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Inform the DMV and avoid a big hassle

I recently had a conversation with Judge William Haberlach from Medford Municipal Court, and he recommended I do a column on requirements when buying or selling your vehicle.

His primary concern is for those who sell their vehicles, since he has deals with many of those sellers. He most often runs across them when they've been cited for photo red light or photo speed van violations.

When those cameras take your and your vehicle's pictures during a violation, the citation is sent to the registered owner. If you have sold your vehicle and not sent in the required paperwork, then the citation will go to you. Ultimately you should be able to prove that it wasn't you that committed the violation, but why go through the hassle if you can avoid it?

ORS 803.112 lists the requirements for notifying DMV of a transfer of an interest in a vehicle. With some rare exceptions, the transferor (seller) of an interest in a vehicle covered by an Oregon title shall notify the Department of Transportation (DMV) of the transfer within 10 days of the date of transfer.

Once you make the notification, then ORS 803.117 lists the effect of the notice of transfer on your civil and criminal liability. It states that a transferor who has made a bona fide transfer of a vehicle and has delivered possession of it to a transferee (buyer) shall not, by reason of any of the provisions of the Oregon Vehicle Code, be subject to civil liability or criminal liability for the parking, abandoning or operation of the vehicle by another person.

This only takes effect when the seller has notified the Department of Transportation of the transfer and assigned the title to the buyer. Just remember that you have 10 days, by law, to make the notification once you sell your vehicle. The easiest way to do this is by filling in the bottom portion of your vehicle registration that tells you what steps to follow when you sell your vehicle and then send it back to the DMV.

As a buyer, you have an obligation, which is to title the vehicle in your name. A person is in violation if they fail to present the certificate of title to DMV within 30 days after the transfer. This statute does not apply to vehicle dealers. The offense described is a Class D traffic violation, and will cost you $97