Individuals who purchase cars, regardless of whether they are used or new, should receive the titles for those vehicles when they assume ownership. The title shows that the individual owns the automobile and is legally registered as the owner.
A title in general is a document that legally establishes ownership over a piece of property. A title is sometimes called a deed for certain types of property, but it is usually a title when it applies to a vehicle.
When an individual goes to buy a car, the previous owner should have the title. If the previous owner does not have the title, then it probably is not safe to purchase the automobile. This holds true whether the seller is a private citizen or a used car dealership.
It is important to note that individuals who finance their vehicles will not have the titles to their vehicles until they have paid the full amount of the car to the lending institution. In the meantime, the lending institution is considered the legal owner of the vehicle, which is what allows them to repossess vehicles when their owners are delinquent on payments.
After an individual agrees to buy a car, he or she should work with the vehicle’s previous owner to have the titled transferred into his or her name. If the individual buys from a used car dealer, then the dealership will usually take care of this step as part of the car buying process.
Usually, individuals must visit their local courthouse to transfer titles. This process requires the individuals to list a price on the vehicle as well as to pay a small fee for the transfer transaction.