A License Plate to Remember Part 2—Your Comments: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #492

The National Motorists Association received some thoughtful comments from readers like you and thought we should share them.  If you missed reading Part 1, click HERE.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author.

I enjoyed reading today’s NMA Weekly E-Newsletter. Another topic that has hit several people I have worked with and a neighbor is selling your vehicle to an individual and just signing over the title without going to the tax/title office and completing the paperwork to OFFICIALLY transfer the title into the other party’s name.

A neighbor (when I lived in Michigan) sold his car to an individual for cash and signed the title and listed the mileage and date. The buyer drove off. About a year later he gets a knock on the door one evening and he is presented with a law suit as HIS vehicle was involved in an “at fault” accident in Alabama. The driver of his vehicle (title was never transferred) caused the accident and didn’t have insurance and neither did my neighbor as he thought the other party would title the vehicle as promised and neighbor had cancelled insurance on the vehicle. It ended up costing my neighbor several thousand dollars for an attorney in Alabama and damages to get out from under this incident. Similar situation happened to two folks I have worked with here in Texas.

NEVER just sign over the title without completing the transfer paperwork at the tax/title office. I lost a sale on my 1975 VW Bug because the buyer didn’t want to wait and come get the car during the week when tax/title office was open. He wanted to get it on a Saturday when tax/title office is closed.  

Selling your car to a dealer is a totally different situation as long as you have paperwork showing the vehicle was sold to them outright or used as a down payment/trade-in for another vehicle.

Ted Levitt, NMA Texas Member


This edition clearly shows mission creep when the bureaucrats do not pay attention to the details of their charters. And when the bureaucrats ignore their legal boundaries while relying on technology alone, it doesn’t help.    

Anonymous, NMA California Member


We have had more of a positive experience with license plate readers. Our vacation home is in an area with lots of uninsured vehicles, drunk drivers, drugged drivers, and drivers who have had their license to drive revoked due to alcohol or drugs. Accident rates were high and there was no way to go after the other driver if you get hit.

The local police bought license plate readers and they have been extremely busy stopping these drivers and taking them off the road. It’s now a much safer place to drive. I really don’t care if they pick up my plate coming back from the grocery store. This is a small price to pay to be able to safely drive on public roads.

Jim Burton, NMA New Hampshire Member


Good article. Thank you.   

Just shows how bureaucracy is so convoluted it’s nearly impossible to deal with……..all run by public “servants”.   

My wife and I had a similar problem with the IRS.  Someone entered our gross pay backwards in their system.  (My pay next to her name & vice versa.)  We had the W-2s, as did they. Easy fix, right?  Took ONE YEAR to get it straightened out, with all kinds of complications, wasted time, and frustration along the way.   

Life just keeps getting more and more (unnecessarily) difficult, and getting worse by the day. Universal surveillance and total loss of privacy is only going to multiply these kinds of problems exponentially. 

Thank all of you for all you do for us motorists.

David Snellings, NMA Maryland Member


I had a similar thing happen here in Texas. I sold a motorcycle and years later I got a toll bill showing it going through a camera toll system. Even though the title had been changed to the new owner he kept the plate…..maybe didn’t even register it again. In Texas the plate goes with the vehicle sold. HOWEVER, you can (& I recommend it!) file, on-line, with the DMV that you have sold the vehicle, using the VIN#. That act removes all future responsibility for the vehicle/plate from you.

When I wrote back that I had filed with the DMV the toll bill went away. Why, given that I HAD filed with the DMV, I even got the bill????

Just data bases not talking together.

Richard Taylor, NMA Texas Member

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