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If you sold, gave away, or retired your vehicle, you must deregister your car at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or where it was registered. It is a procedure that you must carry out once it has been sold, in order to free yourself from responsibilities.
When you carry out this procedure you are protecting yourself from probable fraud with your old car or registration plates. If you don’t and the current owner of the vehicle is involved in an accident or receives a ticket, they will automatically be recorded on your driving record.
You must notify the DMV of the reason you want to deregister your car, if it is a transfer of ownership or if you just want to take the car off the road. Likewise, you must fill out the corresponding forms, such as the LF 707, which is the license plate inventory.
On the other hand, if you only want to remove it because you want to remove it from circulation, you must take the stickers, the registration card and the license plate to the DMV, but if you want to remove it because you sold it, it is another way.
What is a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability?
The Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability is the primary way to let DMV know that a vehicle you previously owned is no longer in your possession.
While this will become clear once the buyer ships the original title and completes the title transfer, it allows you to protect yourself from any potential liability should something go wrong.
How do I notify the DMV that I sold my car?
Most states require that you notify them when you sell your vehicle. Some states make this optional, but it’s still a good idea.
In states where notice is required, you will generally have between 5 and 30 days to submit the form.
You will usually have a few options for submitting a notice of transfer and release of liability to the DMV. Depending on your state, this includes:
- Complete an online form.
- I mail a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability form.
- Detach the Notice of Transfer form from your title or registration documents and mail it.
- Contact your state Department of Motor Vehicles.
Contact your state DMV or visit their official website to find the form or link online.
How to Complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability Form
The information you will need to fill out in the notice of sale generally includes:
- Your name, address and contact information.
- The buyer’s name, address, and contact information.
- The make, model, year, body style, and color of the vehicle.
- The registration number.
- The vehicle identification number (VIN).
- The odometer reading.
- The date of the sale.
Be sure to save a copy for your records before submitting it.
If you do not complete the form legibly or without the necessary information, your DMV records may not be up to date and you may still be responsible for the vehicle.
What happens if I don’t serve my notice of transfer and release of liability?
Submitting a notice of transfer and release is the main way to protect yourself if the buyer never registered the car in your name after you sold it to them.
If you fail to submit the notice, you may still be held liable for any damages or violations associated with the vehicle after it has left your possession. This may include:
- Parking tickets.
- Towing fines.
- Traffic violations.
- Civil trial.
- Criminal investigations.
While this may seem unfair, it’s pretty straightforward. Once you sell the vehicle and the buyer does not take any further steps with the DMV, the records will have no way of knowing about the transaction unless you submit the notice of transfer.