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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Car Purchase missing some documentation

    Here's the background:

    I live in Oregon and purchased a car from California "over the internet". I was in communication with the seller via text message, email, and an online market's messaging system.

    I paid for the car using Square Cash. I put down a $100 deposit, and then paid the $750 balance when the car was put on a truck. I now have the car, have paid the full $850 (it's a high-mileage beater!), but can't get the seller to mail me a Bill of Sale or Title from California. I'm confident the seller is the registered owner because at one point I did have a photo of her CA Driver's license and a photo of the registration with her name on it. I think she's just very busy, has a broken phone, and doesn't want to deal with me now that she has the money and I have the car.

    So, now for my question. Is there any way to use the Square Cash transaction, which I added notes to saying it was for a car, as some sort of Bill of Sale so I can apply for a bonded title in CA and eventually get this car in my name.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts or any other ideas you may have.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
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    974
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJErnst View Post
    Here's the background:

    I live in Oregon and purchased a car from California "over the internet". I was in communication with the seller via text message, email, and an online market's messaging system.

    I paid for the car using Square Cash. I put down a $100 deposit, and then paid the $750 balance when the car was put on a truck. I now have the car, have paid the full $850 (it's a high-mileage beater!), but can't get the seller to mail me a Bill of Sale or Title from California. I'm confident the seller is the registered owner because at one point I did have a photo of her CA Driver's license and a photo of the registration with her name on it. I think she's just very busy, has a broken phone, and doesn't want to deal with me now that she has the money and I have the car.

    So, now for my question. Is there any way to use the Square Cash transaction, which I added notes to saying it was for a car, as some sort of Bill of Sale so I can apply for a bonded title in CA and eventually get this car in my name.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts or any other ideas you may have.
    You'll want to start with the local DMV office and ask them if it will work. If they say yes, then you'll go down to any number of surety bond agencies and pay the money for the bonded title and submit the proof of the bond with the proper paperwork to the DMV.

    But if the DMV says no, you're going to have to either convince the seller to provide the title. Or sue her in small claims court in HER state. Which may cost more than the car is worth.

    Bottom line: DMV holds the power here. And this is a lesson about holding on to your money until the transaction is completed. Or, at the least, to only purchase cars in person.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    71,240
    Our OP has the added twist of having to get a bonded title in California while not being a resident of California. The OP should contact the California DMV by phone and discuss this matter with an agent.

    ETA: The OP will also want to contact the Oregon motor vehicle folks to see if they even allow the transfer from California based on a title that is branded as "bonded".

    ETA again: We don't know the age or type of vehicle, but a SMOG might be required for the title transfer.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
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    4,237
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJErnst View Post

    So, now for my question. Is there any way to use the Square Cash transaction, which I added notes to saying it was for a car, as some sort of Bill of Sale so I can apply for a bonded title in CA and eventually get this car in my name.
    There's nothing in the CA statute about documentation:

    https://law.justia.com/codes/califor.../section-4157/

    You're going to have to get your information straight from the CA DMV.

    Though I have my doubts that CA will allow it for a car and owner in another state.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post
    There's nothing in the CA statute about documentation:

    https://law.justia.com/codes/califor.../section-4157/

    You're going to have to get your information straight from the CA DMV.

    Though I have my doubts that CA will allow it for a car and owner in another state.
    I believe that Joe wants to use the documentation as proof of the value of the car. He's much more likely to have to use a reputable source (Edmunds, KBB, NADA, etc.) for the valuation.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
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    974
    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Our OP has the added twist of having to get a bonded title in California while not being a resident of California. The OP should contact the California DMV by phone and discuss this matter with an agent.

    ETA: The OP will also want to contact the Oregon motor vehicle folks to see if they even allow the transfer from California based on a title that is branded as "bonded".

    ETA again: We don't know the age or type of vehicle, but a SMOG might be required for the title transfer.
    I missed that in my initial reading.... yikes!


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