Is it legal for someone to sell me a vehicle without the title in their name first?

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Is it legal for someone to sell me a vehicle without the title in their name first?

I bought a truck from a guy whose name was not on the title but we had a bill of sale with our names on it which I thought would be fine. My DMV will not title it in my name until the seller has the title placed in his name first. Now it looks like the seller wants me to cover all costs associated with transferring and taxes.

Asked on April 27, 2012 under General Practice, Virginia

Answers:

Darren Delafield

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

 

I am sorry for the difficulty that you find yourself in. More information is needed to answer your question. If you believe that a crime as been committed, you can ask a magistrate to issue an arrest warrant. If you are looking for a civil remedy, you should have an attorney look at the bill of sale. Who drafted the bill of sale? What does it say about responsibility for title and costs? Did the seller verbally or in writing state that he had good title? Was the seller a dealership or an individual? Did the seller lie to you? Was there a written advertisement? Was the written advertisement fraudulent? If the seller was the owner, Virginia Code requires the owner to title the vehicle in his or her name before operating it on any highway. He or she must also within 30 days of the purchase or transfer, apply to the Department for a certificate of ownership. http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-600. The Virginia Code also states in § 46.2-617 that except as provided in § 46.2-644.03, any person who sells, trades, exchanges, or barters a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer in the Commonwealth without first having secured a certificate of title for it or without legally having in his possession a certificate of title for the vehicle issued to its owner, except as otherwise provided in this title, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

 


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