Can You Trade in a Car With Expired Registration?

Can You Trade in a Car With Expired Registration?

For you to legally drive a car around, there are about five things that you need to have; insurance, a title, license, license plate, and registration certificate. A “title” represents the car’s identification, a “recent license plate” will tell the government officials that your vehicle is registered, and a “driver’s license” represents your identification. As for the vehicle registration certificate, it primarily serves as proof that you’re the owner of the vehicle.

Apart from helping to determine car ownership, a vehicle registration certificate also provides the government with enough data to assess taxes. That’s not all; the document also makes it easy to perform a change of ownership, especially when purchasing and selling a car. That said, here’s a quick question; does it mean it’s impossible to trade in your car with an expired registration?

You can always sell your car even when your registration certificate has expired. However, for that to happen, you’ll need to prove that the car doesn’t belong to someone else. So, you need to show a valid title to prove that the vehicle truly belongs to you.

Apart from selling your car with an expired registration certificate, other frequently asked questions are – is it possible to trade in a vehicle without registration? What is needed to trade in a car? In the rest of this article, you’ll find answers that matter to the burning questions above and more. So, read further to understand more about how selling a vehicle with an unregistered certificate or expired registration works.

Can You Sell an Unregistered Car to CarMax?

Can You Trade in a Car With Expired Registration?

For one reason or another, you’ve been able to register your vehicle with the DMV. Now, you want to know whether or not it’s possible to sell the car to Carmax?

Before going ahead to answer the question, let me start by talking about Carmax. What exactly is CarMax?

What does CarMax do?

For those who don’t know, CarMax, founded in September 1993, is a used vehicle retailer that has its headquarters located in Richmond, Virginia, United States. Apart from helping people to sell their vehicles for attractive pay, CarMax also lets them trade in the car for another one. One of the benefits of selling a car to CarMax is because the used car retailer makes the process quick and very easy.

According to CarMax, here are some of the requirements that you must meet to be eligible to sell or trade-in your vehicle:

  • You’ll need to come alongside your car’s title or payoff information. Of course, you won’t need this document until you get a fine offer for your car.
  • To sell your car, you need valid and current registrations.
  • Since you’re the titleholder, you need to present a valid state-issued photo ID.

With the above requirements, does it mean that you won’t be able to sell to CarMax if your vehicle is unregistered?

There are a few reasons why vehicles can remain unregistered. One of them is when the registration remains pending because the car isn’t being driven out for certain reasons. Apart from that, it could also be because the owner relocates to another state, selling the car before it’s registered again.

Well, regardless of why the car is unregistered, what you need to understand is that you can always transfer an unregistered car to another. Since that’s the case, you won’t have a difficult time selling your unregistered car to CarMax.

Can You Trade in a Car Without Registration?

Can You Trade in a Car With Expired Registration?

Here’s another frequently asked question; is it possible to trade in a car without registration?

To answer this question, let’s first talk about the difference between car registration and car title.

Earlier, in this post, I mentioned that a “car title” is a legal document that represents your car’s identification. That’s true; the paper helps to prove the ownership of a vehicle. Furthermore, a car title is what is issued to you as soon as you purchase a vehicle – it carries your name.

On the other hand, “car registration” means that your vehicle is already registered in a particular state. It doesn’t have anything to do with owning a vehicle. Instead, it only carries your name, vehicle identification number, giving you the license to drive.

Now, let’s go back to the burning question of whether or not you can trade-in your car without registration.

The answer to the question is yes, although it’s not that straightforward. You can always trade-in your car for another one even if it’s unregistered. However, that’ll only be possible if you can prove to the buyer that you are the owner of the vehicle. Here’s where the need to show the “car title” comes in handy.

That’s not all; even if you don’t have a car title, it’s still possible for you to sell your unregistered vehicle. As long as you can prove that the vehicle is yours and nobody else can come around to claim it, all you need to do is to document every transaction with the buyer in the form of a hand-written receipt. Of course, it also depends on whether the buyer will be willing to go through this process with you.

What Is Needed to Trade in a Car?

For you to be able to trade in your vehicle successfully, there are some requirements that you need to meet. As earlier mentioned, you’ll need to present the car’s title so you can prove that the car truly belongs to you.

Apart from the car title, you’ll also need to present the vehicle’s registration certificate and insurance information. With the registration document, you’ll be able to transfer your license plate easily to the new vehicle you’re looking to get. As for the insurance information, it will enable you to drive the newly acquired car away from the lot.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there! I'm Gui. To be honest, I'm not really that interested in cars. But what I'm really, really not interest in is spending lots of money fixing my car up. Thankfully, I have a father-in-law who's obsessed with cars and a brother getting a PhD in internal combustion engines, so I get to learn about fixing cars. And with Fixing Engines, I hope to help you save a lot of money and take good care of your cars.

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