Do I Need to Notify DMV If I Junk My Car

When a car is bought new or pre-owned, you have to go to the DMV for registration and documentation so the car will be listed under your name, but, do you need to notify DMV when you junk the car?

Yes, you need to notify DMV within 15 to 30 days if you junk your car by submitting an application to the DMV to record the vehicle as “Junk” so that proper documentation can be done.

Do I Need to Notify DMV if I Junk My Car?

Yes, you need to notify the DMV if you junk your car either through the DMV website, by visiting the DMV customer service center, or by contacting them by phone before, or within 15 to 30 days after the car is junked.

The DMV is in charge of car registration, issuing tags, car titles, and all that pertains to a car. Since they are aware that the car is in your possession, it is only right and a must that they know about your decision to junk the car and that you are no longer in ownership of the car.

This notification can be done before or after the car has been junked, the important thing is notifying the DMV. It is a must thing to do.

What if I Don’t Notify DMV After I Junk My Car?

If you decide not to notify DMV after junking your car, you will be solely responsible for your actions.

Firstly, the DMV will assume that you are still in the ownership of the car and everything that relates to the car will be tied to you. The car will still be listed under your name.

For instance, if the car wasn’t completely totaled and can still be driven but you decided to sell it to a junkyard because you no longer have a need for it.

If the junkyard without your knowledge chooses to drive the car around and gets involved in an accident rather than scraping it, you will be held responsible.

This is because the car is still under your name, it doesn’t matter if you have junked the car or not. This can however only happen if the car was junked in an illegal junkyard.

The main reason why you should notify DMV after you junk your car is so that proper documentation can be done so that the car will no longer be listed under your name.

Do You Need a Title to Junk a Car?

Yes, you need a title to junk a car.

Before taking your car to the junkyard you must ensure that you have a valid title, in the event that you do not have a title probably because the state doesn’t require that you have one for your car, you will need to present some form of legal work as proof of ownership.

Presenting a car title at the junkyard is a requirement because those in the yard will need to inform the state before they can do anything with the car.

The source of the car and the previous owner must be disclosed and all information as it pertains to the car may be pulled up.

You should be very careful when a junkyard isn’t requesting your title or other proof of ownership, this may be an indicator that they are not legal.

What Paperwork Do I Need to Sell My Car to a Junkyard?

To sell your car to a junkyard, there are paper works you will be required to provide, some of them are below;

  • Car title: this is a title document and proof of ownership that you get from the DMV when the car is registered. Almost all legally recognized junkyards will require that you present this.
  • Storage lot lien
  • Repossession affidavit
  • Auction sales receipt
  • Mechanic’s lien
  • V5C/3

In the event that you are unable to provide a car title, any of the aforementioned is also acceptable as proof of ownership in a junkyard.

Can I Junk My Car with Expired Registration?

Yes, you can junk your car with an expired registration, this is however under certain circumstances.

If your car is still road worthy and you decide to junk it, you may not be able to do so with expired registration unless you have an agreement with the junkyard.

In most states, you are not expected to drive a car with expired registration on the road, this is one reason why you may need to get a new registration or as an alternative. have the car towed to the junkyard.

For cars with expired registration that have not been driven in a long time, there will be no need to get a new registration since they will be towed to the junkyard.

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Junk Car

The mistakes to avoid when selling your junk car are:

1. Ensure You Sign a Release of Liability

The release of liability is a portion of the title that you can tear off, fill out and send to the DMV when you junk your car. This will however save when the case is resold to another person by the Junkyard.

2. The Buyer Must Honor their Original Quote

Make sure the buyer quotes a price on the car and also ensure that they honor it in order to avoid issues when it’s time to tow the car.

3. Remove all Personal Belongings

You should remove all personal belongings before the car gets towed. Before the car gets towed, check every corner and space in the car and be sure that none of your personal items are inside. If there are any, make sure to remove them before the car is towed.

4. Ensure to Sign the Title After Payment

You shouldn’t sign over your title without cash or cheque in hand even when the buyer promises to make payment. Ensure they have given you your full payment before signing the title.

5. The Car Can be Towed For Free

There is no need for you as the seller to pay in order to have the car towed unless, of course, the buyer paid for towing with the car offer.

6. Don’t Accept Vouchers or Free Trips in Your Offer

This is because using vouchers or free trips can sometimes be hard to use. Trust me, you don’t want anything that will deter you from enjoying the money from the sold car.

7. Your Car is Not Worthless

Cars of the age 2000 and newer are not without value so if your buyer tells you otherwise you should look for another buyer

8. Donating the Car

You can donate the car if you wish but before you do so, ensure to check out the reputation of the firm you are donating to. It is however advisable to sell your car to the junkyard and get your cash from it. You can however donate the cash if you want.

9. Remove and Uninstall all Custom Accessories

If you installed any after-market accessories in the car, you should uninstall them before the car gets towed as you may need them in your next car.

10. Do Not Take the First Bid

If you are not in a hurry to get the car off your hands, taking the first bid isn’t advisable. Get at least two bids before making your decision.


It is better to notify the DMV immediately if you junk your car, if possible before junking rather than waiting till a later date to do so or not informing them at all. This is so the car will no longer be related to you.