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So you have that car standing in your garage or maybe on the porch outside your house for a considerable length of time. It has long past outlived its usefulness and is now pure junk. But because precious memories are associated with it, you have been debating selling it for a long time. But now, the pandemic has turned home finances into such a state, that the time for contemplation is over, and it’s time to take action. You decide to scrap your car. But you are wondering, can I scrap car without title? Is it possible? Yes it is possible, but the possibilities vary from state to state, which we shall examine below
Can You Scrap A Car Without A Title?
Before one can answer the very valid question that can you scrap a car without a title, it is essential to answer another equally important question. What exactly is a title and what all does it entail? The information displayed in a title differs from one state to another, but there are some common aspects.
- A title will most certainly contain specific identifying information like a VIN number, the year, the make and model of the car.
- Outstanding lien. Whether there is any loan repayment EMI still due on the vehicle or not.
- The Odometer reading. What was the last reading and when it was taken.
Then, of course, it has to have the owner’s name and address and lastly, the title issue date or when the vehicle was purchased. Furthermore, it is very important when you see a title from a seller that you make sure it is the genuine one and not a fake. There are some easy ways of ensuring this. You can obtain a history of the vehicle from many sites. AutoCheck is one such example. This does not come free but does contain important information about the past owners, whether the vehicle was ever involved in an accident, how well it was maintained etc.
Also, be sure to check whether the title contains a watermark. One without a watermark is almost most certainly a copy or a fake one. Look for smudges or printing that looks fuzzy or not very clear. This is also a clear indication that the title could be a fake one.
All these checks will, of course, take time, and perhaps a little extra money from your side, but it is well worth it as many states will simply not allow you to scrap car without title. To go back to the vital question of can you scrap a car without a title, unfortunately, there is no standardized procedure for this as it varies from state to state in the US. In California, the rules are very strict and yes, you have to purchase a new title unless you want to dispose of it, part by part. States like Indiana and Wyoming have strict laws and regulations regarding this and forbid the seller to dispose of his or her vehicle without a title.
The state of Florida is a little more liberal. Here it is possible to scrap car without title. But there are certain rules and guidelines that need to be met if the sale is to happen. In other states, like in Texas for example, in the big cities like Dallas or Houston, different rules apply. If the original owner of the car is no longer alive or is no longer in possession of the title, then the only way you can scrap car without title is through power of attorney. The easiest way to scrap your car without a title is to use the internet.
Is It Legal To Scrap A Car Without A Title?
Do some research to find out an answer to the natural question uppermost in your mind – which is the best possible way to scrap car without title and then act on the guidelines that show up. Since junking a car without a title is usually state-specific and in some instances, can even be region-specific, most of the time, all that you need will be proof of registration and at the time of doing the sale, make sure that your name and current address matches that mentioned in the registration. So if you are thinking is it legal to scrap a car without a title, then consider the options mentioned below.
Get A New Title
First and foremost, get a new title. If you happen to be the original owner, which is usually the case, then you need to approach the Department of Motor Vehicles, known simply as DMV, and provide certain documents. These include an odometer disclosure statement so that the buyer knows how much mileage the car had done before it was no longer roadworthy.
Bill Of Sale
There also needs to be an authentic Bill of Sale along with the original purchase price. Bills of Sale may be accepted in lieu of signatures on the title. Both you and the buyer should keep copies of the document, signed by both parties. And unless the selling party is very well known to the buyer, it is advised that all sales be in cash or through a cashier’s check.
What If The Original Title Is Lost Or Stolen?
In such a case for a nominal fee, you can get a replacement title from the DMV. But again proof of ownership and also proof that the title was stolen (rare, but such situations do occur), need to be first furnished before you can get a replacement title. In case it is lost, you just need to provide some sort of document or give an application that it was lost, and the new one will be provided to you. The Government departments are not there to harass you, but you do need to be able to provide all the required details. The answer to the query is it legal to scrap a car without a title, in most states it is not, but there are ways out. In the state of Connecticut, for example, those wishing to sell can resort to using a notarized Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title and Ownership Transfer in Absence of Title to assign ownership to an in-state buyer. Sellers can verify if a title is needed by contacting the state’s DMV.
For those owners who first purchased the vehicle with the help of a loan, then documents pertaining to loan details also need to be furnished, so that the potential buyer can be assured that there are no outstanding dues to be paid on the vehicle that s/he is purchasing. You cannot secure a title unless the full debt is paid off. There may be a situation, which happens in many instances where the original owner has passed away. In such a case, the process is still not very complicated. You need to visit the DMV, provide some personal information, about the name, age, address, etc and then you also need to fill out a transfer form. The last document that you need to submit is the death certificate of the expired owner.
Once that is done, you can complete the sale legally, with the minimum of fuss and legwork. Many agencies do exist that will purchase a junk car without a title. Can you scrap car without title? Yes, of course, you can, but it’s just that the sale then becomes more process-laden and not really a breeze. And bear in mind the fact that you cannot register a car without a title. When you purchase a car you pay for it either through lease or cash. And processing will take some time, sometimes up to a month. Remember, only when you pay cash will you receive the title immediately. In case you choose the auto finance option, you will receive a copy of the title, usually within 90 days. This title reflects the lender as a lienholder. When the loan is completely paid back, only then will you receive the actual title.
Selling The Car Piecemeal
Although the paperwork is not extensive, and usually sales proceed smoothly without too many hiccups, with the dealer taking care of most of the headaches, one other way to settle the doubt in your mind – if you can scrap car without title. Is it possible to sell the car piecemeal? What we mean by that is to sell the car, part by part. Again here, it’s important that you do some preliminary spadework and find out which are the parts that can fetch a good price and which will not. Some useful parts are:
H3 GPS system – If the car is fairly new with a good GPS system, then this fetches a really good price. Of course, many of the cars that are fit to be declared junk are old, but they may be some relatively new cars that may have to be junked because of serious defects or accidents.
- Catalytic converter. Any car that dates post-1975 will have a catalytic converter, and these are sure to fetch a good value.
- Car Stereo
- Car Battery and finally
- Exhaust system
Now all parts will not fetch a good price. Some may not sell at all, but that is a given, and something that you will have to accept.
Find out which are the salvage lots as well garages in the vicinity and also provide to these garages as many details about your vehicle so that the transfer process can go unhindered. Many of these garages reduce the paperwork if a cash transaction can be made, so this is the best option to go for if you have the ready money.
Although not all parts of the car fetch a good saleable price, there is one exception. The tires. If they are in reasonably good condition without excessive wear and tear then they may fetch a good price. But before you take photos of the tires for a listing, be sure to wash the tires thoroughly so that they can fetch a decent price.
Another area where researching your query will help to search for junkyard or scrap merchants that buy cars without titles. Many of the garages and salvage yards will mention on their sites if they accept vehicles without a title, and also they will very clearly what documents they would require if you are simply unable to procure a title for whatever reason. But be warned, that a plethora of these kinds of scrap yards or garages do not abound and you might have to hunt quite a bit before you can zero in on one that will serve your purpose.
If in spite of all your efforts you are unable to locate a junkyard or garage that will purchase your vehicle without a title, then another alternative is to furnish the VIN number. This needs some explanation. A VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a number that is indelibly stamped on your vehicle. Although this is actually part of the chassis number, it is often used in place of it and is unique to the vehicle, similar to a serial number of a computer or mobile phone. This number is usually found under the window on the driver’s side or just inside the driver’s door or on the frame of the driver’s side door. You can also find it on the registration card. Once that has been found the VIN can then be verified with the DMV to ensure that there are no lien holders. Since this involves a fair amount of paperwork, the vehicle can still be purchased but at a slightly lower price than if there was a legal title, because of all the administrative hassles that are involved prior to the sale.
Can you scrap car without title? Yes, but the rules vary from state to state. And for those with keen consciences and a desire to stay away from legal entanglements, if you are wondering is it legal to scrap car without title, the answer is that in many states like Florida for example, you can do it legally, but in other states like Texas, for example, there are strict rules and penalties for engaging in this kind of transaction. So now that you have seen the many ways of securing the title, the big question comes – how will you get your car to the Junkyard? Well, there are several options. You can call a tow truck, which is efficient, but which costs money, or you call a friend with a truck or trailer or finally, there is one other option of notifying the insurance company, and if you have towing covered by them, they will take care of the logistics. Happy selling!