Can I be held liable for someone elses use of my car if I let them use it?

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my question

I am giving my old car to my aunt. She is planning on moving out of
state before its registration is up for renewal. I already have it
insured in her name now. To save money, I figured would simply wait to
sign the title over until she moves and can get it retitled in her new

My mom told me that I could still be held liable for any
accidents/damages in the old car until I actually sell sign it over.
Now I’m worried.

Am I truly exposing myself to potential unforeseen liabilities from her
use of the car by not assigning ownership right away?

Thank you

Asked on January 5, 2019 under Accident Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The registered owner of a vehicle is liable for any injuries (or property damage) caused by someone who they allow to drive it. Bottom line, your mother is right (and they usually are).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your mother is correct. A vehicle's owner is responsible for any injuries caused or damage done by someone whom he or she permits to use his or her vehicle, if that driver was at fault (e.g. driving negligently or carelessly) in causing an accident.

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