- Spot a Fake QR Code & Avoid Getting Scammed
- Common NFT Scams to Look Out For & Ways to Avoid the Fake Ones
- What to Do If You Witness a Crime?
- What Is Skip Tracing and How Does It Work?
- Common Venmo Scams to Look Out For and How to Avoid Them
- Can You Get Child Custody If You Have a Criminal Record?
- Common Amazon Scams and Ways on How to Avoid Them
- How to Find Liens on a Property?
- Multiple Bankruptcies: How Often You Can File One?
- How to Adopt a Child in the US?
- I Lost My Birth Certificate. What Should I Do?
- Warning Signs of Job Scams and How to Protect Yourself
- What Is a Ban the Box Law?
- What is Expungement?
- How to Transfer Property After Death Without Will
- What Is a Police Blotter?
- How to Appeal a Parking Ticket
- What Is a Clean Driving Record?
- What is Title Washing?
- What is Extortion?
- How To Run a Motorcycle Title Search
- What Is a Digital Footprint?
- What is Anti Money Laundering (AML)?
- Guide on How to Get a Death Certificate
- What is the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?
- What is Multi Factor Authentication?
- What is a Citizen's Arrest?
- How to Know that You’re in an Obsessive Relationship
- Guide to Online Survey Scams
- 13 Different Types of Police Officers
- Full Guide on Work-from-Home Scams
- Is Private Browsing Really Private?
- Different Types of Felony Classes & Charges
- What is Juice Jacking?
- What are Romance Scams?
- Traffic Offenses and Violations
- What is Doxing and How to Prevent it?
- What are Spam Text Messages
- The U.S. Death Penalty: History and Modern Usage
- A Guide to Different Types of Bankruptcies
- Common eBay Scams to be Aware of
- What Happens When You are Booked in Jail?
- What Information Can You Get From A License Plate
- Different Types of Assets
- 8 Tips to Help You Find Family Members
- Car History Guide, Benefits, Importance
- Am I Dating a Stalker?
- How to Find out if Your Partner is Cheating
- What Is A Packet Sniffing Attack
- Intellectual Property Law and Rights
- Cyberstalking And Its Dangers
- A Guide to Phishing Scams
- What is Organized Crime?
- I’ve Lost My Driver’s License: What Should I Do?
- Misdemeanor Charges: Types, Classes, and Penalties
- A Complete Guide On Catfishing
- Vanity Phone Numbers: A Complete Guide
- What Happens When You Get Arrested
- Guide to Find Information About a Person Online
- How To Find And Claim Unclaimed Money
- What Happens if You Violate Probation
- Guide on How to Remove a Mugshot from the Internet
- How to Stay Safe on Public WiFi
- How to Deal with an Outstanding Warrant
- Different Types of Car Insurance
- What Is Cyptojacking?
- What Is Email Security?
- What Is the Deep Web and What Can Be Found There?
- What Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy
- How Divorce Settlements are Calculated
- What are Common Methods of Social Engineering
- What is the Difference Between a General Lien and a Specific Lien?
- How to Detect Odometer Rollback
- Different Types of Probation
- Finding forgotten life insurance policies
- What is Bearer Bond and Why the US Banned it
- Everything you need to know about small claims court
- Moral Turpitude: Definition, Examples, and Much More!
- Misdemeanor vs Felony
- How To Read VIN Number
- How to Find Out Who Hacked Your Cell Phone
- How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay On Your Criminal Record?
- The Paypal Phishing Scam You Should Care to Avoid
- License Plates Types: USA Guide
- Effects of Cyberbullying: Complete Guide for Parents
- What is the DPPA?
- Petty Theft: Definition and Consequences
- What is a Life Sentence?
- How to Find Out if Someone Has a Warrant?
- Marriage License vs Certificate: Everything You Need to Know
- The Ten Most Popular Celebrity Mugshots
- How to Find Out if Someone is Married?
- How to Stop Phone Spoofing?
- How To Avoid Probate
- Dealing with abandoned vehicles in your neighborhood
- How to Find Someone's Cell Phone Number by Their Name
- Who Are the Worst Drivers in America?
- How To Find Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives
- What is a Digital License Plate?
- How to Find out if Someone Died?
- Murder vs Manslaughter: The Differences and Definitions
- How to Hire a Private Investigator?
- What Is a Number Neighbor?
- How to Find Out if Someone was Arrested
- How to Find Someone's Birthday?
- What is a Car Title
- How to Obtain a Police Report and Court Records?
- Filing a false police report
- Prison Valley: Look inside Prison Town
- How to Get Custody of a Child Without Going to Court?
- How to Find Someone’s Social Media Profiles?
- What to Do if Your Phone Is Tapped?
- What Is a Deed in Real Estate?
- Where Was The First US Federal Penitentiary Established?
- How to Find Someone's Location Using Their Cell Phone Number?
- What Is a Restricted Call?
- Who is the Most Dangerous Prisoner in the World?
- Poshmark Scams: How to Prevent and Report Them
- How to Find a Missing Person?
- How to Send Money to a Federal Inmate?
- DUI vs DWI: What're The Differences
- How Long After Buying a Car Do You Need to Register it?
- How to Find out Where Someone Lives?
- What Happens If You Get Caught Driving a Car Without Interlock
- Situational Crime Prevention: Theory, Techniques and Examples
- How Can I Find Out Who Called Me for Free?
- Gun Free Zone Statistics and Facts
- Online Threats and Digital Security: Trends, Types and Most Common Examples
- Cold Cases: Best Practices For Police Officers and Investigators
- Court Order: Definition, Types and Examples
- What Does a Fingerprint Background Report Show?
- How to Check Your Criminal Record?
- What is Tort Law?
- How to Calculate Child Support
- Property Rights: Definition, and Characteristics
- 12 Common Reasons for Public Records Request
- What is Antitrust Law?
- Virginia Gun Confiscation Law
- How Do You Find Out Who Own a Property?
- Neighborhood Watch Program
- How to Perform a Mugshot Search?
- Crime Mapping
- Safest Colleges in Florida
- Veterans Guide to Cars and Driving
- U.S. Correctional System: Structure, Incarceration and Facts
- License Plate Laws in the US
- How to Locate Inmates and Access Jail Records?
- Email Hacking: Laws, Penalties and Protection
- Romeo and Juliet Laws
- Holiday Safety for Home and Family
- Differences between Criminal and Arrest Records
- Public Records and Property History: What is Public Information and What Isn’t
- How to Look up Immigration Inmates?
- Famous Prisons in the USA
- How to Find Out Who Owns a Vehicle Using Reverse Lookup Tools
- How to Search for Your Family Tree?
- The Federal Judicial Center
- Mass Incarceration in the USA
- What is COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act)?
- Data Safety After The Capital One Breach
- Scholarships Guide for Students
- Complete Guide to Student Safety
- What Is a Vehicle Identification Number?
- Determining Divorce: 5 Types of Divorce You Must Know
- Sex Offenders: Complete Guide to be Protected
- New Privacy Laws and Public Records
- Motor Vehicle Registration in the US
- Digital Token Age: Security Laws and Regulations
- Facial Recognition Technology and Legal Restrictions
- What Shows up in a Background Report
- Car Repossession Laws: Dealing with Car Dealers and Auto Fraud
- How to Protect Yourself from Phone Scams
- Human Rights in the Prison
- What are Business Competition Laws?
- What is a Hate Crime?
- Starting a Business and Business Licenses
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Guidance
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Tax Reform Impact and Changes To Know
- Self-Driving Cars: Laws and Regulations
- White-Collar Crime: Statistics and Facts
- Have You Been Arrested? Cases You'll Need a Lawyer
- How to Get a Driver's License in the US
- Car Theft in the US: Prevention and Facts
- Identity Theft Passport Program
- Changing your Name after Marriage: What You Need to Know
- Finding the Perfect Roommate: Dos and Donts
- What if You Get Into a Car Accident? A Complete Checklist
- Property Crimes: How to Burglar Proof Your Home
- Consumer Laws in the US: What Do They Mean for a Customer and a Business Owner
- Child Trafficking: The Scope, Understanding, and Prevention
- Business Assets: A Guide to the Financial Health of your Business
- Guide To The College Application: How, When and Where to Apply
- Which States Have “Stand Your Ground” Laws?
- Adolescent Depression Symptoms and Causes
- Things to Know About the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory System
- Inheritance in the US: With & Without a Will
- Online Dating Safety Guide for Men and Women
- Sexual Abuse in the U.S.: Laws and Statistics
- Supporting Children After Divorce: Child Custody Options
- Halloween Horrors Come to Life: Holidays Crimes in the U.S.
- Charity Scams in the U.S.: Be Aware and Protected
- Webcam Hacking & Spying in the US
- Sex Offender Search
- Freedom of Religion in the U.S.
- Senior Financial Scams: How are the Elderly Targeted and How to Avoid It
- Catcalling: Is it illegal? How to Deal With It
- A Complete Guide To Insurance Fraud: Common Types and Prevention
- Sextortion: What to Do if You Became a Victim of Blackmailing
- Concealed Carry: How to Protect Yourself on Campus
- Debt Collection Laws | Fair Debt Collection Act: What You Need To Know
- How Much Is My House Worth? Ultimate Guide to Home Buying and Selling
- What are the Traits of a Sociopath?
- Do You Know Who Your Neighbors Are?
- Learn How to Find Your Birth Parents
- The Importance of Public Records in Law
- Do You Know What's the Difference Between Jail and Prison?
- Homeowner’s Insurance, Is it a Public Record?
- The Disturbing Facts of Gun Violence in America
- How to Use Public Records in Marketing
- Best & Worst Cities for Driving
- LGBT Bullying
- What You Need to Know When Buying or Selling a Used Car?
- School Safety and Security Standards
- Making Your DMV Experience Fast And Easy
- How to Prepare For an Active Shooter Incident
- How to Report a Crime?
- How to Protect Yourself Against Cyber Attacks
- 50 Things to Know When Filing for Divorce
- What to Do When You Are Stopped By the Police
- Tips for Back-to-School Safety and Security
- Guide to Filing for Bankruptcy
- How to Appeal the Court's Decision
- A User's Guide to Warrants
- How to Fight a Traffic Ticket?
- Keeping Your Neighborhood Safe For Your Family
- A Parent's Guide to Keeping Your Child Drug-Free
What is a Car Title?
An automobile is like many other vehicles that are required to file documentation with local government officials for several purposes, including:
- safety requirements or inspections, and
- to verify ownership.
Along with a vehicle’s registration, which allows it to be used in public places, a title is usually required to document ownership, the history of a vehicle, and other statistics. These titles are generated by state departments of motor vehicles and are important particularly when a vehicle is purchased or sold.
Titles are official documents and cannot be altered in any way to misrepresent the true facts about the vehicle it pertains to, including its age or odometer reading.
A car title is a good way to learn about the history of a vehicle. Along with a VIN check, the title is an important clue to where a vehicle has been and what kind of condition it is in.
How to Read a Car Title?
The design of vehicle titles varies a little according to the state where the vehicle is titled, but in general, the front shows:
- the owner’s name and address;
- any lienholder’s identifying information (such as a bank loan for purchase);
- the vehicle’s manufacturer;
- the vehicle’s year of manufacture;
- the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Information Number) or unique identification code;
- information about any previous title (state and title number) if the current title isn’t the original;
- the odometer reading at time of purchase, and
- places for signatures of the seller and buyer if/when the vehicle is sold (sometimes on the back).
The back of the document is often where instructions are located regarding signatures of the seller and buyer when a vehicle changes hands. If the vehicle is moved to a new state and registered there, that state will generate a new title.
What Does the Title Look Like for a Car?
A title looks like an official document, oftentimes with a scroll-like edge and heavy watermarked paper. A title is actually comparable to a birth certificate because they are both official, legal documents that cannot be altered. The document generally says “Certificate of Title” across the top.
What are the Types of Car Titles?
Vehicle titles are designated according to the condition of the automobile. For instance:
- a clear title is unencumbered by loans or shared ownership and is eligible for financing and immediate sale without the need for a release of lien;
- a bonded title is one in which the seller must put up funds equivalent to the vehicle’s value (a bond) that is good for several years because there are ownership documents missing. Similarly an affidavit title includes a sworn statement when some aspects of the ownership documentation is missing;
- reconstructed title is the type created for vehicles that have been significantly restructured or altered from its original condition and need to be inspected and approved by department of motor vehicles officials before a title is issued, and
- salvage titles are given to those vehicles that have been totaled in accidents or floods, which can prevent them from being registered in some states.
Titles vs. Registrations
A title shows the ownership of a vehicle and whether there’s a lien (loan) on the car. A registration is a document that demonstrates that the owner has the state-required insurance on the vehicle. A vehicle may be registered to a different person than the one who holds the title. A title lasts until the vehicle moves out of state or the ownership transitions have exhausted the space on the document. A registration document is only good for a year or the period that the state decides a registration is valid for.
How to Get a Title to a Car?
A title is the official document that shows who owns a vehicle. If a person has a bank loan to buy a vehicle, the bank is the owner of the vehicle and will hold the title until the loan is paid off. Once payments are completed the individual will receive the title.
If a person pays in full for a used car owned by another individual, the title document must be signed by both and should be in the possession of the new owner.
If a vehicle is sold without all of the proper documentation the buyer should complete a request for a duplicate title at the Department of Motor Vehicles where they reside.
How to Transfer Title to Another State?
When a vehicle is purchased from another state, the buyer must register it where they live. The registration process will generate a new title for the state of residence. The former title information will be referenced on the title itself so there is a documented chain of ownership.
Doing a VIN check using the vehicle’s VIN number (found stamped in a corner of the windshield and in a door frame) will also provide useful information about the vehicle’s past ownership and maintenance, including whether it has a salvage title due to flooding or a wreck.
Buying, Selling or Trading the Vehicle: What will Happen with a Car Title?
When a vehicle changes ownership, the title is the important piece of documentation that follows the vehicle. The seller signs off on the title, and the buyer must take the title and other documents (such as a bill of sale) to the state department of motor vehicles to show ownership and get license plates.
If a loan is taken to purchase the vehicle, the bank that loans the money holds the title to the vehicle until it is paid off.
When trading a vehicle, the title is signed as if in a sale.
How to Get a Title for a Car with a Bill of Sale?
Titles are created by the authority of state motor vehicle departments. Sometimes vehicle titles are lost or vehicles that are home-made do not automatically have title documentation. In these cases, the owner must make an application for title to the state department of motor vehicles. A bill of sale is one of the documents required for the application. Some states require notarized statements from the seller, others require both buyer and seller to complete an application together. Check your state’s rules regarding titles before finalizing a purchase or sale transaction.