Scams happen all the time, in lots of different scenarios. One common fraud to watch out for when selling and transferring the title of your car, truck, or SUV is “skipping” or “jumping” a title.
A vehicle “title” (sometimes called a “car title” or “certificate of title”) shows proof of ownership of that vehicle. The person titling the vehicle must have a valid North Carolina driver license or ID. The title tracks taxes, violations, fees, and ownership history for a given vehicle.
“Skipping” a car title happens when someone fails to sign a title in their own name before transferring that same title onto another person, causing the vehicle’s history to “skip” an owner. This leads to the wrong person incurring taxes, potential violations, and fees that come along with the transferring of a title.
- Aaron sells their vehicle to Betty.
- Betty fails to sign the title into their name, meaning the car still legally belongs to Aaron.
- Betty then sells the vehicle to Chuck.
Betty does not have legal authority to sell the vehicle to Chuck in this scenario; but if Chuck doesn’t know to check the title, he’ll have no way of knowing any fraud has occurred. (You should always make sure that the vehicle that you are buying is titled in the seller’s name!)
Why would someone jump title?
“Jumping title” means selling a vehicle “under the table”, away from regulation or accountability – so you can guess what that means. Title jumpers may be trying to avoid:
- Incurring the taxes and fees that come with the private sale of a vehicle.
- Showing any problematic history on the CARFAX.
- Reporting an accident or extra owner that would drive down the resale price.
- A paper trail associating them with a problematic vehicle.
Scammers will also skip titles to cover up issues that the next buyer may not be aware of. If a title is branded as a salvage or rebuilt, the current title may not note that status on the title yet. Salvage or rebuilt vehicles are worth less due to the high likelihood of major problems down the road. The next buyer would not know that the vehicle was a salvage until he/she goes to title the vehicle in their name – after the sale has been processed and it’s too late to back out of the deal.
What steps can be taken to ensure that I’m not skipping a title when purchasing a vehicle?
When signing over a title, always be sure that the vehicle that you are purchasing is in the dealership or individual’s name. You can also run a CARFAX report to be sure that the paper trail adds up to what the individual or dealership is telling you.
As the seller, you must make sure that the vehicle is titled in your name, and you have signed and dated the title.
As the buyer, be sure that you sign and date the title and that the seller’s name and ID match the information on the title.
In North Carolina: “For a title transfer, the information on the back of the original title must be completed by both the original owner and the recipient. North Carolina titles must be notarized. For out-of-state titles, NCDMV will recognize that state’s requirements.”
Skipping or jumping title is illegal in every state in the United States – and a felony in some states!
Be sure to take all precautions and contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with any questions or concerns.
Does Get400More.com allow skipping title?
NO! Get400More.com does not purchase any vehicle car, truck, or SUV that is not titled in the individual’s name that is physically present during the sale of the vehicle.
We take precautions to be sure the vehicle we’re buying is titled in the actual seller’s name. We require a form of photo identification when purchasing a vehicle, and if it does not match the person that the vehicle is titled to, we will not purchase the car, truck, or SUV. There are no exceptions to this policy as we want to be sure that we are only purchasing the vehicle from its rightful owner.
What is Get400More.com?
Get400More.com is a car buying service that covers much of North Carolina, plus parts of Virginia and South Carolina.
We simplify the entire car-selling process.
We prepare the paperwork, come to you, and purchase your vehicle from you on the spot. Our appointment takes less than thirty minutes and there are no holds on our checks and funds.
If you are interested in selling your vehicle, live chat with us on the site, or give us a call at 1 (844) 400-MORE.
We look forward to working with you and proving just how easy and profitable our process is for our customers!