No longer owning the cars but still get toll bill from it

Joined
Jul 24, 2010
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LONESTAR state
About 6 month ago I give away my old car to one of my friend , I was helping him out . But he seem like so not take any responsibility ( anyway no longer friend) I don’t want go much detail into it .

I sign the title over to his name and drop it at his door . Well few months later I still get the toll bill . I went to Dmv and told them I don’t own the car any more . They say nothing they can do . The owner never come register it but still driving around . They told me get the tag but I have no idea where he now . Lost contact with him also .
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
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Cincinnati, OH, USA
That's why plates never go with the car! Similar thing happened to my brother-let a "friend" borrow his old Tercel-about a YEAR later the drunk drove it into a tree & ditch! If the fool had killed someone, my brother would have been on the hook for it. I give you a car, the title is signed over, you don't get the plate(s). Period.
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
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Atlanta,GA
That's why plates never go with the car! Similar thing happened to my brother-let a "friend" borrow his old Tercel-about a YEAR later the drunk drove it into a tree & ditch! If the fool had killed someone, my brother would have been on the hook for it.
No that's not true.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
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South Carolina
Life lesson learned, do things the proper way, friends arent always friends, you gave someone a car which was very nice of you, you should have took the plates. turned them in and properly transferred the title and leave the responsibility to your friend to properly register the vehicle.
I like BMW Turbo's idea above.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
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Jupiter, Florida
You are not responsible for the behavior of others. The toll agency can make all the claims it wants, write them a certified letter explaining when and to whom you sold the car.
 

Shel_B

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That's why plates never go with the car! Similar thing happened to my brother-let a "friend" borrow his old Tercel-about a YEAR later the drunk drove it into a tree & ditch! If the fool had killed someone, my brother would have been on the hook for it. I give you a car, the title is signed over, you don't get the plate(s). Period.
That's not entirely correct. For example, in California, the plates always stay with the vehicle.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2002
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5,349
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Lakeville, MN
A quick google search gives all the information you could have wanted about what you should have done.


Appears that had you filed a Vehicle Transfer Notification within 30 days of "the sale", you wouldn't be liable for the tolls, etc...

Since you didn't, per Texas law, you are liable for the tolls etc...

It also appears that in Texas, you could have removed the license plates (not the case in all states - like Minnesota - where the plates go with the vehicle, not the person.) That would have also removed some of this problem.

The same link has phone numbers and emails you may also call for help.

Consider it a lesson on why you always go to the DMV with the buyer to force them to transfer the title...

Good luck.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
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241
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Iowa
Because of crap like that: Last car I sold, I insisted we go to the local courthouse and do the transaction there. Signed the title over and got it put in her name. Done deal. I'll not let them drive a car around for a couple months still registered in my name.

Her boyfriend threw a hissy fit over it. Why can't he just sign over the title and be done? I pulled him up on Iowacourtsonline website. Saw that he was sited a couple times driving cars he bought, but never got around to getting registered in his name.

Error on the safe side.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
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Report the tag stolen, since it technically is. They'll probably send you a new set of tags. Return them to the DMV and cancel the registration.

This is incorrect. The registration is NOT stolen. This is not a criminal "theft" this is a civil matter. Reporting this as stolen would require signing a false statement, which is an actual crime. This was a legitimate mistake of the heart in that the original owner trusted the buyer to do what is right.
 
Joined
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Suburban Washington DC
Because of crap like that: Last car I sold, I insisted we go to the local courthouse and do the transaction there. Signed the title over and got it put in her name. Done deal. I'll not let them drive a car around for a couple months still registered in my name.
Not practical for many reasons. What if the buyer is from out of state. What if the sale is on the weekend.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
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Los Gatos, CA
Something similar happened to me. I fixed up a Camry for a needy family; the father crossed a toll bridge once or twice a week for work. I kept getting charged, even though I had filled out a release of ownership.
They ultimately completed the title transfer and the billings stopped. I paid a few hundred, as I recall.

You need to deal with your friend.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
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753
Location
Michigan
I bought the Cruze last April and drove it until late July with no plate due to the incompetence of our Secretary of state (DMV)
No appointments were available and they wouldnt do a title transfer by mail.
I put a sticker where the plate belonged that said "plate missing due to our state being run by idiots"
 
Joined
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Suburban Washington DC
The states that require the tags stay with the car are just stupid. Why would some slacker bother to pay tax, title and registration fees on a car he just bought if he can just drive around on the existing tags for months or years until they expire? And most likely not even have insurance.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
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861
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North Florida
I sold a truck and took the tag as per Florida law. The new owner registered it in her name (my daughter) and she got her own new tag. Months later I started getting toll bills from Miami (I live in Pensacola-600 miles away) They included a picture of the car, a Toyota sedan. Either their plate reader was misreading the Toyota's tag or DMV had reissued my old plate number to it. I still had my old plate in the garage. After telling them several times to check DMV records to prove I no longer owned the truck I finally stopped receiving the toll notices.
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
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Nokesville, VA
This is incorrect. The registration is NOT stolen. This is not a criminal "theft" this is a civil matter. Reporting this as stolen would require signing a false statement, which is an actual crime. This was a legitimate mistake of the heart in that the original owner trusted the buyer to do what is right.

If the tag was supposed to be retained by the seller of the vehicle and the buyer is continuing to use it..that's theft.

It doesn't matter that the seller messed up and gave the buyer the tag. Any reasonable person knows you're buying the car, not the registration, and you're supposed to get your own registration.
 
Last edited:

Shel_B

Site Donor 2022
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If the tag was supposed to be retained by the seller of the vehicle and the buyer is continuing to use it..that's theft.
It appears that the seller gave the buyer the tags. That doesn't seem like theft.
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
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12,220
Location
Nokesville, VA
It appears that the seller gave the buyer the tags. That doesn't seem like theft.

The seller surely did not give the buyer permission to continue using the tags in lieu of registering the car in their own name.

And, since the driver is apparently using those tags to not only avoid registering the car in their own name but to also avoid tolls, yea, it's theft.
 
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