Cars for Sale and the Release of Liability
By Hanna Nilson
Cars for sale as a private transaction can
be tricky. One thing that can be easy to forget is the final step of
submitting your Release of Liability from.
After becoming anxious about closing the deal
for your sold car, itís easy to overlook the important process of
filling out and submitting your Release of Liability form to your
local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Nonetheless, as a required
procedure for selling your used car, the release of liability stands
as one of the final phases of completing the car selling process.
Buying a Used Car with
How to Find Actual
Release of Liability: When selling a
car, the Note for Release of Liability (NRL) is used to notify the
city that you have sold or transferred your used car or truck. It is
required by law, that the seller responsible for the car (s) for
sale; notify the DMV within five business days from the official
date upon which the seller has transferred the car title.
In the process of selling your car, simply
reporting the sale or transfer to the department of motor vehicles
(DMV), does not constitute a completed transfer of ownership. In
other words, the record is not permanently transferred out of your
name until the department receives this completed Application for
Transfer. Unfortunately, certain fees may also apply to the new
owner for this process. However, as the seller of your car (s), this
is not something you should have to worry about.
NOTE: Legal owner transfers, which are
transfers between lenders (or a removal of a loan holder from the
title), do not require an Release of Liability.
Generally, in order to complete and process
the Release of Liability, you must include the following
- License plate number
- Last five digits of the vehicle
- New owner's name and address
- Description of the vehicle or vessel
including the vehicle license plate or vessel CF number.
Remember: Do not key or print any
symbols in the license plate configuration. Only the vehicle
identification number or vessel hull number is required.
- Vehicle make or vessel builder
- Date of sale
- Year and Model
- The new ownerís name and address
- Vehicle odometer reading as of the sale or
- Sellerís or lesseeís name and address
NOTE: If any of this information is
missing, the department may be unable to update the vehicle record
and/or these conditions may disqualify your liability exemption.
Finally, both the buyer and
seller of the car or cars for sale might find it useful to know that
the previous owners of any car for sale will always remain on the
car records until the transfer is complete. So, donít let the
car for sale out on the roads in possession of someone you donít
trust, unless you are willing to be held accountable for any damages
and/or accidence. This rule applies because, only when the buyer's
Application for Transfer is completed, using the endorsed car Title
received from the seller, is the previous owner no longer held
responsible for civil or criminal actions arising with the vehicle
after the date of sale.
When this form is properly completed and the
information is recorded by DMV, liability for parking and/or traffic
violations and civil litigation resulting from operation after the
date of sale becomes the responsibility of the new buyer.
For example, the seller (previous owner of the car) will no
longer be liable for any of the following:
Parking or traffic violations resulting from
operation of the vehicle after the sale or transfer date.
Registration renewal fees and penalties
resulting from operation of the vehicle after the date of sale.
Civil litigation resulting from use of the
vehicle after the date of sale.
It is important for both the buyer and seller
to understand that once the NRL has been properly completed recorded
by DMV, liability for parking and/or traffic violations and/or civil
litigation, which may be resulting from operation after the date of
sale, becomes the responsibility of the successive owner of the
purchased car. Furthermore, when the NRL information is received by
the DMV, no further Vehicle Registration Renewal notices will be mailed
to the previous owner.
Remember, different states may require different information. So,
while the preceding information might serve as a preparatory guide
for informational purposes; do not take it word-for-word! Check with
your city or state DMV for your localized NRL forms.
Cars for Sale and the Bill of Sale
Cars for Sale
and the Tile Transfer
Preparing Your Car for Sale
Cars for Sale and Your Driving Records