Car Title

I just got a used car from a dealer and during the sale I was told that the title hadn’t arrived as they just got the car. I am wondering how long a dealership has to provide the title and if they don’t soon what I should do.

I have the car, the registration and plates, I just want the title please help.

I am located in California

Each state has different rules. Most places, the time to deliver a title is tied to the allowable time that the state allows you to properly register and title the car in your name after the sale. That time, in turn, can be tied to the maximum duration of a legal temporary tag. In Kansas that is 30 days; in Missouri, only 20.

Don’t know about California, but the California DMV site can probably help you out.

What I would do is call the dealer if the title doesn’t show in about two weeks, and get a status on it. At that time, you can negotiate such items as use of a dealer plate since you can’t legally title the car, until the title shows up. I know several years ago, it took one of my brother in laws six weeks to obtain legal title from the dealer. In the meantime, they loaned him a dealer plate, so he was legal on the highways. They also amended the sale date on the bill of sale, so that my BIL wasn’t out any penalties for not having registered the vehicle within 30 days from sale date.

The vast majority of these transactions go without a hitch and within DMV timelines. When they don’t, talk to the dealer; if no satisfaction, get a lawyer because the delivery of the title becomes a civil matter. If it goes to court, the dealer will invariably lose, because he should not have sold the car unless he was sure title could be delivered timely, per the contract and/or state law.

This is a life-learning moment. When buying a used car with cash, never pay without simultaneously receiving the clear title. I’m not sure what California law says about titles. I would ask the dealer where the title is exactly. Hopefully it doesn’t have a lean on it.

Thanks for the replies, everything with the car has been going well the dealer let me use dealer plates until my registration arrived in the mail(yesterday) the car is in use now.

The last response from the Dealer is that the DMV will be sending the title to me directly.

Does this sound reasonable?

“Does this sound reasonable?” Yes, it does. When you buy a car from a licensed Dealer, you are protected against title problems. They are REQUIRED to provide you with one or refund your money and pay a penalty. Sometimes due to out-of-state financing, the title and car can become separated but the dealer has the resources to generate a new title which will be mailed to you all in due time. Less than a month in most cases.

thanks again for the continual help with this everyone. It’s been over a month now since the car was purchased it took awhile to get the plates. But I have plates, the car is registered, and insurance has gone through. Still just waiting on the title