Car selling warning

April 2, 2009 4:46:34 PM PDT
If you're putting a for sale sign on your car, there's something you should take off the vehicle.For years your old license plates were supposed to stay with the car, but not anymore.

Hector Gonzalez wants $4,500 for his F-150, he says it a good ride.

When he sells the truck, one thing the new owner will not drive away with is license plates. Gonzalez says the last time he sold a car the police came to his home a few months later after the old car was involved in a hit and run accident.

From car accidents to toll road fines, Texans who sold their cars without removing the plates are seeing trouble of all kinds.

"We get a number of phone calls daily from people getting notices of toll road violations, red lights," said Jim DeVore with the Harris County Tax Office.

DeVore with the Harris County Tax Office deals with registration problems every day. He says in the past, Texans were told to leave their license plates on cars they sold, but now private sellers have the option of removing the plates.

It's the easiest way to keep violations you did not make from being sent to your address.

Besides removing your plates, there is something else car sellers can do to protect themselves. Go to TxDOT's Web site and fill out the vehicle transfer notification. It is free and can keep your old car from giving you new headaches.

"Fill that out, that in itself will relieve you of any liability," DeVore said.

If you sell your car, it is your option to remove the tags or not, but doing so can keep problems from popping up. If you trade your car into a dealership, they must remove the tags, so keep that in mind when trading in a car.

Are there any penalties for not registering a car when you buy it?

Yes, you can be charged $25 after 20 days and then the fines go up by $25 every 30 days.

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