What options do I have against a dealership that refuses to transfer my vehicle title?

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What options do I have against a dealership that refuses to transfer my vehicle title?

The dealership I purchased my motorcycle from failed to transfer the title to my name. I have been driving on this faulty tag for 6 month, unbeknownst to me. This morning my bike was stolen and the police and DMV are unable to find a tag number associated with my VIN. What options do I have?

Asked on August 30, 2011 Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Ultimately, you are responsible for ensuring you have a properly licensed and registered vehicle. So while the initial negligence may be from the dealership, you are under the obligation to not drive this vehicle until it is properly registered or you have proper title. If the title has not been transferred to you and the dealership never had this vehicle registered and you did not either, you may need to file a complaint against the entity or entities who have regulatory authority over this dealership (from the DMV to the attorney general). If the bike has been stolen, check with your insurance company to see if you can file a claim for replacement value. The insurance company may have also required you have clear title before they insure you, so make sure you review your policy regarding this matter. You may need to file legal action in civil court against the dealership for the cost of the bike. The court, if you prevail, may lower the amount you get by the diminished value or your use of it for six months prior to being stolen.


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