The Law Office of Paul Mankin

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

**If you purchased a vehicle from a dealership 90 days or more ago and you still do not have your title or registration, contact us.  We can most likely help you obtain title and/or registration, or force the dealer to return all your money.**  Do not believe the dealer when it tells you COVID is causing the delay!

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 10 day cooling off/cancellation 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 or title after you purchase it. If you have not received your vehicle registry within 60 days of the purchase from the dealership, or your title within 15 business days of purchase, you may be extremely worried, and is 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 or transferring title 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. Registering the vehicle needs to be done within 30 to 60 days of having the vehicle purchased, and will be on the dealership to complete the necessary paperwork and have it sent in on time.  Title of the vehicle must be transferred to your name within 15 business days of the purchase.

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 must complete and deliver the registration within 60 days. 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 to 90 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.

However, not obtaining an extension puts you in a difficult situation.  Operating an un-permitted or registered vehicle is illegal in most states and can subject you to fines and tickets.  This can be very expensive, especially for something that is not your fault.

Contact us if the dealership has been slow to provide you with title or registration for your vehicle

If you have waited more than 60 days to receive your vehicle registration or more than 15 business for title to be transferred to your name, contact an experienced vehicle title and registration attorney to stand up for your rights.  We use consumer protection laws to force the dealer to register and/or transfer title to the vehicle in your name.  If the dealer does not comply with our demands, there is further recourse we can take to ensure you are treated fairly.  In some situations, you might be entitled to additional damages due to the dealerships tardiness. Having an experienced vehicle registration and title attorney 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 providing you with registration and/or title to your vehicle.

Contact us at 1-800-219-3577 for a free evaluation.