Is it illegal to sell a car without a title

Is it illegal to sell a car without a title? All the legal details!

Every car has a title, and possession of that title means that the owner of the vehicle, is indeed the rightful and legal owner of that said vehicle. Now, a common question is, that is it illegal to sell a car without a title? And in the majority of cases, it is most certainly an illegal activity. Selling a car without a proper title is illegal around the world. It’s also illegal in most states of the United States as well. 

However, the discussion is a bit more nuanced than this; there are a few additional aspects to keep in mind when it comes to the title of a car. There are many factors that come into this. And, like any other document, people can misplace these, and there is a chance that the title is stolen.

Is it illegal to sell a car without a title, and what are the legal implications?

Can you go to jail for selling a car without a title? – Certainly!

To make the discussion easier, let’s assume you have a car that doesn’t have a title. You don’t use it and want to sell it off to make some money out of it. Now, if you find a potential buyer, and you sell the car to them without getting a title. Doing this, you are conducting a criminal offense. There are no two ways about it, and the law about the situation is very clear. 

So, can you go to jail for selling a car without a title? Yes, and if you are considering doing this, please stop. Find the legal way to conduct this business. There are ways to get a title if you have lost it. Simply call your local DMV, or pay and visit and request for a duplicate. Most states allow this, and you will receive the title duplicate in 10 days or so.

If you bought a car through a bank, they always a duplicate title available. You can get it from there. It is stored safely at the branch you filed the paperwork in. So if you have lost it, you can simply get it from there.

It is vital that you avoid doing anything illegal, as this will go in your permanent record. You don’t want to risk organisations giving you a tough time in the future.

Can I sell a car without the title in my name? – Not quite!

If you have purchased a vehicle, or have a vehicle with a title that isn’t in your name, then you can’t sell it. This is called Title Jumping, where you become the middleman and sell a car from one seller to another buyer without being legally involved in the transaction. This is illegal and can have serious charges if caught. 

To make sure you are the owner of the vehicle, ensure during the sale that the title is transferred to you. If for whatever reason you have a title that belonged to the previous owner, and it isn’t in your name, take it to the DMV. Transferring of the title has to be properly done before you can sell the vehicle to any potential buyer. So if you asking yourself that can I sell a car without the title in my name? Then the answer is a resounding no. Under no circumstances should you get involved in title jumping, as that can definitely get you jail time, which you never want on your permanent record.

Is it illegal to sell a car without a title in Texas? – Yes!

If you are wondering if it is illegal to sell a car without a title in Texas, then again, the answer is still no. Despite what people may think about the laws and regulations in Texas, it is still illegal in every part of the state to sell a vehicle without a title. A title ensures that you are the owner of the vehicle, and are driving in Texas as the owner of the vehicle.

If you have lost your title and are currently living in Texas, you can simply contact the Texas DMV by either physically going to one, or applying for a title through their online website. If you have taken out a loan on your vehicle, then the bank most likely has a title safely in their vicinity, and you can get it from there by paying your remaining dues, or negotiate with them, and discuss their title policies.

In Texas, the title isn’t just mandatory for cars, but all kinds of vehicles. If you plan on moving there or are already living there, please make sure you have the title for each of your vehicles. Driving a vehicle without a title or registration could get you into serious trouble. If you are hoping to sell a car at a dealership, they can assist and walk you through getting a proper title for the vehicle if necessary. If you are in the market to purchase a brand new vehicle, then you need to make sure that the dealership provides you with the title within 30 days.


So, after looking over the facts, and laws regarding automobiles, is it illegal to sell a car without a title? The answer is yes, and as we have explained in length, could get a person into serious trouble. If you have somehow lost the title of your vehicle, you have options, like visiting the DMV, checking in with your bank, or ultimately, giving away your vehicle at the scrap yard. However, if you don’t go for any of these, you will face serious criminal charges if caught. 

We discussed the state of Texas, and how strict their laws are in regards to the issue of the vehicle title. However, don’t let this scare you, since getting a title has become a much easier activity, and many dealerships can help you with it. Stay safe, and avoid anything that can get you into trouble with the law.