Vehicle titles often create a lot of confusion when it comes to buying, selling, inheriting or donating a car. Titles are legal documents, meaning that you may void your title and need to obtain a duplicate copy from the DMV if you fill anything out incorrectly. Because no one wants another reason to wait at the DMV, it’s important to do your research before filling out or signing your car title.

What Does A Car Title Look Like?
Although car titles vary by state, they are easy to identify. For example, here is what a Texas certificate of title looks like. Most car titles say “Certificate of Title” at the top of the document. It will also list your state or municipality somewhere near the top, such as “State Of North Carolina.” Your title may also say “Department of Motor Vehicles” on the document.

A car title is where all of the important information about your car will be listed. This includes the make, model and year, VIN, the odometer reading when you bought the vehicle, and whether there are any liens out on your car. If your title is “branded” as a salvage, prior salvage, rebuilt or flood damaged vehicle, this will be listed as well. Examples of each state’s vehicle titles can be found here.

What Should You Do With A Car Title?
Your vehicle title should ideally be stored with other important documents in your home. Never keep your vehicle title in your car. It might seem like a convenient place, but it could lead to endless troubles if your car were ever stolen or broken into. With the vehicle title in the car, a thief has all the paperwork and could potentially sell the car with ease.

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