Can You Trade In a Car With No Title?

Selling a car to a dealership without a title is typically not allowed. Dealerships need to see a cleared title in order to accept a trade-in vehicle, as it is illegal to complete the sale without a title in most states. So what can you do with a car with no title? Retrieving a copy of your title will be the most straightforward solution; keep reading to learn how. 

Selling Car to Dealership Without Title 

Legally, dealerships need a title in order to accept a trade-in vehicle. This is because the dealerships need to ensure they are acquiring vehicles from the legal owner and aren’t adding stolen merchandise to their lots. The exception to this would be if you’re trying to trade-in a financed vehicle that still has a balance; in this situation, you would not have the title yet but would have proof of ownership through your finance agreement. In this case, you can trade in a vehicle without a title, but keep in mind that you will still be responsible for paying off your current balance. 

What to Do With a Car With No Title 

If you do not have the title to your car but want to trade it in, there are a couple of ways to solve this problem:

  • Pay off your vehicle: Titles are granted to those who successfully pay off their car loans, so finalizing the balance is the most surefire way to be rewarded your title. 
  • Order a replacement title: If you’ve already paid off your loan but misplaced the title, you can order a replacement copy. Depending on where you live, this can either be done through the DMV or the dealership you originally purchased from. You’ll need to fill out an application and pay a fee, but once the process is complete you’ll have a replacement title. 
  • Have the dealer pay the lien holder: If you have a lien on your vehicle, it’s possible to work with the dealer to have them take on the lien and apply the sales proceeds toward your trade-in. This is most likely to work if your vehicle is in high demand by the dealership. Keep in mind, though, that if your vehicle’s proceeds do not pay off the loan in full, you will be responsible for making up the difference to be granted a title. 

Get Help With Your Trade-In at Green Light Auto Credit!

To trade in a car without a title, you will have more hoops to jump through, but the friendly team at Green Light Auto Credit is here to help. We believe that everyone has a right to a vehicle that fits their needs, and we’ll do whatever we can to make your situation work. Get pre-approved today to start the process!

Happy customer with a new sedan