Let me take a guess – you bought yourself a vehicle and now you need to transfer the title into your name. However, it’s an old vehicle without a title, and your aim is a new, clean title under your name. You have probably also visited the DMV but they asked you to bring the previous title signed over to you. Since you don’t have the old title, your best route is this guide, which will teach you the 3 methods to get a title for an old vehicle without the original title.
It might have been lost after you bought the vehicle, or perhaps you never received it from the seller because they do not have one, or it could even be a barn find. What you do have is a bill of sale. Now, this is a situation where you have a bill of sale but need a title. Unfortunately, the bill of sale alone isn’t enough for the DMV to issue you a title for the old car. There are 3 common solutions: a bonded title, a VT transfer, or having a company register on your behalf.
How to Get a Title for an Old Vehicle
The methods in this guide require your bill of sale to help you obtain a new title from your state. We’ll explore all options to see how they fit your situation and what steps you need to take to get a title in either case.
1. Get a Bonded Title
Let’s go over what you may have tried so far. Perhaps, you attempted to use a bill of sale to get a title for an old vehicle, but that didn’t work. Next, you tried submitting a signed application for a title without the old title, but that was also rejected. Now, here is a new approach you could consider—getting a title bond.
It’s a formal document that a bond agent signs to confirm your ownership when you don’t have a title. If you provide a bond certificate like this, they should issue a new, clean title in your name.
Another example is from Arizona, where they use a different bond certificate. Remember, each state has its own rules, so you need to check if your state allows bonded titles. So, see if your state allows bonded titles. The good news is that bonded titles aren’t restricted by the vehicle’s year of manufacture, so it doesn’t matter if it’s an old vehicle. That’s your first option to consider.
2. Register in a Non Titling State
Option two is a popular method in Vermont. This is useful because Vermont is known as a non-titling jurisdiction, meaning they don’t issue titles for vehicles over 15 years old. If you have a bill of sale, you can send it to Vermont and get a title for an old vehicle. They’ll check it and send it back to you. Then, you can use this to get a title in your state. Remember, the vehicle must be at least 15 years old. So, in 2024, it should be a 2009 model or older. You need a bill of sale, and you can also use a bond certificate or Vermont registration if you don’t have the previous title.
3. Have a Title Company Do the Registration for You
If you are the busy type, get a title agency in your local area to handle the registration process for you, though it’s not mandatory. You will notice that many other title companies online charge around $500 to $800 for a title. They are essentially using one of these methods mentioned here, or a similar one, which you could actually do on your own to get a title for an old vehicle. So, if you have a bill of sale and you are looking to get a title, you can try one of these methods.
It’s not straightforward, though. You can’t just go to the DMV with a bill of sale and expect to get a title. They won’t accept it. They need something more substantial. So, by following these processes, you can get a new title for an old car in your name. This allows you to register the vehicle, drive it, sell it, insure it, or do whatever else you want with the car, now that it’s legally yours.