State Regulations in Wyoming

Few things rival an automobile purchase in terms of money out of pocket: a new home, a beach house in the Bahamas, a wedding ring. For most folks, buying a vehicle is a major-league endeavor and brings with it all the stresses involved with unloading a lot of money.

Buying Tips for New Vehicles

The days of kicking a tire and signing a contract are pretty much gone. With the prices soaring for cars and trucks, it is imperative to be fully prepared for the adventure of negotiating your vehicle purchase.

  • It never hurts to do plenty of research. And with the wealth of magazines available dissecting and comparing models, there is really no reason not to study up before heading to a dealership―even for the initial test drive. It is a good idea to be ready to do battle, if that is how you look at buying a car (many people do).
  • Then there is the almighty Internet. With this tool you can comparison shop to no end without ever leaving the sofa or office chair. You can peruse local dealerships for the best prices and develop an approach for test-driving each or checking them out in person.
  • If you have done plenty of pre-trip research, you should have a price in mind and be thinking of negotiation strategies. Unless you are heading to a "no haggle" dealership, you can figure you have a cushion of 10 to 20 percent, depending on the salesperson's willingness to part with his or her profit.
  • If you do not see what you were looking for, do not let yourself be pressured into buying something you do not want. Options cost a ton, and if you do not need them and they are cramping the price you wanted to pay, don't give in. You can always order the vehicle you want. It may take longer, but it is definitely an option.
  • Compare lenders. You may not get the best deal from the dealership's financing partner. So look around; it may save you a ton of cash in the long run.
  • If you are offered a service contract, analyze it closely to make sure it is well over and above the warranty that comes standard from the manufacturer.
  • If you are trading in a vehicle, make sure you are aware of its value before heading to the dealership. This gives you more negotiating power and prevents you from getting completely taken. Kelley Blue Book and the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) are good resources, and they cost nothing.

Just about every transaction with a dealership will involve a heap of paperwork. The dealer or the financing company will make sure all of the necessary documents for registering and titling the vehicle are sent to the proper county entity. The dealer will also collect sales tax from you.

Buying From an Individual

There is an inherent risk to buying a used car, especially from an individual. Plus, the process involved with the title transfer can be convoluted. But in most instances, the attractive cost easily outweighs any prospective peril.

In most cases, an individual selling a car is legitimate and just wants to part with the vehicle. Answering a classified ad may be rather intimidating, but most of the time the transaction is easier than dealing with a salesman on a car lot.

Nowadays, you may never even meet the person selling the car, especially if you are buying one off of eBay (yes, it is possible). The key to understanding and having a successful transition is knowledge. It sounds like a cliche, but it is true.

The first, and most important, indicator to a troubled transaction is the title. If the seller cannot provide a title for the vehicle, then walk away from the deal―even if it is the perfect car and your heart is set on it, and even if you have already pictured yourself driving through the Tetons in it.

You just do not buy a car without a title in Wyoming, or any state for that matter. It could be stolen or salvage, and it is best to remove yourself from the matter and move on to another car.

Lost Title: If the seller has lost the title, he or she needs to apply for a duplicate either in person at a county clerk's officeor by mail. If you are selling your car, be sure to get the title before you sell the car.

Once you decide to go through with a purchase (with a title involved), there a few things you will need to make sure you receive from the seller or take care of in order to title and register the vehicle in Wyoming. Take these steps:

  • Have all the sellers listed on the title sign in the sellers' box. These signatures will need to be notarized. If it is a Wyoming title that is being transferred, the signing needs to actually take place in front of a notary.
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement.
  • If the title is from out of state, a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection needs to be conducted. This can be done by any authorized law enforcement officer in the state.
  • A bill of sale must change hands. All parties involved in the sale should be named on it, along with the agreed-upon selling price and the make and year of the vehicle.
  • If you plan to drive the vehicle, when you title it you should also register it.

Selling a Car

With the Internet, selling a car is easier than ever. You can advertise a vehicle literally all over the world and possibly have people competing to purchase it.

Basically, the selling end of the deal is the opposite of the buying role listed above. There are things that you as a seller will need to provide a buyer.

First and foremost, you will need to sign over the title. In many cases, especially if it is a Wyoming title, both the buyer and seller will need to track down a notary to witness the signing.

Providing a completed bill of sale is also important. Wyoming does not use a formal bill of sale, and some counties provide one while others rely on the transaction parties to provide one.

Selling Without a Title

It just can't be done. If you have lost your title or it has been mutilated, you will need to apply for a duplicate before you sell the vehicle. Check with your county clerk's office and either apply in person or via snail mail for a duplicate. Keep in mind that there is a waiting period and that you'll need signatures from all listed owners on the original title. You'll also need to have your application notarized.

Once all that is taken care of, and you have the title in your hands, you are ready to sign over your vehicle.

Selling Without Registration

Even if you're planning to sell your vehicle, you're still responsible for keeping it legal as long as it's in your possession. If you've incurred fines or late fees from a lapsed registration, you will need to handle those at your county clerk's office. Just because you sell your car doesn't mean that you're not responsible for things that happened while you still owned it, so be sure to keep up with your registration to avoid problems later on.

If you're the buyer, don't worry about getting the registration document from the seller. You won't need it when you apply for a title and registration in your name.

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