Just paid off my car with the lien holder, can I sell the car even though I haven’t received the title from the lien holder?

I’m selling the car to a friend, but I’m moving in a week and I’m worried I won’t have the pink slip in time before I move, can I still make the transaction?

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  • Nancy
    Lv 6
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    No, you can't, and that's not how it works. You don't get the pink slip from the lien holder. You should already have the pink slip (i.e., the title), one that shows your name as the owner and the lien holder having a lien on it, meaning you can't sign the title over to someone else, transferring ownership, without the lien holder signing off on it.

    How it works is the lien holder sends you a letter saying they are releasing the lien. You then take that letter with your title to the DMV and apply for a new title, one that no longer shows a lien. It's okay if you don't have the title, if you've misplaced it or whatever, because the DMV has a copy, so all you really need is the discharge letter from the bank (i.e., the lien holder) and your driver's license proving you are who you say you are (assuming that you are the one whose name appears on the title, of course).

    Anyone would be a fool to pay for a car without a getting a signed title on the spot or buy a car with a lien still on it, even a friend. And you would be a fool to hand a car you still own over to someone else, someone who can't legally assume ownership and who can't insure it, for it's highly doubtful that your insurance would cover someone you said you'd sold the car to wrecking it.

    So what to do? Contact the lien holder and see about getting the release of lien letter emailed to you, print it out, and take it to the DMV. The DMV then and there will either give you the title or a temporary title showing you own it free and clear, which you can then use to properly sell the car to your friend that same day, getting the money for it and at the same time signing over the title and giving him possession-- the normal way, how grown-ups sell cars.

    • Shane1 month agoReport

      This answers all of my questions, thank you very much!

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  • g
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Not yet, Shane, you must wait to receive the title in your name.

    Plus, you won't find too many idiots daft enough to give you cash for a vehicle you cannot prove you legally own.  

    Cool your jets.  

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  • Poppy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Not legally, titles represent ownership. Until you get that title in hand anyone that gives you money is a fool. Check with the DMV/title office, they may be able to transfer ownership in their system so the new title comes to the buyer.

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  • Scott
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Not legally. You need to be able to sign over the title at the time of sale.

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  • 1 month ago

    No...anyone who would pay for a car without getting the title is a moron. Knowing you're heading out of town and may not get the title on time is for sure a dumb move.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If a seller will buy it you can.  Most would not pay you without the title. Or if they did they would at the very least what to hold off on a portion of it until you deliver the title. A dealer would take it on trade and trust you to bring the title later. There is no law against it.

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  • Susie
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    He won’t be able to get it insured, registered,  and a plate till he has the title. 

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