I hope this is the right stack exchange to ask this question...

I got my honda civic 16 back in mid Feb 16 as I was moving from NY to NJ.

I actually never received a copy of the title which was sent to my old address back in NY because soon after i purchased the vehicle, my rent expired.

Now, I'm gonna be out of country for 2 years for work and have 3 weeks to sell my car (i wanna sell it asap even for a cut price just for peace of mind)

I contacted the dealership that i got the car from and asked them to buy my car, as they wait for my title.

The dealer wasn't sure if they could obtain a title duplicate on my behalf and have it sent straight to the dealership.

So can a dealership apply for a replacement title for someone else's car and buy the vehicle from the owner?


  • 1
    Is the car registered in NJ? – quid Jul 15 '16 at 2:38
  • 1
    Why can't you obtain the duplicate title, then sell it to whoever offers you the best price (which will probably not the dealer)? – keshlam Jul 15 '16 at 3:40

The dealer cannot obtain a title duplicate on your behalf unless you give them power of attorney. This would be ridiculous for obvious reasons.

This means you will need to get the duplicate title in order to sell the vehicle.

You can do this at the DMV in the state where the original title was issued. This depends on the specific state laws for issuing replacement titles. Sometimes you can do this online or by mail, but considering your time frame, I recommend you carve out one day to travel to the DMV and wait in line. For example, here in Ohio they will print and issue you a new title immediately.

Once your title is in-hand, you can sell the vehicle to a dealership or private buyer.

This advise assumes from the information you gave that you own the car free-and-clear with no outstanding loans against it. If that is the case, you need to contact the party that holds your loan and discuss how to proceed.


Yes, the dealership can apply for duplicate title.

They will typically need (at minimum) an affidavit or a bill of sale, a purchase and sale agreement, an odometer disclosure statement and a power of attorney. The appropriate POA would be specific and limited to the exclusive purpose of claiming title. (It's not a general POA as someone had mentioned.)

  • Is setting up the POA likely to be less work and lower cost than applying for the title yourself? – RedGrittyBrick Jul 17 '16 at 10:38
  • @RedGrittyBrick: Yes. That is quite possible. I used to work at a car dealership. We had a standard POA form explicitly for this purpose. It was one form of over 30 that needed to be filled out for each deal we did. The dealer just has to grab it, make a copy, sign the copy and have it notarized. Usually every member of the office staff was a notary so they could notarize it on the spot. – Mowzer Jul 17 '16 at 15:52

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