Can You Scrap a Car Without a Title?

You have an old car sitting in your yard or driveway that does not run. One easy way to get rid of it is to take it to a junkyard. You’ll get paid for the scrap metal and free up some space. But depending on how old the car is and what state you’re in, you may need the car’s title before it can be scrapped.

What is a car title?

A car’s title is proof of ownership. When you buy a new car, the dealership will file the necessary paperwork with the local DMV, and you’ll receive the title when everything is processed. If you financed the car, then the bank (or whoever the lienholder is) holds onto the title until the lien is paid off.

The title also shows any accidents or damage done to the car. For example, an accident or flood damage gets recorded on the title. If a car is totaled in an accident and costs more to fix than it is worth, the DMV will brand the car with a salvage title.

In some states, you can junk a car without a title, but you’ll have to fill out additional paperwork afterward to transfer ownership of the car to the junkyard. In other states, if you don’t have the car’s title, you can still scrap it if you show proof of ownership. Usually, this is the car’s registration and your driver’s license. Things that do not count as proof of ownership include:

• The receipt or bill of sale because it is easily forged
• Insurance on the car because it doesn’t mean you have the rights to sell the car

What if the title is lost?

If you have lost the title to the car, you can get a new one at a local DMV. Fill out the Application for Duplicate Title, along with a small fee, and you can get a new title sent to you. It takes between 30 and 50 days to receive your new title.

Liens on the car

Junkyards won’t accept cars with a lien on them. If your car was totaled in an accident, then the insurance company will pay off part of the car’s actual cash value. You would owe the rest of the amount to the lienholder. If you opted for it, gap insurance covers this extra amount, so it doesn’t come out of your pocket.

Why do you need a title to scrap a car?

Before a junkyard crushes a junk car, it must notify the state and sometimes information about the person who brought the car in. Therefore, a title is needed to junk most old cars. If any crimes were tied to the vehicle, the state could trace it back to its original owner.

What Scrap It accepts

Got a car you need to scrap? Let us Scrap It for you! For all cars 1999 or older, you can bring it to us without a title. For all cars 2000 and newer, you will need a title for us to Scrap It. Give our New Hampshire center a call today; we’re open to the public and we’ll happily take that old car off your hands.