Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/4/20 7:24 p.m.

I've been messaging back and forth with a potential buyer for one of my cars who is clear on the other side of the country and seems to be a very promising buyer.  Typically, I've done all of my sales in person, in cash, and then a short drive to the notary to sign the title off and set it up with the new owner.  Pennsylvania isn't one of the states that just lets you sign the back and drive off as far as I know.  While I should be able to sort out the legality of the title transfer locally, what else should I know about working with a buyer who isn't local?  How did you confirm your payment?  How did you work with a transport company if one was involved?


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
6/4/20 8:19 p.m.

In reply to Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) :

I'm also in PA and have sold a number of things sight unseen.

Typically you can transfer a PA title to another state by signing it and including a bill of sale- if you want to be picky you can probably sign it in front of a notary.

Wire transfer works well for payment, you can confirm that it's in your account before signing over the title.

Transport should be mostly the buyer's problem, you should pretty much just need to have everything ready to hand over to the shipper.

docwyte UberDork
6/5/20 9:16 a.m.

Depends what state you're selling to.  I bought a trailer from Arizona, I'm in Colorado.  Arizona requires a notary for the title, Colorado does not.  When I brought the non notarized title into my DMV here I was told it needed to be notarized by the seller in Arizona.

I was pissed off, as I had to send the title back to the seller, wait for him to have it notarized, get it back to me and then wait at the DMV again.

So I'd follow all the rules in your state before you mail the title off, just in case the buyers DMV wants it to be done.

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
6/5/20 9:34 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Think of it this way...

Your trailer was "Arizona property" owned my a resident of Arizona.  The state of Arizona has rules of what makes a valid sale.  One of those rules was the need for a notory.  

Without the notory, Colorado could not see this as a vlaid sale of Arizona property.  Once that notory was obtained, it was then recognized by Colorado as a valid sale which allows it to be registered now in your name.  

This trailer now becomes "Colorado property" owned by a resident of Colorado.  If you later decided to sell the trailer to someone back in AZ you would just have to follow the rules of "valid sale" for CO.  This would then mean no notory required.  The AZ buyer would show up at his DMV and they would see this is a valid CO sale.  

Later, the same AZ owner sells you the same trailer... Now that it again is AZ property, it would need to be notorized to sell to you in CO.  


TLDR:  You have to follow the rules of the selling state.  They buying state office will be able to verify those rules of the selling state.  

Doc wrote:  Depends what state you're selling to. 
Really, it matters what state you are selling from.

docwyte UberDork
6/5/20 1:05 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) :

For sure.  Part of what made me mad was the seller knew it needed to be notarized but thought for whatever reason, since it was a trailer instead of a car, that it no longer needed to be.  I should've done my research and insisted that he notarize it from the get go.

Nothing like waiting 1.5 hours at the DMV only to find out you need to come back and ask the seller for a favor after they've been paid.

Uncle David (Forum Supporter)
Uncle David (Forum Supporter) New Reader
6/5/20 7:24 p.m.

I think John Welsh has it right. 

I live in Merlin, hon.  I've bought three cars with PA titles in PA.   Each time, had to do the notary thing before leaving PA with the car, even though MD doesn't require it for old cars.  (Just mentioning PA because it requires notarization of titles.)

Nitroracer (Forum Supporter)
Nitroracer (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/6/20 10:33 a.m.

Thanks for the replies.  I was able to stop in a notary office this morning and their answer was fairly simple.  If I have the name and address for the buyer filled out, in addition to my seller info they can notarize it and it can be mailed to the new owner.  From there it is still on the buyers end to register the car - until that happens it won't be out of my name or the Pennsylvania system.


As for long distance payment I saw wire transfer mentioned.  I would assume certified checks may be an option as well?  

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
6/6/20 10:53 a.m.

For the real scammy, anyone can go to Staples office supply and get some blank business checks and print up what certainly appears to be a real check from a real bank.  So, with a certified check you still will be "trusting" the buyer. 

These fake (but authentic looking) checks are the cornerstone of the Nigerian scam. 

With wire transfer, real money comes to you and can not be taken from you. 

docwyte UberDork
6/6/20 10:58 a.m.

Wire transfer only

Strizzo PowerDork
6/6/20 4:41 p.m.

I was on the selling end of an arrive and drive last year. What I did was make sure they were bringing a cashiers check from a bank that had a local branch so I could have them verify it and pay me the cash on the spot. We borrowed a desk at the bank and signed the bill of sale and title. Buyer dropped me at the dealer where I was buying the next car and he headed on his way. 

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