is it unlawful for a used car dealership to sell a vehicle without a title in the Missouri

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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is it unlawful for a used car dealership to sell a vehicle without a title in the Missouri

I purchased a vehicle from a used car lot in Columbia Missouri approximately 6 months ago. Upon signing the paperwork, they advised they would send me a title as soon as they located it within their office, approximately 6 months go by and I have contacted them in reference to this title and they finally state they never had one to provide and had to file for a duplicate title. Is it illegal to sell a vehicle with no valid title?

Asked on May 30, 2018 under Business Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is illegal. However, if they can provide duplicate title now, there is no harm done and no basis to take legal action: when someone corrects a problem so that you do not suffer any adverse consequences from it, the law does not provide any remedy for a now-meaningless infraction. If they can NOT or never provide title, that would be different: you could rescind the sale (return car, get money back) because they cannot provide you what they were supposed to (title to the car). But if the can fix what is basically a paperwork snafu and get you title, that takes care of the situation.

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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