This typically takes about 30 days.

Wrapping up!

Purchasing can be a long and strenuous task if you don’t know what you are doing, or how to do it all properly. Don’t even get me started on what all you go through when having to deal with the DMV on your own. Hours standing in line, a ton of red tape, and time you won’t get back.

How FlipRide makes every thing FAST & EASY!

Buying and selling a car private party has always been tedious and complicated, until now.

When you sell or buy a car using FlipRide, all of these annoying little details are taken care of for you. In minutes, not days. We take care of the title transfer, sale agreement contract, get the buyer a loan, and pay the seller. See how it works and get in the express lane.