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What happens if an auto dealer fails to register your vehicle or provide you with the title within 90 days of the sale?

Purchasing a new vehicle can be a window into a new world for many people. If you have had the fortune of purchasing a vehicle after trading in your old one, then you know how liberating it can be.

However, there can be points that can cause you potential stress, even after the transfer has been completed. In some instances, the cooling off period may not be over, which can give the dealership opportunities to try to put you under duress in terms of financial handling or financial interest loans and such.

However, the one situation and issue that often catches consumers and buyers off-guard is the potential of not getting your vehicle registered after you purchase it. If you have not received your vehicle registry within 30 days from the dealership, you may be extremely worried, and maybe something you need to look into for the future. Here is what you need to know when dealing with an auto dealer failing to register your vehicle within the appropriate time frame.

What is a Vehicle Registry?

A vehicle registry is the most basic form of ownership that you can have after you make a purchase. This title shows that you own the vehicle, and that the ownership has been properly transferred from the dealership to your name. This needs to be done within 30 days of having the vehicle purchased, and will be on the dealership to complete the necessary paperwork and have it sent in on time.

What to do when you haven't received the Title?

There is a possibility that, within the 30 days, you do not receive the title and license plate to your new vehicle from the dealership. This can happen for many different reasons. The most common is that there was an error with the paperwork that was sent in by the dealership. This can be anything from a mis-signed agreement, to improper numbers not matching up with records.

If the paperwork was rejected, then dealership is given a notice of 60 days to re-apply for the title. This may continue on for a period of time, but if the dealership is found to be prolonging the submission of the application, then they will have to pay a fee per improper submission.

At the end of the 60 days, if the dealership still has not been able to properly submit the paperwork, along with all relevant information, then they may be subject to penalties ranging from penalty fees to loss of their license.

In the case that the dealership has not even submitted the application to have the title changed into your name, they may be subjected to a small fee that they must pay. Additionally, if the dealership is knowingly failing to obtain a title for you, then they may be subject to having their dealership license suspended or revoked, depending on previous situations prior.

How this affects you

If you are currently going through this process, and are currently attempting to deal with a dealership that is slow to get your submission processed, you may be worried about your temporary license plate and tag. Thankfully, there are solutions to this.

If you are starting to reach the end of your 30 day temporary tag, then you are free to submit a request for an extension on the temporary tag. There are a few requirements to meet, and if you do meet them, then your request for an extension will almost always be verified and approved.

To do this, you will have to print off a request form, fill it out, and take it to your nearest county tag agent. If you have all proper verification and documents, they will issue you a new temporary 30-day operating permit without you having to pay anything for it.

If you do need to get a second extension, then some states do allow you to do so as long as you fill out the appropriate paperwork once again. However, in many areas, they may directly contact the dealership to understand the root of the issue, and to move the process along.

Other ways to Deal with a Slow Dealership

If you continue to have problems with your dealership, it may be time to contact an experienced attorney to start looking into their tardiness. If it is found that the dealership is willfully withholding and failing to apply for the title, then they may be subject to penalties and other punishments by the consumer protection office. Having an experienced attorney be able to walk you through this process will also help to ensure that you do not run into any pitfalls that may allow the dealership more time to delay the title transfer.


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