People generally sell their cars for two reasons. Whether they want to update their car or just want to get rid of the junk car. Whatever the reason is, to sell a car you need to have some paperwork done with you. Car title and registration is one of them. So, now the question arises, can you sell a car without a title? Keep reading to get the answer.

What are car titles and registration?

What are car titles and registration

Before we start the conversation about can you sell a car without a title, let’s start with the basics. So, what is the title of a car? The title of a car is the legal piece of document that works as the proof of your ownership of that particular vehicle.

A title not only bears proof that the car is yours, but it also contains other important information like VIN ( vehicle identification number). In many states, the title is a piece of paper, while in others it’s a digital document. There are some states in which the title is known as the pink slip.

A car registration on the other hand is the permission for that particular vehicle to be on the road.

Though a car title is a one-time thing, you have to renew the car registration every year or two to keep the car eligible to be driven on the road.

Can you sell a car without a title?

As we have got the basic introduction of car title and registration, now it’s time to answer the main question, “can you sell a car without a title?” The answer is yes and no both.

Every state has different laws regarding buying and selling cars. If the car you want to sell is considered a junk car in your state then you can sell your car without a title. There are many junk car dealers and scrap yards that will gladly buy your junk car without a title or registration. But keep in mind that you have to have proof that the car is yours.

But if your car is still in a good condition and you don’t want to sell it as junk or scrap then normally it’s gonna be hard if not impossible to sell it without a title.

Generally, in most states selling a car without a title is illegal. So, if you try to sell your car without a title, it will cause an alarm. But if the car is truly yours then there should be some logical explanations for the missing title. Maybe you have lost the title or it is damaged or stolen, or maybe you have never titled the car when you purchased it.

If your title is missing for upper mentioned reasons then you have a chance to sell your car. Here are some tips that will help you to sell your car without a title.

Replace the title

If your car’s title is lost, damaged, or stolen then the best option is to replace the title. You can contact your seller or the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and ask them the procedures of replacing the title. You should be able to get the replacement of your car’s title by spending some fees. Just keep in mind that if you have ever altered any of the parts that were listed in the title, most of the DMV will not consider the previous title as valid.

Search for alternate titling options

As I have mentioned earlier, every state has its own law for buying and selling cars. Try to look up some alternate options for titling.

Bill of sale

If the question “Can you sell a car without a title” is running wild in your head then here’s another tip for you. You might use the bill of sale of your car to prove that the vehicle truly belongs to you. This will help the buyer when registering the car. Just notarize this document before using it as many of the states recommends notarizing it.

Be clear with your buyer

Be clear with your buyer

If you can not manage to get a title, make sure to tell your buyer everything about it. And if you owe money on your car, pay off the debt before selling it. If you can not pay the debt then try to arrange a transferring procedure between the buyer and the lender so that the buyer can pay the remaining amount of the money.

An important tip to remember

Follow this tip after you have successfully sold your car without the title. Keep copies of all the paperwork related to your car. Remember that this is for your own safety. If the new owner never makes a title for the car and anything bad happens involving your car, you’ll be held responsible. So, keep a copy of all the paperwork.


Though selling your car without the title is not a stress-free task; it’s possible. Follow the upper mentioned steps to sell your car that doesn’t have a title. But remember one thing. If it’s illegal in your state to buy or sell a car without a title, you can’t do anything.

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