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What do you do when a California dealership fails to transfer title of purchased vehicle?

San Leandro, CA |

In December 2011, I purchased a used vehicle from a dealership for 11k cash. We are now in May 2012, and I still have not received the title / registration papers or the new plates. The vehicle was from out of the state, so the dealership was supposed to obtain new CA plates for the car. I went to the DMV, and the DMV stated that the vehicle is still listed in the dealership's name. When I call, they claimed that they mailed the registration to their headquarters, and it's the headquarters backlog that is delaying the submission of the DMV paperwork. I paid cash for this vehicle, so title should have been transferred immediately to me. The tags are going to expire in June. What are my legal options?

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Attorney answers 3


If he dealership has failed to transfer title within a reasonable period of time, and you have been delivered ownership of the vehicle, you should tell them that if you do not receive the plates and all necessary paperwork within five days then you will rescind the transaction, surrender the car, and you want all of your money back. If you bought a vehicle and they are unable to deliver title, you have a significant failure of a substantial condition of this sales contract, and you should certainly have the right to rescind.

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you need to retain a lawyer to assist you. there may be some dealer fraud gong on here. call attorney arthur obolsky in berkeley and tell him kevin sullivan referred you.


Straight auto fraud issue. Worth chasing dealer under the CLRA in CA. Feel free to contact me directly for a no cost document review.

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