Title transfer for total loss

I was recently rear ended. The other guys insurance accepts full responsibility and has declared the car a total loss. They’ve offered me a fair amount but they can’t give me a check until they have the title and the car. That seems reasonable.
But, they want me to just sign the title and send it to them. When I ask them what I should fill in for the “sale price”, “name of purchaser” and “address of purchaser” they say I should leave everything blank and just sign it. That seems like a bad idea to me. After a bunch of arguing they finally said I should fill in the “sale price” but that I should leave everything else blank or they will have to send me a corrections form.
Does that seem legitimate? Am I protected as long as I have the sale price filled in?

Call And Ask Your State’s DMV Or Secretary Of State’s Office. Mine Would Advise Having Both Parties Present At That Location If At All Possible. Is This A Local Insurance Office ?

Also, call and ask your insurance agent.

Sounds pretty standard to me…That way the insurance company can resell the car to a salvage dealer or rebuilder with a minimum amount of paperwork…It also avoids the stigma of the car being issued a salvage title, making it more valuable to a rebuilder…

If the owner is happy with the settlement, I would not worry too much about the paperwork…Do what The Money says…

Agree with CSA,
Ask YOUR insurance agent. That’s what you pay them for.
Even though the other insurance is paying it is still a business deal between the TWO insurance companies.
Put your insuarnace agent to work for you.

If a well-known insurer is paying you off, it’s reasonable to expect them to be fair with you and not play games. It isn’t worth the trouble to change the settlement terms just to save a few dollars. As long as you have the settlement terms in writing, I don’t think there is a problem. BTW, do you have title or does a bank that holds the loan have the title? If you have a lon on the destroyed car, you should talk to the bank and make sure they are OK with it. As part owner, they have to sign off, too.

I went through the same thing. The car was in my name, but my son had it while he was in college. Another party hit the car head on and it was declared a total. When I finally got the insurance company of the party that hit the car to agree on a fair settlement (they tried to low ball me), I sent the title and they immediately issued a check. It was all done by telephone and mail. I didn’t see the car.

The Thing That Concerns Me Is One Of Legal Ownership. Who’s Name Is On The Title Recorded At The DMV If This Car Is Repaired And Or Driven And Is Involved In A Property Damage Or Injury Accident ? That’s Why It Needs To Go Through The Transfer, I Believe, But Check With The DMV And Your Agent.


It is a crime to sign a blank car title. Period. Insurance companies routinely tell claimants to break this law. Crazy world. (lawyer in Charleston, WV)

When I junked our Olds the guy loaded it up on the truck, gave me a check and I gave him the title. I guess I signed but it’s going to the junk yard, not being resold. I’ll let the Sheriff know what I did as soon as we can meet in church again and he can arrest me.

The money they give you is the estimated value of the vehicle, not the sales price.

If they give you “x” amount of dollars, and you give them the title. Then “x” is the sale price.

Are there s lot of inmates at the local big house there on account of this crime?

In my fair State the DMV is a bunch of neurotic “sticklers” for absolute perfection in any title transfers, frequently requiring reissue of the title, find the seller and redo the transfer for even the most minor errors. The result can be a car stuck on the lot for months waiting for the DMV to do their thing and God help you if the Seller is nonresponsive, has relocated or has temporary duty on a ship somewhere in the Pacific or some Middle East garden spot…

So on a practical level, “Just sign your name right on this line, exactly as it appears on the title, our title clerk will do the rest and here’s your check” has become the norm.

That depends on the state. Each state will have their own laws on this.

My jail mate asks “what are you in for?” “I signed a blank title, You?”

In this thread it is a federal crime to defeat grill shutters;

Some are a bit too “by the book”.

Missouri had a screwed up DMV system when I moved here forty years ago. My car had been bought seven years earlier in New Jersey. Later I moved back to Oklahoma and had no problem licensing the car there. Then I moved to Missouri.

Despite having title, proof of insurance, safety and emissions inspections, and that I had been in MO only a couple of weeks the DMV insisted I had to provide proof of paid MO personal property tax on the car for the previous two years and that I had to pay MO sales tax on the purchase of the car with an added penalty for each of the seven years since the purchase in another state. And they tried to confiscate the title, unsuccessively.

It took seven weeks fighting the DMV before someone well up the food chain agreed that I did not owe sales tax or penalties nor need have paid MO personal property tax prior to living in MO. I finally got the car licensed two days before the sixty day deadline to get it tagged.

The next year I did not receive a renewal notice. I tried to renew the tags anyway but without the notice in hand the DMV wouldn’t let me renew. While fighting that idiocy I got ticketed by police for expired tags. I had to pay the ticket. And then the DMV finally agreed that my proof of citation and paid ticket fine sufficed as “renewal notice.”

Fortunately things have improved over the years but I still have a sour attitude toward MO’s DMV.