Can I Sell A Car With Expired Registration?

Can I Sell A Car With Expired Registration?

So, you have a car with an expired registration, but you are not sure if you can sell it.

You can now stop wondering because selling a car with expired registration is possible.

However, you must satisfy specific legal requirements and responsibilities in a private sale for that to happen.

Can I sell a car with expired registration

Why Do You Need To Register Your Car?

Is your car legally permitted to be on the road? It would help if you had a registration certificate and license plates to use public roads in the U.S.

In addition, your car must pass emissions tests and have the right equipment. In all 50 U.S. states, cars and trucks need to be registered.

Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or transportation department uses the information you provide to keep track of your vehicle.

Here are some of the situations where vehicle registration is required:

  • When you are buying and selling a vehicle
  • When you are moving from one state to another
  • When renewing your expired car registration

When looking to register your car, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name and address
  • Car plate number
  • Car title number
  • VIN (vehicle identification number)

Depending on your state, the registration expires after a year, two, or even three years.

Can I Sell A Car With Expired Registration?

In states such as California, you may not Sell a Car with Expired Registration. For others, it is impossible with an existing lien.

Nobody wants to buy an unregistered vehicle that some bank legally owns due to a pending loan.

In states such as Arizona, any used car upon sale or transfer is considered to have an invalid registration.

It is possible to sell a car with expired registration in most states. All you need is to provide the appropriate paperwork to verify that the sale is legal.

Before selling the vehicle, you must first prove legal ownership. The buyer will need to confirm that the car is yours and that you are free to sell it.

Here is a list of documents that you can use to prove ownership:

  • Clear Certificate of Title
  • Bill of sale
  • Valid license
  • Valid insurance identification card
  • Previous receipts of registration
  • Safety and emissions inspection report
  • Lien Release (if applicable)
  • Probated will
  • Letters of administration

These documents should only have your name and signature to work as proof of ownership.

Challenges Of Selling A Car With Expired Registration

The laws of selling cars with expired registration vary from one state to another.

You’ll need to apply for a temporary or specialty registration in some states, similar to a non-operational vehicle.

It is essential to know that only a car with valid registration can drive on public roads or the streets.

Hesitant Buyers

Most car buyers would hesitate to purchase vehicles with expired registration tags. They fear that there might be something holding the registration, such as:

  • Speed or parking tickets
  • Serious chronic car problems
  • Traffic violations
  • Outstanding fines

In this situation, you will need first to clear the doubt with proof of ownership and then solve the registration puzzle.

No Test Drives

Furthermore, selling a car with expired registration means no test drive. Therefore, you’ll need to prove that the vehicle you are selling is in good shape.

If a smog test is required, then get one. In states such as Missouri, you will need to report the sale of your vehicle to the Revenue Department.

Selling a car with expired registration

Fees And Penalties

In some states, when you try to sell a car with an expired registration, you may have to part with a penalty and the standard registration fee.

In addition, in states such as California, you may have to pay towing fees to get your car back.

Depending on your state, there are fines for late renewal of the registration certificate.

The penalty will vary with how long the vehicle has stayed without registration, and it can get up to $200.

The amount you pay for your penalties can increase due to previous traffic infractions.

Additional Costs

You may need to handle the inspection and repair process yourself to get more money from the car sale.

The buyer must also know that you are selling the car with expired registration so that you may attract the right buyer.

How To Sell A Car With Expired Registration

If you wish to escape the high cost of registration, you may need to consider the following solutions.

Here are ways that you can sell a car with expired registration:

  1. Get a Planned non-operation (PON)
  2. Apply for a Temporary registration
  3. Update ownership paperwork and discount on sale price
  4. Consider Working with a car dealer

Get A Planned Non-Operation (PON)

You can avoid additional costs and penalties during registration in states like California by taking the Planned non-operation (PNO) option.

With a PNO, you will not drive, tow, store or park your car on public roads or highways until you sell your vehicle or the registration period ends.

Therefore, you will need to wait for an entire year before you can file for the regular registration certificate.

Apply For Temporary Registration Tags

Another alternative will be to register for a temporary registration or plate. Most states will allow you to drive your car legally with a temporary permit.

You can offer test drives or take the vehicle for inspection within the permitted days with a temporary tag.

If the state requires a pre-registration check or review, you are better with temporary registration.

The inspection requirement will depend on the status and type of car. Therefore, you can make good use of the available “Restricted Use” permits.

Update Ownership Paperwork And Discount On Sale Price

The best way out of this situation is to make it easier for the buyer by having all the proper paperwork up to date and discounting the sale price.

The buyer will then file for registration with the transfer of paperwork and bill of sale.

Where a discount is involved, the buyer will bear the cost of registering the vehicle.

The registration fee and penalties become part and parcel of the car’s value with this option.

Therefore, it is vital to communicate the responsibility of registration fees and penalties before the car changes ownership.

Consider Working With A Car Dealer

Apart from selling your car privately, you can consider working with a car dealer. In some states, these dealers can sell vehicles without registration.

Selling a car with expired registration through a dealer saves you weeks and months of trying to attract a buyer.

However, you will understand that creating demand for your vehicle without an active registration is quite a challenge.

Take Away

First, you need to prove that the sale is lawful to sell without active registration. Then, to be safer, ensure that your vehicle paperwork and documentation are up to date.

The rule of thumb is to prove that you are the vehicle owner to the buyer.

For more information on how to sell a car with an expired registration, feel free to visit your local DMV office.