If you currently looking at Craigslist cars, you may be wondering exactly what it takes to transfer the title of a vehicle to the new owner. While each state has its own variations when it comes to transferring titles, there are a few aspects that are common in many states. Transferring a title can be an easy or difficult task, depending on whether or not you follow the steps in the correct order. Craigslist used cars are usually sold through a private party transaction which requires the seller to transfer the title to the buyer.
A title is simply a piece of paper that specifies who owns a specific piece of property. In the case of purchasing a vehicle, the property is the vehicle that you are purchasing. Once you have found the perfect vehicle on Craigslist, the next step is to transfer the certificate of title. When it comes to purchasing a car from Craigslist, never pay for a vehicle before you receive the title. Your vehicle title is the key to registering the vehicle and receiving license plates. By purchasing a vehicle that has no title, you could be purchasing a stolen vehicle. Before proceeding, ensure that the owner has the original title (not a copy). In order to sign over a title, you must locate a public notary. There are several ways to locate a public notary; one way is to look in your phonebook’s Yellow pages. Another popular way is to visit notarypublic.com and search for a public notary in your area. Notarypublic.com has a huge listing of public notary’s that will gladly do the job.
Public notaries do not work for free, so either you or the seller will have to pay the notary fees associated with transferring the title. Car title notaries typically charge five dollars per signature. For some car titles, one signature is enough while other titles require two signatures. It is a good idea to speak with the seller to determine who will pay the notary fees prior to visiting the notary. While five dollars may seem rather trivial on a several hundred dollar purchase, it is best to establish this before having a title notarized. Check your local regulations to find out how many signatures and stamps are required. In older to sign over a title, the notary will need identification from both parties. In some cases, the buyer does not have to be present. When the buyer is not present, you are in essence signing over an open title. Depending on the notary, they may or may not feel comfortable doing this. While selling vehicles on Craigslist I have encountered notaries that will and will not sign an open title.
In addition to obtaining a notarized title, it is also a good idea to create a bill of sale. A bill of sale is simply a document that states a description of the vehicle being sold and how much the vehicle is being sold for. Typically, a bill of sale will have the buyer and seller’s full name, address, date of sale, vehicle identification number, sales price, and signatures for both the buyer and seller. This can be a helpful document, especially when it comes to registering your vehicle.
Once you have received a bill of sale and have signed over the title with a public notary, pay the seller for the vehicle. From here it is up to you to obtain insurance and register your new vehicle. In order to register your vehicle, most states require that you have proof of insurance. In order to get proof of insurance, apply for insurance and your insurance company should send you this document. Bring your proof of insurance, car title, and bill of sale to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area. From here, you can register your vehicle and receive a license plate. In most states, you will be required to have the vehicle inspected within a certain period of time (usually 30 days).
Craigslist used cars are a great way to save hundreds or even thousand of dollars on your next vehicle purchase. Craigslist cars can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of other methods of purchasing a used vehicle. Remember to follow these safety tips when shopping for a used car on Craigslist.