California Vehicle Title Search – Buying a used car can be a tricky proposition. Finding the right car requires diligent searching, test drives and a lot of work. One step that should never be overlooked is to look for any ownership rights. If you make a mistake and the vehicle has a lien, there is little you can do and wake up to your new car being repossessed.
The difference between car registration and car ownership is that the title refers to the ownership of the car, effectively notifying the state of ownership of the vehicle and listing all rights to the vehicle.
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California Vehicle Title Search
Registration, on the other hand, refers to the number plates on a car. License plates generate revenue for the state and are usually paid to the state DMV. The title usually does not contain registration or number plate information and should always be kept in a safe place. On the other hand, the vehicle must have registration.
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A car lien is a lien placed on a vehicle by a loan company, bank or other party in exchange for their help paying for the vehicle. A good example of a lien is a car loan. In exchange for the money to buy the vehicle, the bank issues a lien on the vehicle that serves as “insurance” to the bank against which you repay the loan. If you don’t pay back the loan, the bank has a legal right to the vehicle that it can repossess and sell to pay off your debt.
Institutions other than banks or finance companies can apply for a vehicle lien. If the vehicle tax or fee is not paid, the local government can place a lien on the vehicle. Unfortunately, the lien can be transferred to the new owner if the car is sold, so it’s important to check for outstanding liens before buying a used vehicle.
Step 1: Check the paperwork. The first step is a thorough check of all documents related to the vehicle, especially ownership and registration.
Although the details listed on the title vary by state, they should include information about the current owner, previous owners, and current or past liens on the vehicle.
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Step 2: Get additional paperwork. Request additional paperwork if needed. If the title shows that the vehicle has ever had a lien, ask the seller to provide proof that the lien has been fulfilled.
The seller must have a copy of the lien release, which is a legal document that proves the lien has been fulfilled. The lien release can be recorded on the title or as a separate document, which varies by state.
Step 3: Compare the VIN number. Get the car’s VIN number and make sure it matches all the documents that came with the car, including the registration, title and any lien release documents.
The VIN number is located on a small metal plate on the vehicle’s dashboard on the driver’s side. It is a 17-digit number consisting of numbers and letters. If the VIN plate is missing, the number is incomplete or the number does not match the vehicle documentation, do not buy the car.
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Warning: Any vehicle dealer should collect all of these documents and have them ready for you to see. If they do not have a copy of the title, current registration or lien release document, do not proceed with the sale until all of these documents are presented. If they are reluctant to give them, chances are they don’t have clear ownership of the car, so you should look for another vehicle.
Once you have a VIN number, there are several sources that allow you to check the VIN online, which will inform you of any liens on the vehicle and give you the history of the car, such as whether it has ever been in an accident. . A vehicle history is recommended for any car you are seriously considering.
Step 1: Get the VIN number. Get the VIN number from your car. This will allow you to check lines and general vehicle history online.
Step 2: Use the Title Checker feature. Visit your state’s DMV site and see if they have a title check feature.
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It varies by state, but most have this feature. It allows you to enter the VIN number of any vehicle you are considering and it will record the title information. You should be able to determine if the car has a lien.
If the title clearly indicates, you can buy; If it shows a lien on the vehicle, you need to go to the seller and ask for more information.
Step 2: Use the Title Checker feature. Visit your state’s DMV website and see if they have a feature that checks titles.
It allows you to enter the VIN number of any vehicle you are considering and displays ownership and ownership information. You may need to visit your local DMV office if your state does not offer online access.
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If the title clearly indicates, you can buy; However, if it shows a lien on the vehicle, you should go to the seller and ask for more information. Keep a few things in mind:
Errors or delays happen at the DMV. If the seller claims to have paid off the lien, but the title still shows a lien on the vehicle, the DMV may not have been properly notified of the lien payment.
The seller should be able to resolve this issue by going to the DMV office with proof of lien release. There may be a fee for this that must be paid by the seller.
If the seller loses the lien release, they must return to the bank or financial institution to obtain a copy to bring to the DMV.
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Step 2: Pull the vehicle report. Use a website like CarFax, AutoCheck, or CarProof to pull a vehicle report.
While this option is not free, it can not only put an end to your lien worries, but it can also notify you of vehicle recalls and whether the car has ever been involved in an accident.
Step 3: Visit the DMV. If your local DMV does not offer online title access, it is possible to request a title report by visiting their local office.
This report will provide lien information and in most cases notify you of any accidents involving the car. There is usually a small fee, but it varies by state.
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In order to correct the title, the seller must be able to resolve this issue by going to the DMV office with proof of lien release. There may be a fee for this that must be paid by the seller.
It is also possible that the seller has missed paying the lien release. If so, they will need to go back to the bank or financial institution to get a copy and take it to the DMV.
Regardless of how you pursue a lien, if it does arise, you must deal with it before purchasing the vehicle. Never buy a vehicle with active lines. All rights must be satisfied before completing the purchase.
If you are the seller of a vehicle that has a lien, or if you have purchased a vehicle and later discover that there is a lien, it is important to get rid of the lien.
How To Get A Lien Lifted From A Used Car
Step 1: Fix the right one. If there is a legal lien on the vehicle, the only way to remove it is to pay the lien.
If you are a car dealer, contact the lien owner, request the appropriate payment amount, and pay off the lien. The lien holder must release the lien and send you and the DMV a copy of the lien release, which must be recorded on the car’s title, giving you free and clear title.
If you bought a vehicle that has a lien on it, contact the seller and ask them to fix the problem. If they refuse, your only option is to pay yourself.
Step 2: Visit the DMV. Go to a DMV office to show proof of lien release.
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If you are the buyer of the vehicle, the DMV must remove the lien on the title and transfer it to your name.
Checking whether the used vehicle is free of liens before completing the sale is one of the most important steps in the car buying process. This will prevent the serious inconvenience of having your car repossessed and give you peace of mind knowing that the car is in your possession.
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