What Is A Car Title
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What Is A Car Title

A Car Title (also known as a pink slip) is a legal document that provides legal proof that a vehicle belongs to its owner. It is a very crucial document that without you cannot resale your car. Whether you purchase a new vehicle or used one, this document holds immense significance. Car Titles contain important details about the car. Details that allow buyers to know if the car has been damaged or involved in a previous accident.

A car title is issued by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle. This document is an integral part of every transaction related to a car purchase.

What Is on A Car Title?

A car title is a legal document that plays an important role in selling and buying a car. Besides establishing the legal ownership of a vehicle, this document consists of some crucial data about the car. A car title contains an assignment of title, car make, model, and year, vehicle weight class, lienholder, odometer reading, owner information, and notice to the seller.

Assignment of title

The assignment of the title is the section that determines the ownership or change of ownership of the vehicle. At the time of selling, this section is filled out by both selling and buying parties. The sellers have to insert purchaser details including their name, address, date of sale, price, odometer reading, and type. Along with the purchaser’s details, sellers have to include their address, signature, and their printed name. The section of the Assignment of title that a buyer has to fill includes the name of the buyer, their signature, name, and address of the new lender.

Both buyers, as well as the seller, have to fill out their respective sections very carefully as there is no room for mistakes in the assignment of title. In case you make a mistake, you will have to request for a duplicate title.

Car, make, model and year

A car title has the manufactured year, vehicle model, style, license plate number, and motive power.

Vehicle weight class

Another piece of information that you can find on a car title is its weight class. The weight class dictates the annual registration cost of a vehicle. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration – FHWA defines the requirements for each weight class. Currently, FHWA has eight classes divided into three categories, including light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty vehicles. The higher the weight class, the higher is the annual cost of registration.


A lienholder is a lender that has a legal interest in your property till the time until it is paid off in full. The majority of the states in the U.S have a law that gives a lienholder the possession of the property until the full payment of the auto loan.  Car titles typically include the lienholders on vehicles that are being financed or leased. In this section, the current lienholders name will be mentioned.

Odometer reading

The odometer reading at the date a vehicle was purchased is another type of data that you can find on a car title. Recorded readings are another way to verify the date of when a car was purchased and came under the possession of the new owner. Odometer readings can help identify if a car was stolen.

Owner Information

A car title also contains a certificate of title which includes the name of the vehicle’s current owner.

Notice to the seller

A car title also includes a notice to the seller, which says, “Sellers must keep a receipt or photocopy of the reassigned title for their records for 18 months or accompany the purchaser to a Secretary of State Office.” It serves as proof that you know the buyer put their name in the assignment of the title section.

Why is the car title important?

A car title is the most important document for the owner of a vehicle. As car titles are the only document that can serve as proof of actual ownership of a vehicle.  It is due to this reason that taking care of this document is crucial, especially if you wish to resell it in the future or gifting the vehicle away.

There is no denying there; a car title document is one of the valuable items you store in a safe place at home. Trust us when we say that misplacing this document can turn into a complete nightmare. When purchasing a car, whether new or used, make sure you take possession of the car title. For a smooth purchase process, it is best that you know about all different types of car titles including salvage car title, rebuilt car title, flooded car title, and many others.

At 500 Below cars you can purchase with the certainty of having a clean car title!

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