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Don’t White-Out your title...

And other tips on titling, registering your vehicles from Idaho County DMV

“It’s against the law to sell a titled vehicle without a title” – Idaho County DMV supervisor Betty Umbinetti.

Photo by David Rauzi
“It’s against the law to sell a titled vehicle without a title” – Idaho County DMV supervisor Betty Umbinetti.



GRANGEVILLE – How can you sell your car but still be responsible for it? What happens when someone sells you a vehicle without a title? What’s up with those little black and white plates?

Many of the same problems end up across the DMV desk at the Idaho County Courthouse, and DMV supervisor Betty Umbinetti discussed several of the more common issues for residents to be watching out for and advised planning ahead when looking to buy or sell.

“Lots of people don’t realize a title is a legal document,” she said, and they will make changes to the document using White-Out or obscuring the name or other information entirely. “That can cause a problem in Boise.” She advises to make changes to the document with one line through the incorrect information – don’t obscure or obliterate it — and initialing it.

Seller beware: The release of liability has to be filled out and turned in to the state or county DMV offices within five days of the vehicle transfer. Umbinetti said often the seller will sign the release and think this is the responsibility of the buyer to turn in. That’s incorrect; it is the seller’s. So, for example, without that filed, if the buyer abandons the vehicle, the responsibility for this property falls back on the seller.

Buyers: When purchasing from a private party, your bill of sale functions as a temporary registration. You then have 72 hours – exempting weekends and major holidays – to get to the DMV to title and register your vehicle.

“It’s against the law to sell a titled vehicle without a title,” Umbinetti said. In such an instance, the burden to find a title falls upon the purchaser, which potentially could involve difficult and time-consuming detective work in tracking down where, for example, the vehicle sold without a title through one or multiple sellers.

“We get this a lot, especially with ATVs and motorcycles,” she said. To avoid this, Umbinetti advises the potential purchaser to call the DMV office to check on titles (such as is it registered in the seller’s name?), and using the VIN to potentially discover other issues such as whether there may be a lien against the vehicle.

Note: The owner’s name on their registration must match the title, advised Umbinetti.

“If a registered owner wants to remove or add a name on their registration,” she said, “you must first bring your title in to the nearest county DMV and do a name change. The fee to change a title is $14.”

Other tips in titling and registration:

Need a new title? Rule changes now require these include an Idaho driver’s license or state I.D. card, Social Security or employee identification (EIN) number. Other forms of I.D., such as a passport, may also be used.

Registering a vehicle? With few exceptions, you have 30 days to do so, otherwise you face a $20 penalty. “We have a lot of people who wait a year,” she said.

Selling an ATV or UTV? Remember, those black and white plates stay with the vehicle. Also note if you’ve purchased a motorbike or ATV without receiving the title, in some cases it may not be able to be registered.

Out-of-state vehicle purchases from private parties usually require a VIN (vehicle identification number) inspection.

Purchase a pickup-mounted camper? Those purchased after Jan. 1, 2009, are required to be titled.

“The main thing here is we want people to be better informed at getting their title,” Umbinetti said, and avoiding a problem before it becomes one.

For information, contact the Idaho County DMV office at 983-2742, or go online with the State of Idaho at www.dmv.idaho.gov . Review Idaho statutes for motor vehicles, Title 49, online at http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/TOC/IDStatutesTOC.htm .



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