Can You Sell a Car Without a Title?

So, you’re frantically looking around your house for your car’s pink slip of paper that makes your life so much easier, only to realize it is nowhere to be seen. You ask yourself, “can you sell a car without a title?” The short answer is…


Unless you plan on getting $81 per ton for scrap prices from a junkyard. You can read more about junkyards here! Alas, is here to help! We’ve created this guide to help you get through a stressful time in your life of restoring your proof of ownership for your car! Let’s go over some basic things about titles that you should know before going any further with your title-less vehicle.

What Is a Title?

Your car title is the most important piece of paper that relates to your car. It proves that you are the owner of the vehicle. It is also referred to as a pink slip, but this is more common slang you hear in street racing lingo, i.e. “racing for pinks.” Without a title, it can be very difficult to renew your registration as well. And things can become even more complicated if you owe money on the vehicle and the title is in your creditor’s possession. But we’ll get into the specifics of that later.

How To Get a Title for a Car with No Title

Have you looked everywhere? Have you looked in your car? The glovebox? The console? What about that place in your house where you keep all your important documents? Did you find it? If the answer is no, then I’m afraid to tell you that you won’t be selling your car for anything other than scrap until you get another title.

The first step in how to get a new title if you lost the original is to contact your state’s DMV. This process will vary from state-to-state. Not to mention, fees will vary greatly from state-to-state as well. Some states charging $12 for a replacement title while others charge $75 or more! I know you’re in a hurry to sell your vehicle and asking yourself, “can I get a duplicate title the same day I apply for one?” Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. The government is slow. Really slow. You should expect to wait up to 90 days before receiving your replacement title in the mail.

Selling a Car with a Lien and Other Car Title Problems

Maybe your problem isn’t where but who has your car title. If you know that you owe money on your vehicle, the next thing you should do is figure out who owns your title and what you need to do to get your title. When you owe money to a creditor, they will place a lien on your car title. What is a car title lien? This means that they have the right, if need be, to repossess your property if you aren’t making the payment you promised on it. There are many different types of liens but here are the most common automotive liens.

Lien from your creditor

This is an institution that you took out a loan from and are currently still paying on. These are the most common types of liens as they provide security for the creditor. The creditor will often possess the car title until the loan has been paid off. They are often listed under the “Lienholders” section of your car title as well. There is often no way to resolve this other than to pay the outstanding debt.

Mechanic’s Lien

Let’s say you needed a major repair on your vehicle at some point and decided to have your mechanic just bill you the cost of the repair. If you never got around to paying it, the mechanic may have filed to put a lien against your car. If this happens, they can hire a repo service to repossess your vehicle until they are paid. This a messy situation and is best resolved by paying back the mechanic as quickly as possible.

Tax Lien

This one is a little more complicated. This doesn’t often apply to your car title as much as the owner of the vehicle. Even if you were to sell your vehicle with a tax lien, the vehicle would retain the tax lien. Tax liens are often best resolved quickly and quietly because there are some serious consequences if a tax lien isn’t cleared in a timely manner.

Judgment Lien

This is what happens when a lien from your creditor isn’t satisfied when it was supposed to be. This can be bad as the creditor will begin repossessing whatever you own until the debt is paid back. This includes garnishing wages, repossessing your vehicle, among many other things. If it comes to this stage, paying off this debt should be your priority.

Get a New Title for Your Car and Sell Your Car to!

We hope that the guide we created will help you with any questions you have when trying to answer whether you can sell your car without a title. Once you use our guide to get your replacement title, will be more than happy to take your car off your hands! We know how difficult it is when you lose your car title, but makes the rest of the process easy! After the amount you’ve gone through to get this title, make it easy on yourself and sell it to a dependable, international car buyer with over 35 years of experience!

Go here for any further questions about how to sell your car!


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