Selling car question
Is there a separate title that I need to sell my car to someone or is the registration all I need? When I bought the car I don't ever recall getting a separate "title" paper other than the registration, and I can't find any such paper either. Also I see on the back of the registration there is a section for transferring the car to another person so this adds to my confusion.
Title proves ownership, while registration proves the government approved the use of the vehicle in the territory.
To sell a car (properly), you need the title. This is because you and the purchaser will complete and sign the back-side of the title document effectuating the transfer of title from you to the purchaser. The title proves that ownership transfers from you to the buyer.
My initial question to you is: did you buy the car new, or did you buy it used, from a previous owner? If you bought the car used, then did you sign the back of a title document, evidencing a transfer of ownership from the previous owner, even if you did not receive a copy? If you do not have a copy of the title, then you can attempt to obtain a copy from the BMV. You will need to show identification to obtain a copy. If you are not the title-holder of the vehicle, then the BMV will let you know, and will not give you a copy.
If you did sign a title transfer document, and the BMV has the title on file - they have physical records, not electronic - then they will give you a copy of the title for a fee, unless the title indicates a lien is on the car. This would be the case when you financed the purchase of the car. In this situation, even if you paid off the loan - and have documentation proving the same - the BMV will not give you a copy of the title until the (former) lien-holder sends an original document certifying the loan is paid off (a fax or e-mail is not acceptable to the BMV; I went through this a few weeks ago).
If the BMV will not give you a copy of the title because you are not the title-holder, then you will need to complete the previous transaction wherein you purchased the car originally so that you can then sell the car to the buyer.
Once you have a title that is in your name, you and the buyer will need to complete the back of the title document, and have it signed/notarized and then filed with the BMV.
As a tangent, once you sign over the title, you should submit proof of the title transfer to your automotive insurance company. USVI requires compulsory auto insurance, which means paying for a year's insurance up front (with varying payment plans available). To the extent you prepaid auto insurance for the year, the insurance company will refund the prepaid insurance in a prorated amount. The insurance company will not refund the unused auto insurance coverage amount unless you provide proof that you no longer own the car.
I hope this helps!
Thanks for the info!