Texas Woman’s Experience Shows Why You Need to Be Careful With Vehicle Transfers

Lisa Steuer McArdle
· 4 min read
If you own a car, you might need to
it one day. When you go through a dealership, they do all the work for you. On the other hand, selling your old car yourself generally means making more money from the sale, but it also means more paperwork.
In addition to canceling your current
car insurance
policyand finding the title, there are three very important things you need to do when you sell your old car.
There are important steps you need to take when selling a car.

Don't leave the license plate on when you sell a car

woman, Lara Lauer, was delighted when she was easily able to sell her vehicle.
She handled her end of the title transfer and assumed that the buyer would handle their portion of the sale. She also left the
license plate
on the vehicle, according to
Even though buyers are technically supposed to remove the old license plate from the car, many don't. The assumption is that the buyer is less likely to get pulled over if they have a plate on the vehicle.
Shortly after the sale, Lauer received a bill for toll charges from the North Texas Toll Authority. When vehicles that aren't equipped with a TollTag go through the toll, a picture of the car's plate is taken and the bill is sent to the registered owner.
"We signed the title over to him and he just verbally agreed that he would go on to the DMV website and, you know, apply for his own registration and his own license plates," Lauer told NBC DFW. "That's probably the biggest regret I have. It was an error that I left them on the car."
The problem was that the person who purchased the car failed to complete the transfer, so Texas's database continues to recognize Lauer as the registered owner and sends the bill to her.
Lauer hopes that the Texas Department of Vehicles will help her resolve the matter and that she won't be on the hook for the toll bill.
Lauer's story highlights why you should always remove the license plate from your vehicle when you sell it. The buyer is allowed to drive the vehicle with just the title from the place they purchased it to the Texas DMV.
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Keep all of your paperwork

Too many people don't bother getting a signed bill of sale or anything when they sell a vehicle. They simply sign over the title and assume that the buyer will handle everything. But this is a mistake.
Having a bill of sale that both you and the vehicle's new owner signed protects you from insurance claims and other hassles if the car's new owner gets into an accident or does something illegal with the car before they've officially transferred it over to their name.
Do not get rid of the vehicle transfer and sale information any time soon. Having it on hand make things easier when you sit down to do your bookkeeping, and it can also sometimes take months or even a year for a problem with a sold car to make its way to your doorstep.
This is especially true if the car's new owner gets into an
and is trying to hide from the insurance claims.

Get a copy of the buyer's driver's license

Don't be afraid to ask for a copy of the car buyer’s license. This is something you should actually ask for as soon as they express an interest in test driving the vehicle.
Not only does the license prove that the person is legally allowed to drive, but it also provides vital information that will help you and the DMV contact them if there is a problem with the sale.

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