A neighbor bought a car, got pink slip but didnt transfer it & now I want to buy it from him what should I do to avoid problems?

Asked over 1 year ago - Beaumont, CA

my neighbor who lives down the block buys and resells used cars, I do not know him just know he does this because my other neighbor knows him. I want to buy his car and he has the pink slip which has names of couple who sold it to him. He told me he has not yet transferred it to his name and that I can go to DMV with pink slip and take care of this. I am naive about these matters and would appreciate any help before I give him a bank cashiers check for the car. Should I get his ID or call DMV with license plate number before I give him the cashiers check?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Robert Harlan Stempler

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . DMV will not give you any information over the phone and it is doubtful that they would give you much info, even if you show up at DMV, as titling info is a private matter, to which access is restricted to the registered owners, licensed car dealers, law enforcement, and attorneys who complete the proper forms. If this person has the Certification of Title (commonly known as the pink slip), signed by the legal owners, no lien holder, and the VIN matches the vehicle that is also in his possession, then most likely this person has the right to sell it.

    You should take precautions that have been given by Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety ("C.A.R.S") and Consumer Reports (see links below) on buying a used car from a private party, though it does appear that his person may sell enough vehicles per year to be considered a car dealer who should be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Included in the precautions should be getting the vehicle thoroughly checked by a licensed mechanic for prior accident damage, concerns with the drive train, A/C, air bags, etc, and condition of wear items, such as tires and belts. Get a written report. Below are links to those good sources. Perhaps your mechanic can also check the DMV data base for the status of ownership to confirm what the Title shows.

    Robert Stempler (please see DISCLAIMER below)
    Twitter: @RStempler

    NOTICE: The above statements are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended as legal... more
  2. Scott Richard Kaufman

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . You do NOT want to do this. He must be licensed in CA to buy and sell cars (more than 5 a year AND he must provide a smog certificate from the prior 90 days. This and generally doing buisness with a neighbor is a BAD idea.

  3. Albert Lee Crosner

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . My colleagues have provided you with very good recommendations. This does not sound like a good deal for you. BEWARE!

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The... more

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