Title complications

I bought a used car in Arizona on January 1st and got the 90-day non-resident registration. It requires that I get the title in another state by April 2nd. I have since driven the car to Massachusetts and I want to sell it again but I can’t figure out the best way to get a title. I am from Alaska and so is my insurance but I don’t think I can get my title from there without going to the DMV in person (which I can’t). I’m not sure I can get a title from Massachusetts without buying an insurance policy here and it doesn’t quite seem worth it if I’m only going to be here a couple weeks. Is there anything I can do?

What happened to the title you received when you bought the car? If you are in MA now, take whatever paperwork you have to the DMV in MA and see what they advise. In many states insurance is required to register a car. A title is a document of ownership of the car so insurance may not be required. However residency maybe required, so best to go to DMV and ask them.

You’re asking the wrong people. You need to ask the Alaska and Massachusetts Departments of Motor Vehicles these questions. I’m sure their numbers are in any online phone listing.

Alaska DMV - can I get my title mailed?
Mass DMV - what do I need to do to get my car titled and registered?

MA is probably one of the last places you want to go through this dance.

But first let me say that in most places, the title and registration are two different transactions but linked. In MA, you can’t register the car without first applying for title in MA. I’m surprised you did not have to title the car in Arizona before they would issue even a temporary registration.

Insurance is regulated in MA so it really doesn’t matter where you go (to a point). I would call an insurance agent in your area and discuss your options. You may be able to buy a short term policy or cancel when you turn in the plates.

When you brought the car here, you basically were supposed to title and register it here if it was for longer than 30 days. Registration requires it to pass emissions and safety inspection within 7 days.

Selling a used car in MA can be problematic. Depending on age and mileage, even used cars are subject to the LemonAide law if they meet certain criteria. That means you could be on the hook if the buyer has problems passing the inspection.

Many states have runner services. These are businesses that will show up in person at the DMV to perform the necessary transactions, for a fee. You might want to look into that possibility in your “home” state of Alaska.

Registration varies by state and you will have to go by the laws of the state you’re residing in at the moment.
You may have been given a temporary 90 day deal in AZ but if you came to OK you would only have a 20 day window; starting with the date the car was sold.

I would want to know why you do not have the title with you. The only reason for not doing so would be if a lien holder is hanging onto it or something of that nature. Your story is a bit lacking on the details of the car purchase as to who you bought it from, if a lien is involved, etc, etc.

I bought the car from a private party (no lien involved) and because I am not a resident of Arizona I got the 90-day Nonresident Permit instead of getting a title. I have the old title with the “Transfer of Ownership” section filled out but I haven’t gotten a new title yet. I did not know where I was going after Arizona and I have spent time in several other states before arriving here in Massachusetts where I want to sell the car. It seems like all states have requirements that you need to apply for a new vehicle title within a certain number of days after the sale and I have exceeded all of those.
I realize that there were better ways to go about this but this is the first car I have ever bought and sure, I made mistakes. What can I do now? What happens to a car if you can’t get a new title?

What makes you think you will have problems titling it in MA? They’re not likely to care as long as you don’t say anything.

  1. Get insurance. You need proof before you go to RMV. RMV-1 form completed by your insurer.

  2. Go to RMV office with signed title, completed RMV-1 form and your checkbook.

  3. Pay for title, registration & sales tax.

  4. Go to test station, pay $29 and get emissions sticker.

  5. Wait up to 8 weeks for your title to arrive. Typically 4.

  6. Sell car.

See how easy that was?

Turbo is 100% correct…You can buy minimum coverage insurance by the month. As soon as you sell the car, cancel the insurance…When you sell it, be SURE to remove your plates and return them to the “Registry”…

If you already have insurance from Alaska, then you don’t need to buy a whole new policy. Just go to an agent for that company in Mass and they should be able to take care of that part of the issue for you, and it won’t cost you too much.

As far as I know, every state has statutes with penalties for late registration of motor vehicles.
As distasteful as any penalty may be, you might consider biting the bullet because if you attempt to resell an automobile with a title showing someone else as the legal owner you would be guilty of curbstoning.

What kind of car is it? year, make, model mileage…

Translation: How much money is involved here.??

Just go to an agent for that company in Mass

Because MA is a regulated system, the number of companies that choose to do business here is more limited than other places. It’s opened up a bit over the last decade but still limited. There’s no guarantee that an insurer in Alaska will be licensed in MA.

You can’t sell it to someone else with your name in the reassignment block unless you are a registered dealer. You are not. You have to get a title in your name. Since you are in Mass, that’s the logical place to get the title.

Check the yellow pages and see if there are title services there that can expedite a title for you. Of course there will be a fee. If I choose to use a title service here, I can have a title in my hands in two days. In fact I took one in last Monday and had it on Wednesday. The state will take three to four weeks if I don’t pay the title service. Here it costs $15 in addition to the title fee.

MG, anyone from MA is sure to get a chuckle out of your suggestion. It’s likely to be great advice for the vast majority of locations. Where I grew up, they printed them right at any DMV office. But this is not a normal location. All titling occurs in Boston. If you could find the office where it happens and manage to gain access, your inquiry to them would virtually guarantee a lengthy process and the longest wait period possible! If you ever titled anything here you might understand.

First time boat registration? There’s maybe 4 locations STATE WIDE where you can go and stand in line to do it. There are runner services for this. But you still have to wait for the title to be processed…

@TwinTurbo Titles are only printed in the state capital here too. I have been in that office to get one, but I happened to be in the city that day. My favorite title service makes the 150 mile trip three times a week. That’s what the word “service” means.

Here is what I found on a Google search for Mass title services. Surely one of these can help. The third one down looks promising. https://www.google.com/webhp?source=search_app#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=auto+title+services+massachusetts&oq=auto+title+services+MA&gs_l=hp.1.0.33i29i30l4.69.4214.1.6556.,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43828540,d.b2U&fp=2902240a56ffd6e1&biw=994&bih=622

The details of the MA statutes are unknown to me but generally speaking, selling a car that has not been transferred into your name yet is considered curbstoning or title jumping depending upon the situation. For a private seller this can be big trouble as the state may likely look at it as a case of someone trying to skirt their registration responsibilities.

Is that the upshot of this whole thing; you are trying to avoid the penalties involved?

Thanks MG although I’m quite familiar with what the word service means in the context of this discussion. Do you live in MA or have you ever gone through the process here? I know the answer based on your prior response. I have, dozens of times.

Also, if you bothered to look at the actual RMV site, you would see this-

“Once you complete the title transfer , the RMV will hand you a registration certificate, new plates and a rear-plate sticker with the expiration date. Look in the mail for your paper title. It should arrive within six to eight weeks (unless you have a lienholder).”

Nowhere does it say- if you’re in a rush, go here.

I’m trying to help the OP understand the implications of selling a car in what is currently my home state where I have first hand experience. I’m not guessing from afar…

@TwinTurbo while I have been in Massachusetts many dozens of times, I thank God I don’t live there. I feel so sorry for you. I had no idea your state was so screwed up.

Whether or not it is screwed up depends on your perspective. What I was told is that it is the way it is in an attempt to thwart flippers (i.e. curbstoners). If your business relies on quick title transfers, then you’re likely to think it’s messed up. However, most people do not flip cars every few weeks so it matters little to them. This commonwealth has some of the most rigorous laws that protect the average consumer. For example, how many states have lemon laws for used car sales? If you’re an average person, not engaged in flipping cars, you might be inclined to think it’s a great place to live.

No need to feel sorry for me. If I was dissatisfied, I’d either campaign for change or leave.

Just curious, did you really need divine intervention to keep you from moving here?