My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: CA
I bought a car for what to me is an extremely significant amount of money from a private party. I'm a bit inexperienced in this area, the seller seemed like he was as well but he went to the DMV and asked them what was the necessary paperwork for the "transfer"
We filled out the Bill of Sale/Vehicle Transfer and Reassignment Form, but when I got to the DMV to register the car I started running into problems. The DMV was not very helpful in explaining to me what the exact problem was, but they told me that I needed a bill of sale from the previous owner (before the guy who sold it to me) and the seller.
I tried questioning at the DMV, but they wouldn't really answer my questions. Now that I've done my own research, I finally understand that the problem arose because the Title is not in the seller's name. Also, there are other oddities with the title which are confusing.
It has a portion where the last owner has signed off on it, and then another person also signed off on it a month later in the line below that.
The only place that my seller's information appears is in the "printed name" section below someone else's signature. He also filled out the back of the title, which is an "Application for transfer by new owner", where he listed his information and purchase price of the vehicle.
Since it's hard to explain, I scanned a picture (with personal information blanked out) of the title, and coded it as follows:
A = Guy who's name appears on Title. Signed away interest in vehicle on 9/6/09.
B = Unclear on Identity, Probably a Guy who bought/got it from A and went for a quick resell? Signed off interest in vehicle on 10/24/09.
C = Guy who sold it to me, possibly bought it from B? In application for transfer on back of title, he listed his purchase date as 10/22/09
Scan of Pink Slip: http://premium1.uploadit.org/Magnifico//Title.jpeg
You can see that for some reason, C, my seller, printed his name underneath the signature of "B" (why was that area blank to begin with? It was supposed to contain B's printed name)
When I registered the car, I gave them registration papers with C's name on them. However, I can't be sure if they were temporary registration papers (as I now have) or permanent ones, as they look the same without scrutiny and the DMV kept them. As it turns out, C was actually late on his registration, which I had to pay for
Anyway, the point is that the DMV is asking for a bill of sale between B and C to prove C's ownership of the car and therefore his right to sell it to me. I've had a little contact with my seller (C), but he seems to think he gave me everything he had, saying he'd "check" to see if he could find anything else.
I'm not really liking where this is heading. Honestly I'd like to just be able to register the car and let it be mine as I really like it and was happy with my purchase, but I don't think the DMV will let that happen without a document that may or may not exist, and I am not too hopeful of ever obtaining. Will a perfectly good car really become an unusable piece of junk?
From doing some research online, it looks like my only real recourse is to sue (pretty sure asking for money back wont work). I think I've read a few things about a "bonded" title, but not sure if it applies to my situation or how it works exactly. Maybe someone can shed some light or give some insight? I can't tell if I'm being intentionally scammed, or if someone just messed up some paperwork down the road by being as naive with the process as I was.
Really need some help :(