My car was titled in California but was registered in Nevada. I sold the car in Nevada in January 2016. Signed a Bill of Sale, signed over the title, made receipts, and surrendered the license plates to DMV. New owner had car towed in Nevada in April of 2016 and never had the title or registration switched over. Tow company says I am responsible and will not accept my Bill of Sale as proof I no longer had ownership over the car because I was the last registered owner of the car in California. They said I have to pay $200 for them to get rid of the car or they sell it with fees totaling $2800 and then send it to collections for which I will be liable for. Called both California DMV and Nevada DMV and both said I did my part as a seller and the tow company should accept the Bill of Sale.
In CA you are required to submit paperwork called a Notice of Transfer of Liability. See form: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/online/nrl/welcome
You mentioned that you turned in your plates but did not mention the form. If you did in fact fill out this form and file it before the towing fees were incurred then get a print out showing you filed from the DMV and take it to the towing company or mail it to them, or at least something showing that you turned in the plates...it is easy to fake a bill of sale but the tow company cannot contest DMV records. If they still file negative reports with your credit agencies you can contact the agencies and contest the matter. The tow agency will have to respond to the credit agencies and prove up their claim or the negative report will be removed by the agencies. This is the cheapest and quickest remedy.
if this doesn't work you can contact a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding consumer remedies.
Laurel A. Buchanan is licensed to practice in the State of California. Any and all comments made by Ms. Buchanan represent her opinion and do not in any way constitute any formation of an attorney-client relationship. Responses provided by Ms. Buchanan are merely for informational purposes and all inquiring parties should seek legal advice from experienced attorneys in their local area.
It sounds like you have your answer if you have already been given a ruling by DMV in two states. Remember that the tow company claiming you owe money is not the same as actually owing money.
$200 is not worth the hassle. You have to go to unlimited places to fix the issue. You have a bill of sale, but nothing was transferred based on this bill of sale. That does not extinguish your liability. I suggest the $200 is a better solution, pay it, and have peace of mind.
Only see a licensed attorney before you make any decision. This answer may not be perfect in any given situation. However, more fact may be required by your local attorney.
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