Belleville, AR asked in Gov & Administrative Law for North Carolina

Q: What can I do if I gifted a car and the new owner does not transfer the title and sells the car?

After the car was gifted new owner did not transfer title and sold the car to another person. What can I do?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: If you gifted a car and the new owner did not transfer the title before selling it, this can create a complicated situation. In North Carolina, the responsibility to transfer the title typically lies with the new owner. If they fail to do so and then sell the car, it can lead to legal and financial complications, especially if there are issues with the car or its use after the transfer.

First, ensure you have proof of the gifting transaction, such as a bill of sale or gift letter, and any communication regarding the transfer of the title. This documentation can be crucial if there are any legal disputes or issues with the vehicle that could potentially come back to you.

You may consider contacting the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to inform them of the situation. They can provide guidance on any steps you might need to take to protect yourself and may note the transfer in their records.

If there are legal issues arising from the new owner's failure to transfer the title, such as parking tickets or accidents associated with the vehicle, you might need to seek legal advice. An attorney can help you navigate the situation, address any liabilities, and take action to protect your interests.

Remember, when gifting a vehicle, it's always advisable to complete the title transfer process with the recipient to avoid such complications. This helps ensure all legal and financial responsibilities are properly transferred to the new owner.

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