A common issue that is brought to my attention over and over again to such an extent that it is almost routine is the following scenario;
A person sells a car to another person, and that person gets into a car accident, commits a crime, or incurs a massive amount of parking tickets, before the person who sold the car notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the sale or giveaway, or before the new owner registers the car in their name, and they are now getting sued, or having law or parking enforcement coming after them as though they were the responsible party.
I literally get at least 5 calls a week with this exact same scenario.
In the State of California you MUST notify the DMV within 5 days when you sale or transfer ownership of your vehicle.
I am not going to discuss what you need to do if you screwed up and are in this nightmare scenario because it is situation specific.
What I will tell you is this; in the State of California, and I assume other States as well, there is an attachment sheet that is connected to your Certificate of Vehicle Title (Pink Slip) that is to be torn off only upon selling or giving away the car, filled out, and sent to the DMV to notify them that you have sold or given away your car.
The simple act of filling out this form and sending it to the DMV can and will save you a lot of time, hassle, and potentially tens of thousands of dollars.
This is not rocket science folks. You have to assume the person that you are selling or giving the vehicle to may not change the title in their name, thus leaving you on the hook.
Another thing I recommend is creating a bill of sale, or a giveaway agreement that the new owner signs upon receiving the car and the pink slip, which will give you further proof that you sold or gave away your vehicle.
If for some reason you lost the sheet that is attached to the Pink Slip, the DMV has an online system that is available here, to notify them of the change in ownership.
Don’t be a fool, when you sale or change ownership of your vehicle, notify the DMV or it could cost you big time.
If you or your family have been the victim of a truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.
By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 25, 2012