Can I Sell My Car Without a Title in Illinois?

Selling a car without a title in Illinois may be risky. The title is the legal record of all claims and releases made on titled property. Federal and state laws require a title indicating the name and signatures of buyers and sellers when selling a car. Assuming a written bill of sale and proper tax documents are filed with your local secretary of state or department of motor vehicles office, a new title must be ordered and signed over to the seller to legally transfer ownership. It is at the title holder's discretion whether to release the title once it is reprinted. Virtually the only way to sell a car without a title in Illinois is as scrap for salvage with written notice to the secretary of state at the time of registration renewal.


Title Request

Submit a completed application form VSD 190 and the title fee to your local Illinois secretary of state office for a duplicate title. The duplicate title is mailed to the owner of record. Expedited title service is available at the Secretary of State Office for an additional fee, which includes UPS overnight delivery or same-day pickup at the Springfield Secretary of State Office. A title search determines whether any liens or loans exist on the title of the automobile. These title issues must be addressed prior to any transfer of title. Contact information for the lien or loan holders may turn up on the title search or on the title itself.


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Addressing Titleholder Concerns

Payment terms and conditions may be determined by the titleholder once the title arrives from the Illinois Secretary of State Office. This step is a theft and fraud deterrent designed to ensure that the title is released to the titleholder of record only. Physical possession of the title allows the titleholder to transfer, release or place a claim on the title in writing. The title itself indicates the automobile serial number, which is also designed to deter fraud. Typographical or data errors may cloud a clear title and must be resolved with the Secretary of State Office in a corrected title.


Title Transfer

Assuming a price and terms are agreed upon, the titleholder must sign over the title indicating the vehicle's mileage and condition, typically as is. A bill of sale and receipt typically supplement the title and transfer records. The buyer is responsible for registering and documenting sales tax on the automobile. Note that insurance and liability issues vary from state to state regarding temporary registration for recently purchased vehicles. Temporary registration for intrastate purchase for up to 30 days is available for registered dealers. Temporary registration plates valid for 90 days are available for from the Illinois secretary of state, dealers and currency exchanges.


Scrap Vehicles

Automobiles at the end of their service life are commonly sold for scrap. The annual registration renewal certificate is mailed to the owner of record. At the time of renewal, the owner may notify the secretary of state in writing that the car has been junked or sold for scrap. This written notification then becomes the final record for the automobile and serial number to the secretary of state. This process prevents junked or scrapped automobiles from being legally titled again.



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