While it is always a good idea to be prepared with documentation if you are planning to have your car shipped, it should also be noted that it is not required to show proof of title or registration before or after delivery of your vehicle. The only thing that is mandatory is to provide the VIN number of your vehicle and fill out the shipping paperwork. This means, it is permitted to ship a vehicle with expired registration or no registration paperwork at all.
Why don’t shipping companies require title and registration?
You may be wondering how a company can transport your vehicle without these important documents. Better yet, how does the shipping company ensure they are shipping the right vehicle? To make sure they are handling the right vehicle, they will ask you for the VIN number. Since no two vehicles have the same VIN number, this lets the company know they are transporting the correct one.
The reason auto transport companies do not require title and registration is because people and businesses ship vehicles for a number of different reasons and they are not always in a position to produce these documents. For example, cars are often shipped by junkyards who do not possess these documents and intend to use the vehicles for parts only. Likewise, if someone purchases a car from someone across the country, they may not possess the title yet and they may be waiting to register the vehicle until it arrives.
While it is acceptable to ship a vehicle that has an expired registration, you should never attempt to drive a vehicle without proper title and registration. If you happened to get pulled over, you could get fined for not having up-to-date registration. In this case, shipping is the safest and most responsible way to transport your vehicle.
Shipping a vehicle with expired registration is a fairly simple process. Remember that these documents are not required for shipment. If you have any questions about shipping your vehicle, be sure to ask the auto transport company for clarification.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.