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Wisdom & Authority Title Solutions

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Bought a Vehicle From Private Seller and Lost Title?

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM Comments comments (4)







This is a post is for those who buy vehicles (trailers, vehicles, etc.) from private sellers (WHO GAVE THEM A TITLE), only to end up losing the title later.  For those who are reading this post let me provide you with some clarity on this situation.  In previous posts I wrote about title skipping (individuals who sign and pass along titles without actually getting the vehicle titled in their name); however this isn't the case here.  This situation entails the buyer buying a vehicle from a private seller and actually receiving a title from the private seller.  However, the buyer intends to get the title transferred in his or her name but ends up losing the title instead.  When this type of situation occurs; technically the buyer doesn't have legitimate proof or rights to the vehicle because no title is present.  

What To Do or Not to Do With The Title When You Buy From a Private Seller:

  • Get the vehicle titled immediately in your name (provided that you and the seller have filled out the necessary areas of the title, including signatures).  Note: In the event you lose the title, it will be much easier to obtain the title because it would have been in transferred in your name and a paper trail would have been established.
  • DO NOT TAKE the same title that was given to you (by the seller) and "reassign" to someone else, so that they can get a title in their name or "reassign" to someone else and so on (THIS IS CALLED TITLED SKIPPING AND IS ILLEGAL!!)
  • Do not procrastinate in getting the title transferred into your name by storing it away.  In the event you run into problems from trying to get the vehicle title, you have a better chance of contacting the person who sold you the vehicle and gave you the title.  Unfortunately, if you delay and run into titling problems after a period of time; there is a chance that you may not be able to contact the seller.  In this case, you have a vehicle that can't get titled or you are stuck at a cross roads of being in a titling situation that you are trying to get out of.

Pointers When Buying a Vehicle From an Individual:
  • Write down the legal name of the person who sold you the vehicle
  • Try to collect multiple methods of contact from the person who sold you the vehicle (address, multiple phone numbers, fax, email, etc.) in the event a problem arises
  • If the private seller is in the military, ensure that you will have contact with the person who has power of attorney on their behalf (in the event that may need to provide you with information, sign documents, etc. on behalf of the seller who is in the military), in the event the seller is out of the area.


If you bought a vehicle from a private seller and are in a titling situation, get the advice that you need from Wisdom & Authority Titling Solutions.