Sold a car but it’s still in my name – use the force (transfer)

I recently got the re-registration papers for the Toyota Soarer. Yes the same Soarer I sold back in December. The new owner had obviously neglected to get out and register it in his name which meant since it was still registered to me (and my address) all possible fines, bills, penalties and re-registration would come to me. Such mysterious fun!

The new owner is driving a car registered with my name and address!

So much for his agreement ‘Yeah I work at a mechanics so I’ll get a RWC and have it registered by the end of the month…’ – remember kids, when in doubt, either supply a RWC yourself or sell it unregistered to avoid future headaches. Anyway, if you find yourself in a similar situation like I did, it can be sorted out fairly painlessly.

  1. Firstly I chatted to Vicroads on the phone about what I could do, explaining how I’d sold it 6 months ago and no he’d never actually transferred the name and ownership details over to himself. While I did have his name and address, I couldn’t find my copy of the transfer papers or his phone number. Thankfully after chatting to three different operators they informed me that yes it was indeed still in my name and address to visit my local Vicroads office and ask to perform a force transfer to put it into his name instead. (At a guess this probably happens a lot)
Vicroads force transfer

Explain everything, bring as much proof as you can, they’re here to help.

  1. Before I went to the office I gained as much info as I could to make the force transfer paperwork and process so much easier. I had his name and address on a printed receipt that I saved on my computer. A quick scan of his Facebook found the car in question complete with a ‘look what I just bought!’ post with the same date as the day I sold it (awesome) so I printed a screen shot and took it with me. While I didn’t have his license number, with the evidence I brought Vicroads did find it registered to the address proved for me to help finish the transfer form over. The more proof you have, the better. So if you can’t find your transfer papers, do what you can to bring as much info as possible. (The lady was quite impressed with my dedication in tracking down details of the sale.)

  2. After 5 minutes in my local Vicroads office and a very helpful employee guiding me through a force transfer, she informed me that he’ll receive some paperwork in the mail shortly that it’s now in his name, giving him a couple of weeks to actually get the RWC like he was supposed to or suddenly find the car without registration anymore. And if somehow he’d sold it in the meantime, ‘Well it’s then up to him to work out what he wants to do to sort it out with the latest owner..’ Lovely. I’d feel bad about putting the onus on him to get his act together but he’s been riding around with my name still attached to the Soarer for half a yeah now after he said he’d have it transferred shortly, so it’s not like he didn’t have plenty of time.

IN SHORT:

  1. Ring your local traffic authority and explain your situation asking for the best way to proceed.

  2. Take along as much detail as possible. Remember you’ll never know what you can find on social media (and car forums) unless you look.

  3. Keep a copy of everything you took with you just in case the new owner tries to deny they bought it off you or tries to appeal anything. It’s hard to argue when there’s a snap shot of a picture on your own Facebook claiming you just bought the very car you’re deny you ever owned..

  4. Enjoy not having to worry about what a car you once owned might be doing illegally.

So now no more possible fines coming my way for a car that hasn’t graced my driveway for the last 6 months. No more re-registration papers. And no more selling a car with rego but no roadworthy certificate on the promise the buyer will get it done, I’m not going through all this again…

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