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Car buying and weird title transfer question

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  • Ok, I know lots of you guys are into cars, and probably have bought and sold many!

    So my weird scenario.

    Bought a used car. The guy I was talking to through email and phone, was selling car for his girlfriend, who I've never met. Let's call them Bill and Jill. The person I met while doing test drives, and had possession of the car was his friend, lets call him Bob. Bob was using the vehicle, and was storing it at his house. He was basically doing a favor for his buddy. Turns out the Bill and Jill are out of state for awhile, no idea the circumstances, or why.

    Anyway, I make a last trip down to the south end, and get the car from Bob. He had the title and bill of sale. All the signatures look good, I give him a cashiers check, made out to Jill. I even signed a release of liability for Jill which she was/is going to mail in. And so I drive the car home.

    So I go to DMV, and wouldn't you know it, Jill signed the title in the wrong spot, under the old financing companies spot, instead of right under her name. DMV is like you need the signature in the right spot. So I contact Bill and tell him, and he's like we're out of state until next year, YOU go ahead and sign it for her.

    And no the car isn't stolen, as far as I can tell(I ran the VIN number, its all clean). The communications with everyone seems normal, Bob seems like a normal dude, normal house, family was around, typical middle class neighborhood, no red flags or weirdness. Edit: I'll add, I think Bill and Jill are retiree's.... he mentioned once something about his RV and being in CA.

    What would you guys do??
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    twisted_steel2
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  • I sign it.

    It's obviously not being completely honest, but the alternative is to wait until 2019 to transfer title so you can drive the car legally and put it on your insurance? No thanks.
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    Sgt. Largent
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  • I'm thinking I sign it too, I have written proof they told me to go ahead and do it. They obviously don't care, there's no physical way to get her signature anytime soon.
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    twisted_steel2
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  • twisted_steel2 wrote:I'm thinking I sign it too, I have written proof they told me to go ahead and do it. They obviously don't care, there's no physical way to get her signature anytime soon.


    Only other thing I can think of is ask the DMV if they allow e-signatures or faxed signatures. If so, you could figure out a way to send it via email or have them fax it back from wherever they are.

    I doubt the DMV accepts non original signatures, but you'd think they'd have someway of allowing other ways of signing. This can't be a new thing, where the buyer and seller are big distances apart, or can't meet up in person to sign.
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    Sgt. Largent
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  • If it was me and I was 100% confident this was legit, I would just sign Jill's name in the correct spot. All other alternatives sound like they are going to be a PITA.

    Or I guess you could drive down to California or wherever they are and have her sign it. :P

    twisted_steel2 wrote:I'm thinking I sign it too, I have written proof they told me to go ahead and do it. They obviously don't care, there's no physical way to get her signature anytime soon.


    Whether you have written proof or not, I would absolutely not mention that you signed it for Jill. Just don't bring it up at all. You never know what can of worms you might be opening.
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    Chapow
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  • I would suggest seeing if there's an alternative, but if you're going to sign the title, I wouldn't even mention that you signed it for her as Chapow said.

    If it was me, as an employee of a large bank that has branches in Cali, I would find out where Bill and Jill are and ask them if they wouldn't mind going into a local branch and signing it. I would pay for shipping the title via UPS and provide a return label, shipping it directly to a banker or manager that I had contacted and explained the need for signing to.

    Maybe that will help get some creative juices flowing.
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    JGfromtheNW
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  • Or just sign it in the right spot and go to another DMV.

    Better yet have a female sign it, you can tell the difference most times and then go to another DMV and put a little oops next to the wrong spot signature.

    This way you never signed it so your not lying and it will look closer to the original maybe.
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    chris98251
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  • Well everything went fine, my wife signed it. Was really surprised what a spot on match it was! I think we discovered a new talent!! :D The DMV lady didnt bat an eye, everything went fine in that regard. :2thumbs:

    Thanks for the advice everyone.
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    twisted_steel2
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