Expired Buyers Tags Cause Real Headaches
I will register the vehicle on time. I will register the vehicle on time. I will register the vehicle on time. We hear this all of the time, but some dealers are better than others at promptly registering a car after a sale. All dealers know that they are required by law to register a vehicle after sale. Dealers must file within 30 days of a retail sale and within 45 days on a seller financed sale that included deferred sales tax. In both scenarios, title should be recorded well before any noted deadline as a prompt filing will help avoid serious problems later.
The buyers tag for each vehicle issued and printed via eTAG lasts for a full 60 days. If the dealer is unable to obtain metal plates for a buyer due to unforeseen circumstances the dealer may be eligible to purchase a 30-day permit from the local tax assessor collector where the vehicle will be operated. The 30 permit fee is $25 and there is a $4.75 processing and handling fee. You may also be required to surrender window stickers and plates.
So why are dealers not transferring titles promptly?
The most common excuse is that the dealer has not yet received the title from the auction. Remember, don't sell a vehicle without the title in hand! A promise to deliver a paper title is just hopeful optimism. Selling a car without the title in your possession is the easiest way to become the subject of an enforcement action with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Such penalties “may” reach up to $10,000, but not always.
Another common scenario is that the dealer is waiting to see if their BHPH customer misses the first payment. The dealer is betting the customer will miss the payment and the dealership can save a few bucks in tax, title, and license fees submitted to the local tax assessor collector. Hedging their bets may work in Vegas “some” of the time, but the house always wins.
We sold a car without a valid inspection and cannot register. Dealers often believe they can just call their customer to come in for a quick inspection and everyone will be on their way. Time and time again, we hear the common issue of a customer not responding to calls or texts, but not yet late on their second payment? Talk about a prompt change of bargaining, the dealer REALLY needs that customer to help them, not the other way around. Again, this presents another potential TXDMV enforcement action.