So, you want to buy a car off of Craigslist?
When purchasing a car from a private party there are some key items that you should be aware of:
Make sure the person you are buying the vehicle from is the owner of the vehicle or has legal power of attorney to sell the vehicle. Also make sure they provide you with the original title, not a copy.
If the title shows a lender listed on it you will need the original lien release (in Maryland this is red and says at the top of it “This is not a title”) or an original letter from the lender stating they have no interest in the vehicle. The year, make, model, and VIN must be listed along with the original loan amount and the payoff date. In some cases this letter may need to be notarized. Never purchase a vehicle with a loan that has not been paid off.
A bill of sale is needed from a private party if you are purchasing the vehicle below the N.A.D.A. retail value on any vehicle that is 7 years and newer. The seller and the buyers signature must be notarized. We have notaries on staff. Another reason you would need a bill of sale is if the title is from out of state and there is no place to put a purchase price. VR-181 Bill of Sale
A used vehicle being transferred into your name not from a direct relative will need to be Maryland Safety Inspected. This does not need to be done before you purchase the vehicle if you are buying it uninspected. You can apply for a temporary plate to drive the vehicle. This plate is good for 30 days only. You must present all of the original documents and pay the taxes, title and temporary tag fee at the time you receive the temporary plate. VR-129 Temporary Plate
If, you can not come in person to do the title processing please sign our limited Power of Attorney Form and supply a copy of your driver’s license to the person applying on your behalf. Don’t forget your Maryland Insurance policy number and the current mileage if your applying for a temporary plate.