Can I sell a car with just a bill of sale if I lost the title?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

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Can I sell a car with just a bill of sale if I lost the title?

Car is from MI and would take a while to get a new title. It needs to be fixed up in order to drive it daily but I don’t have the money to fix it or apply for a new title. I need the money from selling it to get a more reliable car for work.

Asked on August 3, 2011 Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I would not advise that you attempt to sell it until you obtain a new title for the vehicle. There are many reasons.  First, I highly doubt that any one that needs a car is going to purchase one with out a title unless they intend to make sure that what ever they do with the vehicle they will not be responsible for.  And if you fail to transfer title properly that indeed is what will happen  Explained in another way, YOU will still be responsible as the owner of the vehicle for any accident or liability associated with the car.  If you thought that you did not have money now wait until the lawsuits roll in.  Take the time to do this the right way.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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