Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationInsurance & Registration · 1 decade ago

Buying a car from a private owner?

Ok, so I bought this car in March of 2007 and I have a problem with registering and switching the vehicle title to my name. After we bought the car from the previous owner, I never saw him again, he disappeared. We went to get it registered and the titile has the guys name, my mom somehow found that he has a middle name and it doen not show it on the title, so we went to the local tax assessors office, and they said "You need to find the owner and contact him, and make sure that he is the same person on the title, as with that first middle and last name and meet with him to change it." We never found the previous owner and it is way past due of 20 days to switch the car title from the purchase date, and I know the amount will be big to pay for to change, but I am confused and I don't know what to do know. Please answer if you have any advice. Thank you.


For the state of Texas in Harris County

Update 2:

I just don't want to get in trouble for something the other guy did not appear to clairfy.

Update 3:

My mom somehow found he has a middle name- I mean his name was for example: John Doe and on his ID, she found that it was written as John Bob Doe. See, she found a middle name and they people at the tax office want to make sure that John Doe and John Bob Doe is the same person, and I am so mixed up now. Only big problem is we can't find him. After the day he signed the papers, he disappeared.

For more info- You can email me at:

2 Answers

  • jtexas
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    what state? no matter, pretty much every state has a procedure to cover this situation. The forms & instructions should be on your Highway Department's or Transportation Department's (or whatever passes for authority in your state) website.


    "For the state of Texas in Harris County"

    that would be Texas Dept of Transportation

    do you have a form 130-U signed by the seller?

    Explain "my mom somehow found that he has a middle name".

    Did he sign the back of the title? That should be good enough -- try a different subcourthouse, maybe you'll get someone with more sense.


    "...See, she found a middle name and they people at the tax office want to make sure that John Doe and John Bob Doe is the same person..."

    At this point, it doesn't matter. Only you & your mom know about the middle name, and the clerk you met with previously.

    Houston is a big city, I'm sure Harris County has a dozen or more "subcourthouses" where you can go to transfer the title. Just go to a different Harris County subcourthouse where they never heard of John Bob, but this time don't mention the middle name.

  • 1 decade ago

    i dont think that states should have different rules, but in CA, all you need to do is have the old owner sign the pinkslip, and then the buyer signs it, and thats enough for you to transfer the title to your name.

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