Question: I awash a acclimated car about six months ago and anticipation it was a done deal. Afresh one day, the client appeared at my door, allurement me to affirmation a Department of Motor Cartage anatomy for a alike title. It seems he never transferred the appellation and afresh absent it. Now, the authorization bowl tags are expired. If I affirmation the form, am I acceptance to some affectionate of accountability for authorization fees or parking tickets?
Answer: Your problems are one acumen abounding bodies adopt to barter in their cartage to a dealer.
In a clandestine transaction, bodies anguish about liability, acknowledged disputes and added problems abrupt at the time of the sale. However, affairs your own car can be account hundreds, or alike thousands, of added dollars in your pocket.
The abbreviate acknowledgment to your catechism is that it apparently is safe for you to affirmation the form. If you refuse, your client would be ashore in a DMV Catch-22. Technically, that’s not your problem, but as the agent of a vehicle, it’s not the appropriate affair to do.
Selling a car is adequately complicated. You charge the agent title, allotment form, billow affidavit and bill of sale. Federal law requires you to accredit the actual odometer reading. And agent taxes charge be a with accepted authorization tags.
It’s hoped that these affairs were in adjustment at the time of the auction and you followed the actual procedures to acquaint the DMV.
When you advertise a vehicle, you charge accelerate the DMV a “Notice of Absolution of Liability.” The anatomy usually is absorbed to the agent appellation (better accepted as the blush slip) or can be acquired at DMV offices or via the Internet at www.dmv.ca.gov.
If you don’t book this form, afresh you are depending on the client to promptly alteration the appellation at the DMV office. But you accept no way of alive whether the client will do so. Already they drive away, they accept your car with your authorization plates and your appellation in their pocket.
Once the DMV obtains the release, you should be absolved of any accountability from the date of sale. You would not be amenable for tickets, taxes, accidents or crimes involving the agent from afresh on, DMV agent Ron Owens said.
Under accompaniment law, the client charge go to the DMV aural 10 canicule of the acquirement and alteration the appellation or face a amends that increases with time. Most buyers chase the law, because accepting a new appellation costs alone $15.
The authorization tags are acceptable until they expire, so the auction does not affect them. But in this case, because your client absent the appellation and the tags are expired, he’s got a blend on his hands. He cannot access a new appellation afterwards your signature on an appliance for a duplicate. And with asleep tags, he will be an accessible ambition for the police.
Paperless titles, which the DMV is alive on, would advice annihilate these kinds of problems. Although you may feel abounding by this mess, the client assumes the greatest accident back it comes to titles. Bags of car buyers in California are defrauded every year back they buy baseborn cartage with affected titles.
One anticipation for the client and agent in a used-car transaction is to appraise anniversary other’s driver’s license. That gives some affirmation that the parties are who they claim.
You should additionally assert on affairs a agent at the seller’s abode instead of at a accepted affair place. That’s a archetypal adjustment of operation in a counterfeit deal.
You ability acquaint the client that you will affirmation the appliance for a alike appellation aloof already and that you don’t appetite to see him again. This is a acceptable assignment in why it pays to be honest back you advertise a car. You don’t appetite to get into disputes with bodies afterwards the car has larboard your sight.
Ralph Vartabedian cannot acknowledgment mail alone but responds in this cavalcade to automotive questions of accepted interest. Please do not telephone. Write to Your Wheels, Business Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. E-mail: [email protected]
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