If you are interested in buying a car in Illinois, it pays to have your research in order before you go in for the transaction. Depending on whether you are making your purchase from a dealer or a private owner, you will have to follow through on certain paperwork before the vehicle is legally yours. Having an understanding of the process ensures that you are taking care of all the details, and helps to move along your transaction faster.
The first thing you need to be aware of is the transfer of title. A title is a legal document proving ownership of the vehicle. When you purchase a car, it is important for you to get your name on the title document within a particular timeframe. The title is important because it allows the Secretary of State office – responsible for keeping track of vehicle ownership – to update its records and reflect accurate ownership. By state law, a seller is forbidden from selling a car without a title, because the ownership of such a car is doubtful. Always insist on verifying the title and walking away with the relevant documents in hand when you are making a transaction.
One way the title comes in handy for the buyer is in the form of a vehicle history report which can be accessed through the local DMV. If you are buying a car in Illinois, you would want to know its past list of owners, and if it has been involved in any accidents or misdemeanors. The vehicle history report provides you with a complete list of all this information, allowing you to determine whether the car is worth your money or not. This is particularly useful for people who are buying a used car from a private owner.
Once you have settled on a car you wish to buy and the payments have been made, you have 20 days to title the car in your name. You are also required to register the vehicle with the Secretary of State office, which enjoys plenary powers over the transport and road safety systems in Illinois immediately. Be careful about buying a car with expired registration, since you would have to pay a fine and cover all outstanding dues.
Buying a car is a big investment, which is why it is helpful to know your way around the process.
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Q:What things does one need to be aware of while selling a car by owner?
A:The first thing that you need to ensure is that you are setting a fair price for the car that you are selling. Yes, you will still get a better price by selling it privately as compared to putting it on sale through a dealer, but needed to make it an attractive deal. So do have all the repairs done as well get a professional wash and wax job.