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  1. #1
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    Feb 2013
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    Default Can a Power of Attorney Person Holder Transfer a Vehicle Title

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Pennsylvania

    I have full power of attorney for my Mother (90 yrs old). I live in New York state and she lives in Pa. Due to medical issues, she is no longer allowed to drive and never will be. I want to sell her car so that she will have these funds for her expenses. If she does not agree (which is very possible), can I sign the title for the purpose of transferring it to a buyer? Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    Take the POA document to the DMV office and ask if it is acceptable for transfer of title.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,168

    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    If she does not agree (which is very possible), can I sign the title for the purpose of transferring it to a buyer? Thanks for any help.
    Pennsylvania law says this to your authority as agent.

    a) General rule.--
    Notwithstanding any provision in the power of attorney, an agent that has accepted appointment shall:
    (1) Act in accordance with the principal's reasonable expectations to the extent actually known by the agent and, otherwise, in the principal's best interest.
    (2) Act in good faith.
    (3) Act only within the scope of authority granted in the power of attorney.
    if you know she doesn’t want to sell the car, you do not have the authority to act against her wishes. .

  4. #4
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    Quote Quoting cswanson69
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    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Pennsylvania

    I have full power of attorney for my Mother (90 yrs old). I live in New York state and she lives in Pa. Due to medical issues, she is no longer allowed to drive and never will be. I want to sell her car so that she will have these funds for her expenses. If she does not agree (which is very possible), can I sign the title for the purpose of transferring it to a buyer? Thanks for any help.
    It would also depend on what the POA specifically allows you to do on her behalf. Not all POAs are created equal.

    In Pennsylvania (as in many states) you need a specific Vehicle Power of Attorney to act as an agent in dealing with the PennDOT. You can Google it to find the form. If your mother won't sign it then you can't sell the car.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2013
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    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    Thank you very much.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    If your mother doesn't agree with you selling the car, you would be breaching your fiduciary duty as her attorney-in-fact by selling it. That being said, if the POA confers the appropriate authority on you, then you may legally exercise that authority in this way (assuming you can find a buyer willing to engage in a transaction in this manner).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    In Pennsylvania (as in many states) you need a specific Vehicle Power of Attorney to act as an agent in dealing with the PennDOT. You can Google it to find the form. If your mother won't sign it then you can't sell the car.
    Pennsylvania has vehicle limited power of attorney forms, but it doesn't seem that their use is required. A general POA should suffice, as long as it is witnessed and notarized

    A General Power of Attorney (including General and Springing Durable Powers of Attorney) is often used when the seller is out of the state or ill and permits a third party to sell a vehicle for a vehicle owner and usually allows the third party to act on behalf of the other person in other personal and legal matters. The person named on a General Power of Attorney is permitted to sign the Secure Power of Attorney Form when necessary, and all other documents required to properly transfer the vehicle’s ownership.
    NOTE:
    General Durable Power of Attorney - Granted by someone who wants to place the management of his/her property and financial affairs in the hands of a person he/she trusts. This type of power of attorney remains in effect when the person granting it becomes incapacitated.
    Springing Durable Power of Attorney - Goes into effect only if the person granting it becomes incapacitated. The person retains full control of his/her own financial affairs until he/she is unable to do so any longer.


    A General Power of Attorney must be notarized and include the signatures of two witnesses. A photocopy of the General Power of Attorney is acceptable.
    See Section 2. Section 1 refers to POA specifically held by car dealers
    http://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/dv...ts/fs-spoa.pdf

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    If your mother doesn't agree with you selling the car, you would be breaching your fiduciary duty as her attorney-in-fact by selling it.
    Some would argue that he is in fact carrying out his duty as fiduciary. His mother can't legally drive and we could assume use the money for her care.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,598

    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    Quote Quoting MaltbyMark
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    Some would argue that he is in fact carrying out his duty as fiduciary. His mother can't legally drive and we could assume use the money for her care.
    If mom wants to keep the car, it matters not whether she can drive it or not. If she is coherent enough to express that wish, I would say he would be violating his duty as POA by going against that wish.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    There's the rub.

    But what if she needs the money? What if having the car is increasing the danger to her?

    The OP would best be served by having his mothers GP do a cognitive assessment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Can Power of Attorney Person Sign Transfer of Vehicle Title

    Unless Mother is incompetent and the POA agreement is durable in face of that, it matters not whether it's in her best interest or not or whether she can safely drive or not. As a competent person, the POA can not act contrary to her instructions. If the POA is not durable, it's risky even in the event that the person is incompetent. In the latter case, it may be required to attempt a guardianship or some similar instrument.

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