America's Favorite Marketplace for Less-Than-Perfect Cars!
Call us: 866-443-8530
We Buy Less-Than Perfect Cars

We Buy Less-Than Perfect Cars

You need to notify the DMV if you junk your car, even if you haven’t driven the vehicle in years. You can do this online, over the phone, or via email, depending on where you live.

If you junk your car and don’t disclose this information to the authorities, you could run into problems, from fines to endless back-and-forth messages.

notify dmv after junking car

In some states, if the car isn’t registered, you don’t have to notify the DMV when you sell it to a junkyard. That’s because, as far as the DMV is concerned, the car doesn’t exist.

Still, you should check your state’s laws before selling your vehicle.

When Are You Required to Notify the DMV That You’ve Sold Your Car?

You’re generally required to notify the DMV of any changes regarding your car when it’s:

  • Sold

  • Transferred to another party

  • Gifted

  • Donated

  • Surrendered to an insurance company

You should notify the DMV of the car’s status as soon as possible. For many states, this is five business days. Some offer longer or shorter periods.

It’s worth mentioning that you cannot abandon the car under any circumstances. In that instance, you could face criminal charges.

Failing to notify the DMV could put you in hot water, even if years have elapsed since the sale. You want to do everything possible to avoid having a criminal record, no matter how minor.


Our expert evaluators can help you get an accurate estimate for your car's value, FAST!

What Do You Need to Junk Your Car?

To junk your car properly, you need:

  • The car’s title. This document shows that you legally own the car and have the right to sell it. If the car was abandoned and you don’t have the title, you may have to contact the DMV and have the car put in your name.

  • A liability waiver. A liability waiver releases the seller from any issues with the car after the sale concludes. You can generally find this form online.

  • Bill of sale. This is basically a fancy receipt. It shows that you received payment for the car and transferred it to someone else.

  • The license plate. You need the car’s license plate because that ensures that the car was registered at one point in time. It also allows the new owner to get the car transferred in their name.

How Do I Notify the DMV That I’ve Sold My Car?

junk your car

Notifying the DMV that you’ve sold your car depends on where you live.

Take California. You can notify the DMV through the DMV Virtual Office.

Here, you make an appointment and speak with a clerk about your situation. They can walk you through the necessary steps and supply the correct forms.

Some states require that you come in person. Check with your state’s protocols before moving ahead with the sale. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Can You Junk a Car Without a Title in California?

You don’t need the car’s title when selling it for parts in California.

Still, you need some proof of ownership when notifying the DMV of your intent to sell. This prevents people from going around and selling cars that don’t belong to them. You can learn more about this process when you consult a representative from the state’s DMV.

Get Cash for Your Junk Car With CarBrain

notify dmv after junking your car

Sick of looking at that heap of scrap metal on your front lawn? Turn that car into cash with CarBrain.

In just 90 seconds, you can get a quote that accounts for your car’s mileage, age, and condition. Then, in less than 48 hours, you can arrange for towing and get the money you deserve.

We just need three things from you: the car’s keys, title, and access to the vehicle. You don’t even have to be physically there for us to come remove the car.

You could come home from work and find that eyesore gone. We’re eager to help you junk your vehicle and make the process as easy as possible.

Need answers? Get FREE advice from our client care experts NOW!

Need answers?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do You Have to Notify the DMV After Selling Your Car?

You generally have five business days to notify the DMV after you’ve sold your car. Yet, you should really notify them as soon as possible. That way, if there are any issues that prevent you from selling the car, you can address them beforehand. Then, you won’t have to track down the car’s new owner and break the bad news.

What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car Privately?

To sell your car privately, you generally need these two documents:

  • The title. This shows that you own the car and have the right to transfer ownership.

  • A liability waiver. You don’t want the car’s new owner to accuse you of selling them a dangerous or defective vehicle. A liability waiver protects you from such claims and notes that the new buyer accepted all risks upon purchase.

To ensure everything goes smoothly, you should also have the car’s license plate and keys.

How Long Does the DMV Take to Respond to My Notification?

DMVs across the nation are infamous for their long waits and response times. This means it could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to learn of the DMV’s decision when junking your car. This is why it’s important to start this process as soon as possible. The sooner the DMV approves the sale, the sooner you can get cold, hard cash.

How Much Could I Get When Selling a Junked Car?

The value of your car depends on many factors, including its age, make, model, and mileage. With CarBrain, you don’t have to make wild guesses about what constitutes a fair offer. At the press of a button, you can get an offer based on current market rates, supply and demand, and other relevant elements.

For what it’s worth...

CarBrain is the premier marketplace for less-than-perfect cars!

Find Out The True Value Of Your Car For what it’s worth...