Some countries use titles to denote ownership of vehicles, but in South Africa, there is no such thing. Rather than a title, "Certificates of Registration" are used to place a car in an individual's name. When selling a car, specific documents must be filled out and present, or the new owner will be unable to register the vehicle in his name. The main registration certificate is similar to a title, but it contains much more information about the car in question. Learning about the exact documents needed to sell a car can make sure you and the buyer enjoy a smooth transaction. It can also prevent you from paying fees or fines due to missing or invalid paperwork.
Certificate of Registration
When selling your vehicle, you must present the registration certificate to the buyer. The certificate lets the buyer know how many previous owners the car has had, whether or not the car is new, used or rebuilt and the age of the vehicle. Another important item listed on the registration certificate is the date of liability for registration. This tells the buyer how long the current seller has had the vehicle registered in their name. If you have a current loan or an outstanding balance owed on the vehicle to a finance company, it will also be listed on the certificate. If you did have a loan at one point, but it has been paid in full, the certificate of registration must be accompanied by a letter from the lender confirming the debt has been settled. If a loan is still outstanding, it is in the seller's and buyer's best interest for you to pay the loan off in full before selling the vehicle. If as the seller, you have lost your current certificate, you can pay a fee and request a replacement. This make take some time however, so ensure you give yourself plenty of time before you are set to sell your vehicle. Without this main certificate, it is nearly impossible to prove ownership of the vehicle. If a buyer purchases a vehicle without this in place, they are taking a risk that the seller will cancel the registration after receiving the money.
Application for Transfer
Both the buyer and seller must complete and place their signature on the application for transfer. This is located on the back side of the registration certificate. If the seller cannot provide current registration, the sale will not be finalised.
Notification of Change of Ownership
Along with a certificate or registration, you will need to provide a "notification of change of ownership" to the buyer. This document, sometimes referred to as "NCO" is a yellow form that can be obtained from the Department of Transport. The document requires the seller to fill it out in its entirety and submit it to their local motor vehicle registration authority. It requires the seller to list basic information about the vehicle along with his contact information and buyer information.
A roadworthy certificate is also required by law in South Africa before a new owner can register a vehicle. As a seller, you can provide the buyer with this certificate which lets them know that the car meets the basic safety standard laws. The inspection can only be performed by stations trained to conduct the test. Things checked include seat belts, brakes, lights and tyres. The certificate only stays valid for 3 weeks to the date of the inspection however, so the buyer may have to obtain the certificate on his own if the allotted time passes.
After the purchase is made, the buyer or seller must visit the local vehicle registration authority and provide the listed documents in order to put the vehicle in the new owner's name. Other items required include identification, proof of purchase, valid motor vehicle licence and a blue form called the "application form for registering and licencing a motor vehicle." It is common for the buyer to provide this information, but to avoid issues, you as the seller can accompany the buyer. Once the vehicle is transferred legally and the new owner obtains a vehicle licence, the only step left if for the seller to file a notice of disposal.
Notice of Disposal
After selling a vehicle, you have 14 days to lodge a notice of disposal with your local vehicle registration authority. Failure to lodge the disposal in the given amount of time can cause unnecessary fees and fines.
When selling a car, ensure you only have original documents in hand to transfer to the buyer. Copies or unofficial documents are not accepted with the registration authority as it can cause problems when the buyer transfers the vehicle into his name.
Selling your vehicle does not have to be a difficult process, even if there is not a title involved. With the proper items in order and a little know-how about transferring and registering vehicles according to the laws in your area, you can experience a smooth and simple sell.