Every successful business needs to make sales. However, sales don’t look the same across every industry. Different documents are necessary for different tractions. For example, perhaps you own a car dealership. Can you sell a car without a title? Of course not.
If you’re an auto dealer, you absolutely need a car title to sell a vehicle. Without one, you could ruin your business and reputation and cause your customers a lot of stress and headaches. But getting a car title for each vehicle on your lot isn’t that easy.
Most states don’t offer an online application for new or duplicate titles, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get this document. There’s an easy avenue you can take to get what you need, and it doesn’t require you to do an in-person visit to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The solution is much simpler than that—but before this article reveals it, you must know everything about car titles. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to run a successful auto dealership.
What is a car title?
Sometimes, people confuse car titles with vehicle registration, but the former document is entirely different. A car title is what establishes legal ownership of a vehicle.
States will issue this document, and specifically, the state where you purchase the vehicle will be the one that provides the car title. However, perhaps you recently bought a used car. In that case, the previous owner needs to transfer the title to you.
However, regardless of whether you have a new or used vehicle, once you get the title, you must keep it until you sell the car. Ideally, put this document somewhere safe. That way, you don’t have to worry about losing it or someone stealing or destroying it.
Additionally, safeguarding this document will ensure you have it when it’s time to transfer it. After every sale, you must provide the accompanying car title to the new owner. But it’s impossible to do this if you don’t have the document safely in your possession.
What information should a car title include?
When you get a car title, you should notice that it has several pieces of information. This information will be present on every title that your auto dealership has, so don’t worry if things start to look similar.
Keeping that in mind, here’s what to expect on a car title:
- Owner’s name and address: This insight will refer to the details about your business.
- Identifying information: This section will include the make, model, year, VIN, and color of your vehicle.
- Issue date: The date you purchased your car will also be on the title.
- Liens: If a financing lender was involved in your transaction, this insight would be available as well.
- Odometer: Your title will have your vehicle’s odometer reading and specify when that reading happened.
- Signatures: The signatures on your title will include you as the buyer, the seller, and a state representative.
If you’re buying a used car, it’s not unheard of to come across scammers. Sometimes, sellers will provide something that looks like a title, but it’s only a false document. Ultimately, it’s your job to make sure the title you’re getting for a used car is real.
Luckily, if you don’t want to get duped, there are several things you can look for, including the following:
- The VIN: Verify that the VIN is accurate by getting a vehicle history report.
- Issuing state: Double-check this information to ensure it aligns with the state you’re doing the transaction in. If it doesn’t, the title is probably not valid.
- A watermark: If the car title you’re getting doesn’t include a watermark, that’s a sign that it’s a copy, not the original.
- Unclear or fuzzy printing: The document should be clear and easy to read. If the printing seems off, the title is likely a copy.
These indicators will tell you what type of car title you’re getting for a used vehicle. And it should go without saying that you shouldn’t purchase a used car before verifying that the title is the original.
What happens when you don’t have a car title?
Remember when the beginning of the article mentioned that not having a car title could negatively affect your business, reputation, and customers? Well, there’s an example to prove it, and it comes straight out of Chicago.
After a man and his girlfriend bought a new car, they had so much trouble getting the title from the dealership that they called the overall process a nightmare. Without the title, they couldn’t drive the vehicle on the street.
The owner of the dealership in Chicago said he originally bought the car at an auction, but there were issues with getting the title. Apparently, the previous owner had to apply for a new one, but it doesn’t sound like that person ever took this step. The auto dealer in Chicago never got a valid car title, so the couple he sold it to never got one either.
It wasn’t until the couple complained and got the Secretary of State involved that things finally started to move in a positive direction. Still, that hasn’t prevented the man and his girlfriend from expressing frustration to reporters and naming the dealership they bought the vehicle from.
While the dealership owner in Chicago says that none of the issues was his fault, this is an excellent example of what happens when you don’t have the car title in your possession. Not only do you get dissatisfied customers, but you also get poor reviews and negative attention in news articles.
How your auto dealership can get a car title
Now that you have a clear understanding of car titles and the importance of having them, there’s only one thing left to cover. How do you actually get a car title?
The traditional answer is the one you hear about most often, and that’s to visit your local DMV office. However, if you don’t have time to complete this task in person—since you’re running a car dealership—you can have our team at Barry Risk Management handle everything for you.
As a transportation agency with over 30 years of experience in the DMV industry, we know how to get a car title for every vehicle on your lot. And it doesn’t matter where your business is located. Our team understands the tricky rules and regulations for getting a car title in each state, so we’ll be able to get what you need without any problems.
Even better, our process is entirely online. You don’t have to visit our office. All you must do is give us a call and tell us that you need a car title for one of the vehicles on your lot. Then, the rest of the process happens digitally. That way, things stay simple, quick, and efficient.
Ready to get a car title for a vehicle on your lot? Dial 1-888-995-TAGS(8247) to contact Barry Risk Management for help.