Q:

What information should be included on a car title?

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Quick Answer

A car title lists a car���s vehicle identification number, or VIN, the mileage and the last date of sale. It should also include the current owner���s name and address, the make, year and model of the vehicle and the first date the car was sold. If a vehicle was in an accident that an insurance company claimed a total loss, the word ���salvage��� also appears on the title.

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Full Answer

The VIN appears on the vehicle���s dash, door jam or engine compartment. When purchasing a car, a buyer should always check to make sure the VIN on the car matches the one on the car���s title. For a small fee, the Department of Motor Vehicles can run a check on a car by using the VIN. It can reveal a car���s history, whether it has been in a flood or accident, and if a used car is free of liens.

An auto title is also known as a ���pink slip.��� It is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles as proof of ownership. A car���s title is an important document that should be kept in a safe place that���s easily accessible. When selling a car, the title must always be signed over to the buyer, who then takes it to the DMV to register the car in his name. The DMV prepares a new document with the buyer���s pertinent information that is mailed to the new owner.

When the buyer wants to sell the car, he must repeat the process of handing over the car title to a new owner. When gifting a car or after a marriage or divorce, it is also common to transfer the title.

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