Tips for consumers on selling a car, and transferring the car title.
It seems simple enough, you place an ad; someone comes over, looks at your car, pays you for it, and drives off. However, if you haven’t taken certain precautions, that sale could come back to haunt you with legal problems.
A car can cause death or injuries, as some attorneys point out. Until both have the right ownership and the motor vehicle’s title are properly transferred to the new owner, you may still be considered the cars owner, and you could be held at least partially liable for any accident it is involved in.
Fortunately there are ways to protect yourself from that scenario as well as other post-sale headaches if you take these precautions.
When you write the cars bill of sale.
1) I dentify your car by the motor vehicle I.D. number.
2) State that your car has been sold to the person who is buying it.
3) Know who your purchaser is and state that information in the bill of sale, for example, ask for a full name, address, and make a copy of the buyers drivers license and attach it to the bill of sale.
4) Date the bill of sale accurately. Never use a future date.
5) State the cars mileage, whether it is accurate, and whether the odometer has been tampered with.
6) Indicate whether or not the car is currently free of any liens.
7) Make sure you state that the car is being sold “as is” with no expressed or implied warranty. During discussions with the potential buyer, be very careful when describing the cars condition. If the car drives fine, it’s alright to say so, but you should add that your not a mechanic. If you say the vehicle is in perfect condition, and it breaks down in a week, you could find yourself with legal woes.
8) Note that your cars title has been or is going to be transferred to the new owner, and that he or she has adequate insurance coverage in their name.
9) State that the new owner has paid you, state what form of payment was used noting any information such as a check number. State that the owner has taken possession of the vehicle, and now owns the car, and have him or her sign and date the bill of sale. It is preferred to have this bill of sale notarized if possible.
10) Make two copys of the bill of sale one for yourself, and one for the buyer, and if you have the bill of sale notarized, give a copy of the bill of sale to the notary for safe keeping.
Do not get stuck with a title to a car that you have sold. When you sale a car, you’re required to sign the back of the certificate of title and hand it to the new owner. Then he is supposed to take the car title to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and have the title officially transferred into his name.
If the new owner does not do that, your states records will show you as being the cars current owner. So for example, if the car is involved in any incident, it will be traced back to you as the official owner. To avoid this kind of mix up, make sure you keep a copy of the bill of sale, and a copy of the certificate of title showing that you signed it over to the new owner, and keep these documents in a safe place.
It is also a good idea to send a certified letter to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) stating that you no longer own the car, along with a copy of the transferred title. Also, let your insurance company know you have sold the car, and also send them a copy of the bill of sale, along with the transferred certificate of title.
It is also a good idea to check with the DMV a few weeks later to insure that the title has been officially placed in the new owners name.
You can contact the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles concerning any car title issues with the Atlanta location below:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Address: 1200 Tradeport Boulevard, Hapeville, GA
Phone: (404) 675-4947
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This does seem like a lot of effort to just sell a car, but consumers must take full effort to well document every part of the entire transaction to insure no future problems concerning the sale of a vehicle.