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When You Buy A Car, You Should Get The Title. What If You Didn’t?

When you purchase a car, it’s logical to assume that you will get the title. If you didn’t, Brody & Cornwell can help, and you might even be entitled to additional compensation. Our consumer protection lawyers in St. Louis protect clients throughout Missouri from fraud and deceitful practices.

Transferring Ownership Of A Vehicle Under Missouri Law

When a consumer buys a car or truck in Missouri, they should receive the title at the time of purchase. Under Missouri laws that govern the sale and title transfer of vehicles, when a certificate of ownership has been issued for a vehicle, the certificate must be provided to the new owner at the time the buyer takes possession of the vehicle.

When the parties have a written agreement for the purchase of a vehicle, as the often do when a consumer purchases a vehicle from a dealership, the dealer has up to 30 days to deliver title of the vehicle to the consumer.

After 30 days, with or without an agreement, late fees start accruing if the consumer does not register the vehicle at their DMV.

Preventing Fraud And Deceit In Motor Vehicle Sales

The Missouri laws regarding the transfer of title are designed to prevent fraud and deceit in the sale of motor vehicles. Without the title, a consumer cannot register the vehicle in their name and therefore, cannot use their vehicle as intended.

Under Missouri’s lemon laws, you also have the right to a vehicle that is free from defects. We help consumers with that too.

Why Wouldn’t A Dealership Provide The Title?

So why wouldn’t a dealerships provide the title to a vehicle they sold? Sometimes, the dealership is just sloppy and disorganized. Sometimes, the dealer itself doesn’t even have the title yet. For example, there can be several reasons that the title wasn’t received when the dealer purchased the car from the manufacturer.

Sometimes, the dealer hasn’t fully paid off their short-term loans for their showroom cars, under their “floor plan.” If they haven’t paid for the car you purchased, they might not have the title yet so they won’t be able to deliver it to you.

Sometimes, the dealership has the title but is purposefully withholding it, to make sure the consumer will actually make their first payments on the vehicle. However, under Missouri law, a consumer may not have to start paying on their loan until they do get title.

We Can Help You Get Your Title So You Can Register Your Vehicle

You only have 30 days from the date of your purchase to register your vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and you will need the title in order to register your vehicle. If you haven’t received it, our consumer protection lawyers can intervene with the dealership on your behalf.

And the best part? If there are shady business dealings at play or the dealership is guilty of violating consumer protection laws and we win or the dealership settles your case, we will make sure the dealership has to pay your attorney fees. This means that there is no out-of-pocket costs for us to protect your consumer rights.

Consult A Consumer Protection Lawyer For Free

We never charge a fee for initial consultations. To schedule your free, initial consultation, contact our offices by sending us an email or by calling 314-400-2229.