How to Sue for a Vehicle Title

It may be necessary to sue the previous owner for the title to your new car.
••• luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from

When a used car is sold through a private party agreement, it is not uncommon for the new owner to not receive the title of the car even after the payment for the vehicle has been made. Without the car title, the car seller is still listed as being the owner of the vehicle. As a result, it is necessary for the new vehicle owner to sue the previous owner in order to obtain the vehicle's title.

Go to the local courthouse in order to obtain the necessary forms or paperwork so that the process of moving toward a civil court case can begin. The intent of the filing action is to take the car seller to court so that the vehicle ownership paperwork will be transferred in a correct and timely manner.

Complete the civil case cover sheet form by including all of the contact information and entering the car seller's name. Mark on the form that the seller is being sued for "Breach of Contract." This clearly explains the issue to the court as well as the intent of the filer to obtain property that belongs to the individual.

Read More: Car Title Laws

Fill out the civil complaint form in order to thoroughly describe the reason that court action is being taken against the car seller. Include all of the damages that have been caused due to the actions of the seller. After the form is completed, it will be signed and dated at the bottom.

File both of the completed forms with the Clerk of the Civil Court. A civil case will then be filed, and the individual seeking to sue must pay the court filing fee in order to proceed with the case.

Wait until the copies of the paperwork have been served to the car seller. The paperwork notifies the car seller of the pending court case and describes the charges or complaints against the individual.

Ask the person who served the paperwork to the car seller fill out the proof of service form. The form will be delivered to the court to show that the defendant has been notified of the proceedings. The court will then notify both parties of the pending court date.


  • Always make copies of all paperwork. Going to court for any reason requires organization and diligence in order to maintain all the documents, paperwork and information that could be important throughout the case.
  • Check on the specific filing requirements of your state because each state's standards can vary.

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