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SIL selling car
Old 11-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #1
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SIL selling car

SIL bought a used car and put his current car up for sale on craigslist – late friday afternoon. Two hours later – around dinnertime - he got a call from someone offering to buy it, negotiating a cash price over the phone. DD called and we discussed. Everyone agreed caution was warranted. My suggestions were to prepare a bill of sale with buyers drivers license info, check the cash for counterfeit bills and insist on going together to the DMV on Monday to record the sale.

We spoke again Saturday afternoon. Prospective buyers stopped by at night. They compared the VIN numbers of the title and the car, pulled out a wad of cash and asked to close right there. They promised to stop by DMV Monday to record the sale. No mechanical check, no test drive. They didn’t look at the car in any light to see if there was any body damage. SIL said – Monday together or nothing. They drove away – Russians in a BMW 740. This is funny. Not humorous but weird, as in walk away, which SIL did.

Another DD advised on how to check for counterfeit bills. My question is, if someone wants to just pay and drive away, how to deal with the paperwork so the title gets recorded promptly – or does SIL have to insist on going together with buyer to DMV?
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
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A few years ago, I had a mexican guy pull up in my yard (in Louisiana) asking to buy my very used Ford Ranger. It had transmission trouble from dragging a boat for several years, and wasn't really running too well. The guy barely spoke any english at all, but somehow we communicated, especially when he pulled a large roll of $100 bills out of his pocket & started peeling them off. He stopped, I think, at 15. Funny thing is, I was just a day or two away from putting the truck up for sale on the "lemon lot" at the base where I worked, and that's really close to what I was gonna ask, knowing somebody would want to haggle me down a few $$ before we could come to terms. I had just bought a new tire for the truck but hadn't mounted it yet, so I threw it in the back. My wife found the title & brought it out to us, I wrote out a bill of sale on a piece of paper, copying his name from his mexican driver's license. It was him in the picture. I grabbed all my stuff out of the glove box, signed the title over, grabbed the money, and he drove away. I don't know if it was a legal sale or not, but I got the money & it spent just fine.
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
My question is, if someone wants to just pay and drive away, how to deal with the paperwork so the title gets recorded promptly – or does SIL have to insist on going together with buyer to DMV?
Not sure about IL, but here in TX you can file a Vehicle Transfer Notification with the state -online, no DMV visit required. If you do so within 30 days of the sale it should remove you from liability.
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:34 PM   #4
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Mr MichaelB,

In Illinois, you file this form when you sell a car to ensure that your liability ends with the sale.

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/pu...ons/vsd703.pdf

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When you sell and/or release interest in a vehicle that is titled and/or registered in the State of Illinois, this form must be immediately
completed and mailed to the Secretary of State Vehicle Services Department to ensure that your responsibility for the vehicle is released.
Completion of this form does not satisfy the transfer of ownership requirements set forth in the Illinois Compiled Statutes. Illinois law
requires the owner of a vehicle to complete and sign the Assignment of Title section on the Certificate of Title to the buyer who must

then apply to the Vehicle Services Department.

You can followup on the DMV web site by using a tool there where you enter the VIN and it responds telling you the car ownership status. Hopefully within a few weeks, the new owners, not you, will show up as being on record.

Of course this is Illinois so a $50 bill paper clipped to the form with a note of appreciation from you to them will help move things along..........
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:54 PM   #5
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Not sure about IL, but here in TX you can file a Vehicle Transfer Notification with the state -online, no DMV visit required. If you do so within 30 days of the sale it should remove you from liability.
No such luck in Illinois. Can't believe Texas is more web-enabled.

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Mr MichaelB,

In Illinois, you file this form when you sell a car to ensure that your liability ends with the sale.

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/pu...ons/vsd703.pdf


You can followup on the DMV web site by using a tool there where you enter the VIN and it responds telling you the car ownership status. Hopefully within a few weeks, the new owners, not you, will show up as being on record.

Of course this is Illinois so a $50 bill paper clipped to the form with a note of appreciation from you to them will help move things along..........
Youbet, thanks for the link. I looked but didn't see it - I'll pass along to SIL. So, I guess that this form plus a bill of sale plus plus a waiver of liability should be enough to keep the seller out of trouble if the buyer just takes his sweet time to register the sale.

What does one do if the buyer doesn't record the transfer in a timely fashion?
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:29 PM   #6
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My suggestions were to prepare a bill of sale with buyers drivers license info, check the cash for counterfeit bills and insist on going together to the DMV on Monday to record the sale.
We spoke again Saturday afternoon. Prospective buyers stopped by at night. They compared the VIN numbers of the title and the car, pulled out a wad of cash and asked to close right there. They promised to stop by DMV Monday to record the sale.
My question is, if someone wants to just pay and drive away, how to deal with the paperwork so the title gets recorded promptly – or does SIL have to insist on going together with buyer to DMV?
That's OK, comrade, we found someone else willing to sell us their car! Just kidding.

The reality is that you don't care. You check for counterfeit bills with the special pen, you keep a signed copy of the bill of sale, you sign over the title, you fill out the notification paperwork that you send to the DMV, and you're cleared of any criminal or civil liability. If your car happens to be the perfect configuration for hauling crystal methamphetamine or illegal aliens or collectible parrots, that's their business.

If you have special stickers for access to military base stickers or parking lots then you might want to scrape those off.

In Hawaii you can even keep your license plates to transfer over to your next vehicle. Hawaii issues them alphabetically and some like to have their beginning-of-the-alphabet plates because they have them memorized or they believe that car thieves will think their cars are worthless.

Of course you could always set a Google Alert to see if your car makes the news...
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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In AZ, for some years now, the law requires the seller to remove the license plate before delivering the vehicle. I guess that makes a lot of sense. It gives the buyer the incentive to register the car ASAP, and also for the seller to have another proof that the car is no longer his.

PS. There is also a Web site for the seller to report the sale to DMV.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
SIL bought a used car and put his current car up for sale on craigslist – late friday afternoon. Two hours later – around dinnertime - he got a call from someone offering to buy it, negotiating a cash price over the phone. ... Prospective buyers stopped by at night. They compared the VIN numbers of the title and the car, pulled out a wad of cash and asked to close right there. They promised to stop by DMV Monday to record the sale. No mechanical check, no test drive. They didn’t look at the car in any light to see if there was any body damage. SIL said – Monday together or nothing. They drove away – Russians in a BMW 740. .
...
Another DD advised on how to check for counterfeit bills...
You realize you have all the elements for a dynamite screenplay here.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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Or just tune in the the next episode of "America Most Wanted..." there might be a car you recognize
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:49 PM   #10
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As far as I know, if you have a clear title and the guys got the cash it should be a done deal. Providing that the money is real, I'd check that. I'd get a copy or write down the guys plate# and Lic info. Give him a bill of sale and sign the title over.

Turn in the plates or transfer them to your new car, case closed.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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So, I guess that this form plus a bill of sale plus plus a waiver of liability should be enough to keep the seller out of trouble if the buyer just takes his sweet time to register the sale.

What does one do if the buyer doesn't record the transfer in a timely fashion?
As NW-Bound mentioned, DO NOT allow the buyer to keep or borrow your plates. You keep them and either transfer them to another car you own or destroy them.

Lack of plates usually motivates the buyer to get the title transfered and the car registered under his/her name. If they don't, and you should be able to tell by using the tool on the DMV web site, I guess I'd call the DMV and ask. Never had that happen so I'm just hypothesizing on that issue.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:32 PM   #12
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Here's a lesson about leaving the plates on the car that was just sold. Back in the late 70's, idiot brother sold dad's car to a military buddy. Never took the plates off, a year goes by and my dad gets a call from the NC state police about his car involved in an accident and someone died. He explained the car was sold and provided proof of the sale. In the end, the state of North Carolina issued some kind of warrant for his arrest if he was ever pulled over in the state. Needless to say, my dad was pretty pissed off about this.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:07 PM   #13
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No such luck in Illinois. Can't believe Texas is more web-enabled.
Amazing isn't it? We just got the whole state all electrick-ed up last year, and now state forms on the internets.

If you live in a state that does not require private sellers to remove the license plates before completing the transaction, I can think of quite a few nefarious reasons why someone would want to buy a used car and not immediately change registration to their name. I've knocked on a lot of doors ready to have an "aha" moment with someone about who was driving their 98 Mustang last Friday night only to be told, "I sold that car three months ago to some dude that answered the ad and had cash money."
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:10 PM   #14
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Amazing isn't it? We just got the whole state all electrick-ed up last year, and now state forms on the internets.
Yup. Next thing you know old Slick Rick will have running water and flush toilets installed in the state house.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #15
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Yup. Next thing you know old Slick Rick will have running water and flush toilets installed in the state house.
Fun Governor's Mansion Facts:

Living in the mansion isn't exactly a hardship, although it was originally built by Abner Cook without any indoor toilets. The house was beautifully restored in 1979, but you can still see the scars of nails that were hammered into the banister of the spiral staircase to break Governor Hogg's young son Tom of the habit of sliding down it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:30 PM   #16
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Fun Governor's Mansion Facts:

Living in the mansion isn't exactly a hardship, although it was originally built by Abner Cook without any indoor toilets. The house was beautifully restored in 1979, but you can still see the scars of nails that were hammered into the banister of the spiral staircase to break Governor Hogg's young son Tom of the habit of sliding down it.
I wonder if the banister survived the 2008 fire?
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:08 PM   #17
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Amazing isn't it? We just got the whole state all electrick-ed up last year, and now state forms on the internets.
I know. Go figure – Texas all full of those internet pipes and electricity to run them.

Seriously, my surprise was about being to execute a transfer online, while most states just limit themselves to forms, instructions and office contact info.

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In AZ, for some years now, the law requires the seller to remove the license plate before delivering the vehicle. I guess that makes a lot of sense. It gives the buyer the incentive to register the car ASAP, and also for the seller to have another proof that the car is no longer his..
That’s the thing we didn’t know – the seller keeps the plates. Makes all the difference.

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The reality is that you don't care. You check for counterfeit bills with the special pen, you keep a signed copy of the bill of sale, you sign over the title, you fill out the notification paperwork that you send to the DMV, and you're cleared of any criminal or civil liability. If your car happens to be the perfect configuration for hauling crystal methamphetamine or illegal aliens or collectible parrots, that's their business.
Now I understand that. With a bill of sale, the old plates, a photocopy of title filled out with transfer info, sellers report of sale to DMV and the money – now it’s fine and the seller has no real concern after that.

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You realize you have all the elements for a dynamite screenplay here.
Son in law has never sold a car in the US before, so he asks the father in law for advice – and the FIL has also never sold a car in the US, but gives advice anyway. Then come the Russians. Steve Martin would be great. Rufus Sewell as the russian.

Seriously, who buys a car for cash without even looking at the body or under the hood?

Problem solved, thanks all for your advice.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:33 PM   #18
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Seriously, who buys a car for cash without even looking at the body or under the hood?
Seriously, criminals.

It wasn't like they were worried about how to hose off the blood & body parts before they changed their oil...
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:58 PM   #19
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The law changed at some point in Louisiana in the last few years. We'd sold a few cars in the 15 years we lived there, and in January we sold DW's car to a colleague of hers who came over on a Sunday afternoon. After a good look over and test drive we agreed a price and then went down the leasing office of the apartment complex we were living in and had a couple of witnesses sign at the appropriate places on the back of the title, plus we also had a bill of sale and kept the plates. The buyer drove off with the car and we thought we were done.

Next day the buyer called us to say that she'd been to register the car at the DMV but they wouldn't do it as the title transfer had to be notarized. This was not obvious from the title (which was 8 years old) and we hadn't checked on-line for the correct process. (duh!)

I met the buyer after work at a Mall where there was a Notary and we completed the title transfer.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:20 PM   #20
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This year, I bought 3 used vehicles. For more than 30 years, I had been buying cars from dealers, so felt really uncomfortable giving cash in exchange for the title. Yet, the sellers would not want even a certified check, as this could be forged too, I believe. So, for the protection for both sides, I proposed that we went to my bank, where I withdrew money to hand over in exchange for the title. Being in a public place like the bank, where I was sure that surveillance video was being taped, we would have plenty of witnesses and evidence.

It appeared that the sellers, who flipped cars for a living, seemed to have no problem with a cash-and-carry transaction being done right in their home. But I was afraid that if they refused to hand over the title after I gave them the cash, what proof would I have that I did pay? Was I too paranoid?

There is one more thing I learned about buying a used car. The 3 fellows I bought from were all car flippers operating out of their homes, and all appeared to be straightforward. But I ran across a couple of sellers who wanted to meet me and do the transaction at the parking lots of convenience stores. It's scary to bring cash to strangers like that, don't you think?
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