Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

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sippyCUP
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Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

Hey all, selling a truck, and I have a buyer willing to travel from PA to TN - they say they can be assured it's not rusted out being a TN truck.

I researched how to accept payment, seems like the Boglehead consensus is to perform the transaction in a bank, and either watch the cashier's check being issued, or watch the buyer receive the cash from the bank. This way, you can be assured that the cashier's check is legit, or the cash is legit (not counterfeit).

These people don't have a local bank, and I haven't found a local bank yet that does cashier's checks for non account holders. They are offering to pay cash directly.

I'm leaning towards passing on this transaction, am I crazy?
hicabob
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by hicabob »

sippyCUP wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 5:35 pm Hey all, selling a truck, and I have a buyer willing to travel from PA to TN - they say they can be assured it's not rusted out being a TN truck.

I researched how to accept payment, seems like the Boglehead consensus is to perform the transaction in a bank, and either watch the cashier's check being issued, or watch the buyer receive the cash from the bank. This way, you can be assured that the cashier's check is legit, or the cash is legit (not counterfeit).

These people don't have a local bank, and I haven't found a local bank yet that does cashier's checks for non account holders. They are offering to pay cash directly.

I'm leaning towards passing on this transaction, am I crazy?
Cash would be OK if you do the transaction at your bank since they probably have a bill counter which is fast, accurate, and checks for fake bills.
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sippyCUP
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

I neglected to mention - my bank is USAA, with no local branches...
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retired@50
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by retired@50 »

sippyCUP wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 5:42 pm I neglected to mention - my bank is USAA, with no local branches...
So go open an account at a brick and mortar bank, then, handle the (Cash) transaction there, then close the account.

Regards,
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Johnny Thinwallet
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by Johnny Thinwallet »

Just sold a car last month to an individual buyer via private party transaction. I bought a counterfeit pen and checked all 38 $100 bills handed to me. It took a few minutes, but they all passed. If you go this route, make sure to read the directions for the pen very carefully. I also angled a good number of bills in the light to check for some of the treasury safety features (i.e. color shifting, etc.).

There's a good site that details the safety features: https://www.uscurrency.gov/denominations

As others have already said, doing the transaction in a local bank really helps. In my specific case, I required the transaction being done in a state title office. My primary concern was liability after selling the car - in other words, I wanted to be 100 percent confident that the car was no longer in my name the minute I handed the keys over so I watched the buyer get a brand new title on the spot. This was the main reason I decided to check the actual $100 bills myself with a pen + knowledge of the safety features.
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sippyCUP
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

retired@50 wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 6:07 pm
sippyCUP wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 5:42 pm I neglected to mention - my bank is USAA, with no local branches...
So go open an account at a brick and mortar bank, then, handle the (Cash) transaction there, then close the account.

Regards,
I was just about to post this. Probably the quickest path to getting this transaction done... thanks!
MikeG62
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by MikeG62 »

OP, how much cash are you talking about? I've sold cars in the $12,000+/- range and accepted cash. Took to my local BofA branch with the seller(s) and the bank teller made sure the cash was legit (realize this is not as easy for you).

For cars I've sold at a higher price, I've taken bank cashier's checks. It's always been worrying and is one reason I now prefer to lease. Takes that issue off the table. When I've accepted it, I've called the bank the check was drawn on and verified that the check was legit. Sometimes this has required calling the bank with the buyer on the line. I always obtain the phone number from the internet (and not from the buyer).
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by bob60014 »

If all cash and not at a bank, the lobby of your local sheriff or police station is usually a safe alternative, for a variety of reasons.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by hudson »

sippyCUP wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 5:35 pm Hey all, selling a truck, and I have a buyer willing to travel from PA to TN - they say they can be assured it's not rusted out being a TN truck.

I researched how to accept payment, seems like the Boglehead consensus is to perform the transaction in a bank, and either watch the cashier's check being issued, or watch the buyer receive the cash from the bank. This way, you can be assured that the cashier's check is legit, or the cash is legit (not counterfeit).

These people don't have a local bank, and I haven't found a local bank yet that does cashier's checks for non account holders. They are offering to pay cash directly.

I'm leaning towards passing on this transaction, am I crazy?
I've met buyers at the motor vehicle office and completed the transaction there with cash.

I met a prospective boat buyer under the police department camera, but they wanted to try it out. I sent a picture of their license plate to my wife and off we went. They paid cash and it worked.

I'm not doing either anymore. My plan is to get offers from a dealer, CarMax, or the like and go with the best deal.
If a family member was interested, I'd make them an offer they couldn't refuse.

Bottom line: no more private party sales for me
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sippyCUP
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

After-action Report: Transaction went great. Out of town buyer family arrived mid-afternoon (they drove 8 hours!), wanted to get the transaction done before the local county clerk closed so they could get a temp tag, but weren't pushy. Gave the dude a test drive, then we went 5m to the local Walmart, at which I had opened a new checking acct that morning.

The buyers had 4k cash, and the remaining ~$1,500 was in their checking account. They didn't have a local bank for removing their funds, BUT, the Walmart had the staffed bank counter, an ATM, and the Walmart money services (can sell money orders), all side-by-side.

Turns out they could withdrawal all the remaining funds from the ATM, at which I was surprised actually (daily limits?). However, my backup plan was for them to buy a money order, which I would bring to the adjacent counter for immediate cashing/depositing.

The walmart / cohabiting bank solution was pretty flexible, I would recommend it.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by Admiral »

There is no reason at all to use cash. And it's very unsafe to do so. I sold a car last year for $6,000 and all the money (deposit and then balance) was sent to me via Paypal. You could also use Venmo, or ACH. This was an arm's length transaction, the car was shipped south. We never met in person.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by Mr. Rumples »

A few notes on selling a vehicle in TN:

https://www.dmv.org/tn-tennessee/title-transfers.php

Be sure to pull the plates and surrender them to the DMV. Don't let them use your plates.
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enad
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by enad »

sippyCUP wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 5:35 pm Hey all, selling a truck, and I have a buyer willing to travel from PA to TN - they say they can be assured it's not rusted out being a TN truck.

I researched how to accept payment, seems like the Boglehead consensus is to perform the transaction in a bank, and either watch the cashier's check being issued, or watch the buyer receive the cash from the bank. This way, you can be assured that the cashier's check is legit, or the cash is legit (not counterfeit).

These people don't have a local bank, and I haven't found a local bank yet that does cashier's checks for non account holders. They are offering to pay cash directly.

I'm leaning towards passing on this transaction, am I crazy?
If you are getting good money for the truck, open up an account with a local bank. Then do the transaction at the bank with cash where the teller can verify that the cash is real. Don't forget the title and anyone that may need to witness the title signatures. You may also want to write up a standard bill of sale (download from the internet) and pay to have it notarized at the bank. Remove your license plates from the vehicle and depending on the state you can apply for a credit of those license fee's. In most states the buyer can print out a 3-day license plate for free
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ScubaHogg
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by ScubaHogg »

If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm…

:D
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sippyCUP
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm…

:D
Man I would have loved to use Venmo, Paypal, etc. I looked into Paypal Goods & Services, but they specifically exclude auto sales. And services like Venmo have wide berth to deny funds hours or days after the fact due to shenanigans on the payer's end.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

Admiral wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:27 am There is no reason at all to use cash. And it's very unsafe to do so. I sold a car last year for $6,000 and all the money (deposit and then balance) was sent to me via Paypal. You could also use Venmo, or ACH. This was an arm's length transaction, the car was shipped south. We never met in person.
Yeah I actually trust the cash "deposited right then at your bank" approach more than Venmo or Paypal. Say what you will about the stuffy brick & morter establishments, but I trust that transaction more than I would Venmo for "sticking" past 72 hours.

BTW I can also think of another reason to accept cash - if your buyer insists. I mean, we want to make a sale, right? But you can wrap security around that insistence by having the bank check the monies.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by galawdawg »

enad wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:29 am In most states the buyer can print out a 3-day license plate for free
That would surprise me. What states allow a private vehicle purchaser to print a three-day license plate for free?
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by ScubaHogg »

sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:18 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm…

:D
Man I would have loved to use Venmo, Paypal, etc. I looked into Paypal Goods & Services, but they specifically exclude auto sales. And services like Venmo have wide berth to deny funds hours or days after the fact due to shenanigans on the payer's end.
I wasn’t talking about those… :wink:
“… the fact remains that buying a nominal bond ladder to defease future living expenses can prove disastrous.” - Bill Bernstein | | “…something unusual happens—usually.” - Nassim Taleb
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enad
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by enad »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:47 am
enad wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:29 am In most states the buyer can print out a 3-day license plate for free
That would surprise me. What states allow a private vehicle purchaser to print a three-day license plate for free?
I can't give you the complete list although in our state and in a few other states that I am aware of when you buy a new vehicle at the dealer, the dealership will put a paper plate in a plastic holder where your license plate is at on the rear of the vehicle or affix it to the inside of the rear windshield.

From our states Department of Motor Vehicles: A 3-Day Restricted Use Permit (3-Day Permit) allows a person to legally operate an unregistered vehicle from the vehicle's present location to a specified destination. Valid for emissions testing, vehicle inspection and title application.

A quick google search shows examples of these plates from Oklahoma, Alabama, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, South Carolina, Texas and Arkansas. Best thing to do is to Google it for your state. Consider yourself surprised.

Here's an example of a Georgia temporary plate
Last edited by enad on Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Topic Author
sippyCUP
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:52 am
sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:18 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm…

:D
Man I would have loved to use Venmo, Paypal, etc. I looked into Paypal Goods & Services, but they specifically exclude auto sales. And services like Venmo have wide berth to deny funds hours or days after the fact due to shenanigans on the payer's end.
I wasn’t talking about those… :wink:
So how many red cabbage casseroles am I going to have to slide your way before you'll make the great reveal? Or is this something Dr. Taleb hid in one of his appendices, is the real gold, and the bimodal distribution talk was all just an obfuscation? :wink:
OnTrack2020
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by OnTrack2020 »

I know this isn't your situation, but if I write a personal check to a car dealer for the purchase of an automobile, they hold the title until the check clears the bank. And then about 10 days later, I receive the title.

I guess I'm not understanding the difference between what an auto dealer does and what a personal seller such as yourself wants to do.

Without the title, the purchaser really can't do very much.
homebuyer6426
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by homebuyer6426 »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:47 am
enad wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:29 am In most states the buyer can print out a 3-day license plate for free
That would surprise me. What states allow a private vehicle purchaser to print a three-day license plate for free?
North Carolina issues a 10 day paper license plate. I don't know about free, I think the title transfer cost like $15.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by ScubaHogg »

sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:05 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:52 am
sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:18 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm…

:D
Man I would have loved to use Venmo, Paypal, etc. I looked into Paypal Goods & Services, but they specifically exclude auto sales. And services like Venmo have wide berth to deny funds hours or days after the fact due to shenanigans on the payer's end.
I wasn’t talking about those… :wink:
So how many red cabbage casseroles am I going to have to slide your way before you'll make the great reveal? Or is this something Dr. Taleb hid in one of his appendices, is the real gold, and the bimodal distribution talk was all just an obfuscation? :wink:
I don’t feel like getting a warning from the mods on Thanksgiving, but I imagine a little googling will revel the answer.

Hint: there are no intermediaries
“… the fact remains that buying a nominal bond ladder to defease future living expenses can prove disastrous.” - Bill Bernstein | | “…something unusual happens—usually.” - Nassim Taleb
DebiT
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by DebiT »

ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:21 am
sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:05 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:52 am
sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:18 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm…

:D
Man I would have loved to use Venmo, Paypal, etc. I looked into Paypal Goods & Services, but they specifically exclude auto sales. And services like Venmo have wide berth to deny funds hours or days after the fact due to shenanigans on the payer's end.
I wasn’t talking about those… :wink:
So how many red cabbage casseroles am I going to have to slide your way before you'll make the great reveal? Or is this something Dr. Taleb hid in one of his appendices, is the real gold, and the bimodal distribution talk was all just an obfuscation? :wink:
I don’t feel like getting a warning from the mods on Thanksgiving, but I imagine a little googling will revel the answer.

Hint: there are no intermediaries
Laughing over your cryptic responses (see what I did there?)
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Topic Author
sippyCUP
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:21 am
sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:05 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:52 am
sippyCUP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:18 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm…

:D
Man I would have loved to use Venmo, Paypal, etc. I looked into Paypal Goods & Services, but they specifically exclude auto sales. And services like Venmo have wide berth to deny funds hours or days after the fact due to shenanigans on the payer's end.
I wasn’t talking about those… :wink:
So how many red cabbage casseroles am I going to have to slide your way before you'll make the great reveal? Or is this something Dr. Taleb hid in one of his appendices, is the real gold, and the bimodal distribution talk was all just an obfuscation? :wink:
I don’t feel like getting a warning from the mods on Thanksgiving, but I imagine a little googling will revel the answer.

Hint: there are no intermediaries
Let us not tempt the Gods of Internet Moderation! I think you could be referring to BT, but alas I have not taken the crypto plunge yet. That's on me though, maybe one of these days. Happy Tgiving, thanks for the puzzle.

EDIT: I had a lady cancel a truck viewing because I said I wanted cashier's check payment. Another "know your audience" situation - in the bay area, BT would probably go swimmingly, but here in east TN... well...
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by galawdawg »

enad wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:01 am
galawdawg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:47 am
enad wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:29 am In most states the buyer can print out a 3-day license plate for free
That would surprise me. What states allow a private vehicle purchaser to print a three-day license plate for free?
I can't give you the complete list although in our state and in a few other states that I am aware of when you buy a new vehicle at the dealer, the dealership will put a paper plate in a plastic holder where your license plate is at on the rear of the vehicle or affix it to the inside of the rear windshield.

From our states Department of Motor Vehicles: A 3-Day Restricted Use Permit (3-Day Permit) allows a person to legally operate an unregistered vehicle from the vehicle's present location to a specified destination. Valid for emissions testing, vehicle inspection and title application.

A quick google search shows examples of these plates from Oklahoma, Alabama, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, South Carolina, Texas and Arkansas. Best thing to do is to Google it for your state. Consider yourself surprised.

Here's an example of a Georgia temporary plate
Putting a fake/fraudulent/fictitious Georgia tag like that onto your vehicle will get you a ticket and your vehicle impounded (at best) and could lead to an arrest and a felony charge (at worst). :shock:

I think I was fooled by your statement of "most states", "print out" and "free". :wink: Some of the states you have listed, including South Carolina, do allow for a temporary tag but there is an application process involving the appropriate authorities (as you reference being the case in your state) and a fee.
Last edited by galawdawg on Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
criticalmass
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by criticalmass »

ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm :D
Which technology do you have in mind? A wire would work but some banks requires advance orders in writing for new wire destinations.
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enad
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by enad »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:38 am Putting a fake/fraudulent/fictitious Georgia tag like that onto your vehicle will get you a ticket and your vehicle impounded (at best) and could lead to an arrest and a felony charge (at worst). :shock:
Agreed, that's why I said it was an example. I trust that you would not print out an example and try to use it in a fraudulent manner.
I think I was fooled by your statement of "most states", "print out" and "free". :wink: Some of the states you have listed, including South Carolina, do allow for a temporary tag but there is an application process involving the appropriate authorities (as you reference being the case in your state) and a fee.
In our state, I can print a 3-day restricted usage (paper) license plate for free. The whole point of a restricted use or temporary plate is that it allows one to drive a purchased vehicle whether it be factory new or used from one place to another without getting pulled over for a lack of a plate. I have done this in 3 other states, but even if it costs someone $15 it's cheaper than a ticket.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by whodidntante »

Sometimes a big ol' stack of closely inspected cash is the best approach. But people in this situation should consider a wire transfer. It's way easier than opening bank accounts and going to the Wal-Mart money counter and stuff. Some people are desperate and there is no end to what they will do to you to relieve you of a big stack of cash. The fees are low, and sometimes zero. Takes about an hour in my experience, although I'm not the sort to tap my foot.

For serious money, a wire transfer can avoid SAR and CTR issues. An honest transaction is unlikely to result in seizure, but I assume most of us do not prefer to interact with the Secret Service or the FBI. A wire transfer shows with certainty which account the money came from, and you will also have proof that you sold the car to that person or their associate, or that you acted in good faith. This is probably a more important consideration if you live in a money laundering hot zone like Florida.
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galawdawg
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by galawdawg »

enad wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:58 am
galawdawg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:38 am Putting a fake/fraudulent/fictitious Georgia tag like that onto your vehicle will get you a ticket and your vehicle impounded (at best) and could lead to an arrest and a felony charge (at worst). :shock:
Agreed, that's why I said it was an example. I trust that you would not print out an example and try to use it in a fraudulent manner.
Example of what? That is a copy of a dealer issued temporary tag, not something the buyer in a private party transaction can print out or buy online.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by toddthebod »

OnTrack2020 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 9:07 am I know this isn't your situation, but if I write a personal check to a car dealer for the purchase of an automobile, they hold the title until the check clears the bank. And then about 10 days later, I receive the title.

I guess I'm not understanding the difference between what an auto dealer does and what a personal seller such as yourself wants to do.

Without the title, the purchaser really can't do very much.
I would never hand over thousands of dollars to a private party for a car without them signing the title over to me right then and there.
Backtests without cash flows are meaningless. Returns without dividends are lies.
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by Outer Marker »

criticalmass wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:40 am
ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:40 am If only there was a technology that allowed someone to pay you instantly with just their phone in a way that you could confirm :D
Which technology do you have in mind? A wire would work but some banks requires advance orders in writing for new wire destinations.
+1. Wire transfer is the way to go. It's instant and easily verified. I completed a high value transaction in the airport lounge. Seller wired me the money, I signed the papers when it hit my account, and we were done in less than 10 minutes.
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sippyCUP
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by sippyCUP »

So I was under the impression that wire transfers could take up to a day to clear, but it sounds like in the experience of posters here that it's generally very quick (1 hour or less)?
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Re: Accepting payment for vehicle, out of state buyer

Post by thatme »

Couple hours to receive a wire depending on when it is sent. If it gets sent after noon, it can be hit or miss whether it arrived the same day.

Sounds like the way you did it worked just fine.
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