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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 118087
Experience:  Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
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I am in NY. I completed a lease assumption process through

Customer Question

Hello. I am in NY. I completed a lease assumption process through BMW finacial services. The individual assuming the lease was approved and then relocated. He requested that I turn the car over to his parents with my license plates for which I orginally
agreed. Once I was notified that I would still be liable for the car with my plates on it I told him that he needs to register and obtain his own plates. He is now threatening legal action. Does he have grounds? If I turn my plates into the DMV I am then relieved
of any responsibility to this vehicle?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Under NY law, the buyer of the vehicle is liable for transferring the vehicle into their name. You have the duty to surrender the plates to the DMV and it is up to him to register the vehicle and transfer title to his name. If you turn in your plates and turn the vehicle with the signed documents to the buyer so that they can take them to DMV to transfer the registration, you would no longer be liable for the vehicle or the buyer.

You have to turn the car over to him, but not the registration plates, he is liable for obtaining those in his own name.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Am I in breach of contract as he is stating since I originally said he could take the car with my plates? Does he have grounds to sue me since I backed out of this portion of the contract?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Legally, you cannot transfer a vehicle without turning in the plates and transferring the registration to the new owner. So even though you may have promised to do so, because NY law requires you to surrender the plates and for registration to be changed, that would be an unenforceable promise as it is against NY law to do so.