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4ren6, Forensics/CSI
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Sworn Expert Witness in Criminal Law. Sworn Expert Courtroom Testimony.
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I live in Puyallup WA (Pierce County) and sold a vehicle in ...

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I live in Puyallup WA (Pierce County) and sold a vehicle in Sept 2007 and thought the person who bought the vehicle would re-register the vehicle. Yesterday, I received a traffic (photo) enforcement letter citing me for failure to stop at a red light on 23 Dec 07--this was the vehicle I sold and the vehicle was still registered in my name. After doing some research I learned that I had 15 days to notify the state of the sale and failure to report after 45 days is a misdemeanor per RCW 46.12.102. I still have to notify the state and doing but this will result in a warrant. I don''t have a criminal record/history--this would be my first violation. What should I do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  4ren6 replied 8 years ago.
How long have you lived in WA. And is this the first vehicle you have ever sold there. Did you give the title to the buyer...........was any paperwork signed and do you have any copies.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to 4ren6's Post: I have been here since 2001 (military, retired in 2004). This is the first vehicle I sold in WA. I did donate another vehicle to the Arc of Washington and they took care of everything. As for paperwork, just the lower portion of my title indicating who bought this--I signed it. My wife actually new the person who she met at work (he was a customer).
Expert:  4ren6 replied 8 years ago.

Ok, what scares me is that you are liable under Wa. Code for any Civil or Criminal acts done by this person while driving the car..........

(4) When a transferee had no knowledge of the filing of the vehicle report of sale, he or she is relieved of civil or criminal liability for the operation of the vehicle, and liability is transferred to the seller shown on the report of sale.

An owner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a vehicle, has delivered possession of it to a purchaser, and has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section is relieved of liability and liability is transferred to the purchaser of the vehicle, for any traffic violation under this title, whether designated as a traffic infraction or classified as a criminal offense, that occurs after the date of the sale or transfer that is based on the vehicle's identification, including, but not limited to, parking infractions, high-occupancy toll lane violations, and violations recorded by automated traffic safety cameras.

On the other hand the person that you sold it too may also be charged with a misdemeanor charge.

Fees also are imposed to both of you on a daily basis. Not to exceed 100 dollars.

What i would do is go on down to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Tell them that your retired military and had donated a car once before where all the transfers were done by the Charity. That the law was unknown to you and you had no idea that you were required to send in a notice of sale and transfer. This may or may not help you as "ignorance to the law" does not always allow one to escape the penalties imposed.

Tell the DMV that if you had any idea or knowledge that liability still rested on you that you would indeed have transferred as required by law. Mention also that you wife sold the Car.

I seriously doubt that you would be charged. I do feel that they will fine you the full amount allowed. But you must do this just as soon as possible because you are liable for any actions made by the current owner. Once you go in and file the sale and transfer this will release the liability.

If charged then the best thing to do is hire an attorney skilled in Motor Vehicle Transfer Law to assist in getting the charge dropped or reduced.

Your also obligated for the citation you recieved.

I am sure you have them but I am posting the links for the Statute quoted.

Please reply if you have further quesitons or concerns and i will be glad to further assist you.

4ren6, Forensics/CSI
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4794
Experience: Sworn Expert Witness in Criminal Law. Sworn Expert Courtroom Testimony.
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