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What To Do If A Car Has No Title – Complete Guide

If you’re planning on buying or selling a car, a title is one of the most important documents you’ll need. It’s proof of ownership and without it, transferring ownership can be a headache. But what if the car you’re interested in has no title? Don’t worry, there are still options available to you. In this article, we’ll discuss what you can do if you come across a car with no title.

Why Does A Car Have No Title?

There are a number of reasons why a car might not have a title. It could be that the owner lost it, it was stolen, or it was never issued in the first place. In some cases, the car may have been salvaged or rebuilt and the title was lost in the process. Whatever the reason, not having a title can make it difficult to sell or register the car.

Check The VIN

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique code that’s assigned to every vehicle. It’s usually found on the dashboard or the driver’s side door jamb. If the car you’re interested in doesn’t have a title, you can use the VIN to find out more about its history. You can use websites like Carfax or AutoCheck to get a vehicle history report. This will tell you if the car has been in any accidents, if it has any liens on it, and if it was ever salvaged.

Apply For A Duplicate Title

If the owner lost the title, they can apply for a duplicate title from the DMV. This process can take a few weeks and may require the owner to provide proof of ownership and pay a fee. Once they receive the duplicate title, they can transfer ownership to you.

Bonded Title

If the title was never issued or it was stolen, you may be able to get a bonded title. A bonded title is a legal document that’s issued when there’s no proof of ownership. You’ll need to provide documentation that proves you bought the car, such as a bill of sale or a receipt. You’ll also need to pay a fee and get a bond. The bond is like an insurance policy that protects anyone who might have a claim to the car. If no one comes forward with a claim during a specified period of time (usually three to five years), you can apply for a regular title.

Court Order

In some cases, you may need to get a court order to get a title. This could happen if the car was abandoned or if there’s a dispute over who owns it. You’ll need to hire an attorney and go through the legal process to get a court order. This can be expensive and time-consuming, so it should be a last resort.

Sell The Car As Parts

If you’re unable to get a title for the car, you may be able to sell it as parts. This can be a good option if the car is in poor condition and not worth much. You can sell individual parts like the engine, transmission, or wheels. Just be sure to follow all local laws and regulations when selling car parts.


Not having a title can be a frustrating and time-consuming problem when buying or selling a car. But there are options available to you. You can try to get a duplicate title, get a bonded title, or even sell the car as parts. Whatever you decide, make sure you do your research and follow all local laws and regulations.


  1. Can I buy a car without a title?

    Yes, you can buy a car without a title. However, it can make transferring ownership difficult.

  2. How much does it cost to get a duplicate title?

    The cost of a duplicate title varies by state. It can range from a few dollars to over $100.

  3. How long does it take to get a bonded title?

    The process of getting a bonded title can take several weeks or even months, depending on the state.

  4. What is a surety bond?

    A surety bond is like an insurance policy that guarantees payment in case of a loss. In the case of a bonded title, it protects anyone who might have a claim to the car.

  5. Can I sell a car without a title?

    In some cases, you may be able to sell a car without a title. However, you’ll need to make sure you follow all local laws and regulations.

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