Can A Car With No Title Ever Get Legally Back On The Road?

You've been tempted by them before; abandoned cars in barns, junkyards, and on roadsides in "rusty but restorable" condition. Whoever owns it is willing to let it go for pennies, there's just one catch– the car doesn't have any paperwork, and without it you'll never be able to get a license plate. Or can you?

We're hoping to create a guide for tragics who find themselves great deals on lovely project cars that are way too nice to part out, but have to pass them up because the draconian DMV won't let you get a license plate without some stupid slip of paper.


I've heard tell that some states will allow you to register a car with just a bill of sale, while others will let you re-order a title with an expired registration. But I keep coming up on dead ends in finding out, definitively, what can be done to get undocumented automobiles back on the road.

Can any of our experienced readers shed some insight on the process of "retitling" abandoned or paperless cars? If you've done some research or been here before, please come in and share... and let us know what state you've dealt with the issue in!

Image: Scott Swigart/Flickr

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