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Private Sale Q

I’ve been told to write “sold as is” on the title when selling privately; can you really write on the title? Or is this some other document (either an official form or hand-written)? Never sold a car privately before, nor bought one either.

I Believe That In My State, A Vehicle Is Automatically “As Is” When Sold, No Writing Necessary!

Check with your State’s Secretary of State or DMV on the web or in person.

I agree with Common Sense Answer, but I will add that in many states, the seller automatically warrants that the vehicle will pass the state’s safety and emissions inspection unless specifically stated that there is no warranty.

An overarching legal principle of car sales is that a private seller who is not in the business of selling cars is not expected to warranty a car that he/she is selling, but the proviso about passing the state inspection may be a part of the law in your state. In any event, I would hesitate to write anything on the vehicle’s title, other than the required odometer mileage notation and your signature.

However–rather than taking comfort in random suggestions from well-meaning people in this forum, I would suggest that you check with the DMV in your state regarding the specifics.

The only thing I’ve ever written on a car title was my signature. Check with your local DMV about this, as rules vary from state to state.

I suggest you write up a simple sales agreement and clearly state “Car sold as is” somewhere on the agreement.

Where I live a car is sold as is unless specified otherwise.

Write a simple sales contract (or google it to find them) stating the vehicles VIN, mileage, date, price sold for, and vehicle is sold as-is with no warranty within it implied or otherwise. Make two copies (one for you and one for new owner) and make sure both are signed.

Please note though some states have lemon laws, for example in MA the buyer has something like 7-14 days to get an emmission test. If the vehicle fails you(seller) either pay to fix the vehicle or take back the vehicle with full refund.

Realize writing AS-IS is completely useless to you the sellor since you hand off the title. You have no proof in hand after the fact unless you make a photo copy after both signatures on it with that statement.

Good Advice, Andrew!
Also, in my state it is strongly recommended that the seller has a signed copy of the title and that both buyer and seller meet at the licensing bureau. One wants to be sure that the car legally gets tranferred to the new owner, otherwise if the new owner gets drunk and mows down 37 people at a Macy’s parade, you don’t want to be listed as still being the car’s owner! That would be insane if a $300 heap put you into a 9.7 million dollar lawsuit.

In my area, a bill of sale is expected to accompany the title, and it specifies any conditions of sale, like “as=is”. Kansas and Missouri state law also default to the “as-is” sale unless otherwise specified in a bill of sale. Your state can be different.

Car dealers use an official AS IS form. You could type up an AS IS form and have the potential buyer sign this. It should be signed and notarized and this could be done when the title is signed off on and notarized. At least that’s the way it’s done in OK.

I’d be a bit antsy about notating this on a title as this would not leave you with a 100% unaltered written record. If you made a copy of the title what’s to prevent a problem from occurring later and someone claiming that you wrote AS IS on a copy of the title and simply recopied it. The original title has since been transferred and the old original one is gone forever.

I beleive that in the state of Penn. the car must pass inspection or the seller will be liable for the repairs.

Uh, so you can sell a car only if it’s in perfect condition? Then why would you sell it? I say the buyer can take it to a trusted mechanic before he buys it (I always did when buying used, even from dealers); otherwise, ya takes yer chances.

Caveat emptor, as they say…

Car (safety) inspection and emmissions testing is far different than a car in “perfect condition”.

I think these laws have their place, what good is a vehicle if it cannot be registered or used legally in a state???

That’s fine, but take it upon yourself to have the car checked out before you buy it; if it’s no good, don’t buy it… Do we really need Big Gov’t to handle this?

There is a “release of liability” form to be filed with DMV as well.

It is not Big Gov’t but the smaller state gov’t that handles this. My state has no laws protecting the consumer in these cases.