Don't Purchase a Stolen Vehicle
- Use Common Sense. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
- Don't meet the seller in an unsafe location. Meet at a permanent location of the seller and avoid situations where you can only meet the seller by pager.
- Let the seller know you will not be bringing cash, but will pay by personal or cashier's check if you decide to purchase the vehicle.
- Ask the seller for valid picture I.D. and compare the information to the vehicle registration and title.
- Be leery of pre-signed ownership documents, or sellers who are not both the registered and legal owners. The documents may be forged, or a lender may have a lien that prevents transfer of title.
- If the ownership documents are recently issued or duplicate, the vehicle may have changed hands recently or the title lost. Inquire why!
- Check the ownership documents for an indication that the vehicle is a salvage and be very cautious if it is. Many salvage vehicles are rebuilt with stolen parts or are unsafe. Also be alert to these issues if any vehicle appears to have been extensively damaged or rebuilt.
- Be sure all numbers match. Look at the numbers on both the Vehicle Identification Number plate and the license plate. They should be the same on both the vehicle registration and title.
- Before you pay, be sure documentation is adequate to obtain registration and legal title. Check with the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) first if there is any doubt.