Titling a Vehicle That Was Abandoned

If you have ever purchased a vehicle that was abandoned, you are fully aware of the challenges that lay ahead of you when you attempt to apply for a title. At GetNewTitle.com, we title vehicles every day that were abandoned, then sold for restoration or parts. Here are some quick tips to help clear up the red tape and better prepare you for what’s to come.

Make sure that you get a bill of sale. Have it notarized if at all possible. Have the seller and you, the buyer, both sign and date.

Make sure the vehicle has a valid VIN, and it is on the bill of sale. Get as much information about the seller as possible and who the seller purchased the vehicle from.

The DMV in your state is going to want the last titled owner of the vehicle. If the seller only has a bill of sale, then you will need to submit a formal request to the state using an “Information Request Form.” Once that information is received, you will be required to send a certified letter to the past titled owner asking them for their help in getting you a copy of the title.

In most cases of abandoned vehicles, the owner is not around or willing to help. Make sure the certified letter has a return receipt. If the letter comes back, unopened, then you have proof that you sent it. Your state will want to see that you have attempted to contact the past owner before issuing you a title.