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Calling all DMV employees -- Car title transfer question

I live in CA. I recently purchased a vehicle. I got a signed title from the owner.

My wife and I decided not to keep the car, so we have decided to sell it. We found a buyer who left a deposit and is going to pay cash.

Here is the problem: We have yet to transfer the title into our name. I understand to legally sell the vehicle, we have to do that. Both the buyer and myself wish to move the car quickly, and I dread how long it will take to get the new title in the mail from the DMV

Here is my question: Is there a way that the buyer and I can go into a DMV together and accomplish both tasks. IE, can I transfer the title into my name and then into his in one visit?

I found a form for “transfer of paperless title,” could I transfer the title into my name and then fill out one of these to transfer it into the buyers name?

Please help, any DMV experts out there.

You really need to call your local DMV office tomorrow morning. It may be possible, but don’t count on it.

The paperless title form probably won’t work, because it is for the newer, paperless title system, and you also said you had a signed title in hand. These two systems don’t match up; it is usually a one or the other situation. The advantage of the paperless title system is that you don’t get paper until the lien is paid off and you request the paper title, as I understand it.

It takes eight to ten days to get a Ca. title. You can just hand the new owner the title after you get the money. If it was properly signed over to you and you haven’t signed it yet, DMV won’t know anything. If the disclaimer was filed, they could ask questions but aren’t very likely to. If you have had the car more than ten days, DMV will be likely to collect a fine from the person registering. If you haven’t gone ten days, he shouldn’t have a problem. You are now officially a vehicle vulture.

Unfortunately, I already filled out the back of the title.

At this point, I think transferring the title into my name is inevitable. I am just hoping that I can do that and then pass it on to the buyer in one fell swoop, instead of waiting for the title to arrive in the mail.

If you are a member of AAA in California you can do this at the AAA office. And save yourself hours of frustration. If you are not a member you can try creating a bill of sale from you to the new buyer. There might be one available on the DMV website. You can do this in one visit - I’ve done it.

Check with your DMV…I know in several states what you’re trying to do is illegal. It’s called an open title. States have really cracked down to stop this. It was being abused and many people selling the cars were just brokers.

If the OP does not do this often, he might get away with it. You have to sell more than one car to be a broker. It really depends on the DMV. If nicktheviking can convince the DMV that this transfer is just as he said, then he might be able to do it. Maybe we all should learn not to fill out the back of the title until we are good and ready to register it. Nick, you need to talk to the DMV. If the first person can’t help you, as to speak to their supervisor. The first or second supervisor up the line may be able to help you. It depends on how much discretion they are allowed. It is possible that you will have to keep the car until you can legally transfer it to another buyer.

Looks like you will have to talk to DMV. It could be quick and painless. Looks like you are caught anyway and what’s so bad about owning it yourself? Don’t answer that because it’s your decision. It won’t hurt you to deal with DMV. You may not have to put it in your name. Laws aren’t always what our friends tell us they are.