Does a Car Need to Be Registered to Sell It to a Junk Yard?

After experiencing a car accident and the insurance company has settled on your car, consider selling it to a junkyard. As long as you own full rights or title to the car, sell it to whomever you wish, even with expired registration. Selling an unregistered vehicle requires following steps specific to the state in which the car was registered.

Registration

Vehicle registration is only for cars driven on the streets and highways of a particular state. If you elected to not register your car because it has a lot of problems or it was wrecked and since then have decided to sell it to a junkyard, you will not have to register your vehicle to do so. However, when selling your unregistered car to a junkyard, it will need to be towed or transported because it's unregistered and is not allowed to be driven on the roads.

Title

The preferred method of selling a car to a junkyard involves signing over the title. To do this, you must have 100 percent ownership in the car. If a bank has a lien on the vehicle or you are making payments, you will still be required to make those payments on the vehicle until it is paid off. Under these conditions, the lienholder must approve the sale to the junkyard and sign off on the title.

Lost Title

There are ways around a lost title when selling a car to a junkyard. Request a duplicate copy of the title from the state's motor vehicle department or provide a bill of sale to the junkyard directly. Most junkyards have staff to help walk you through this process. When selling a vehicle to a junkyard, as long as it is used for parts or scrap, title issues are easily resolved, as long as you have full ownership of the vehicle.

Bill of Sale

In all cases when selling a registered or unregistered vehicle to a junkyard, you must provide a bill of sale and file a copy with motor vehicle department in your state. This discharges you of any and all responsibility with the vehicle and any issues that may come up go directly to the new owner. Most states have a specific form in order to report a bill of sale, but do so within the time limit set by your state to protect your interests. Some states may even have special forms for reporting a sale to a junkyard. Check with your state's motor vehicle department for further clarification.