A car may hold many fun and fond memories of road trips, school runs, and moving home. But there comes a time when we must say goodbye to our four-wheeled friend.

If your car needs scrapping, you’ll first spot a request for the title paperwork. But if you don’t have the title documents, don’t panic! We have the answers. So can you junk a car without a title? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Vehicle Title and Why Is It Important?

Your vehicle title is the document sent to you by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You typically get this when buying a vehicle, and it states that you are the legal owner.

The document contains other important information too. That includes the make, model, and vehicle identification number.

You can see why this document is integral to getting rid of a car. It provides a paperwork trail and transparency. Without it, you could risk legal action if you scrap a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you.

Reasons Why a Car Might Lack a Title

Most titles disappear during home or office moves. Sometimes, a new car owner will complete the transaction but fail to get the proper paperwork from the seller. Other times a title might get destroyed, such as in a flood or fire.

If you are missing a vehicle title for an unwanted vehicle, know that it is a more common scenario than you might think and that you have ways to deal with the problem.

Title Alternatives

If you are missing a vehicle title, you have the option to get an alternative. You’ll obtain this paperwork from the DMV, called a Duplicate Title.

You’ll need to complete an application and pay a small fee to get it. You can also get something called a Bonded Title. You buy a surety bond that covers the value of the vehicle.

How to Junk a Car Without the Title

If you don’t want to pay for a title alternative for an old car, you can take other steps to junk a car with missing paperwork.

It varies by state, so check the law in your area and the local DMV office. Some states will accept an alternative proof of ownership, such as a registration document. Some will ask for a Certificate of Authority or Salvage Certificate.

When choosing this route, always contact an approved junkyard to ensure you abide by the law.

Other Aspects to Consider

When choosing how to junk your car, weigh the financial pros and cons. You may find you have a reasonable junk car value. In this case, paying for title paperwork could make the process easier and quicker. 

Can You Junk a Car Without a Title?

So can you junk a car without a title? The answer is yes, but you must check with your local state about acceptable alternative paperwork. That will keep you protected legally and ensure a quicker scrapping process.

For more practical tips, take a browse through our other recent articles.