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What is Title Jumping?

  • 2 min read

Title jumping is a federal crime in most US states, and having a jumped title can make it nearly impossible to sell the vehicle, or transfer ownership. If you purchase a vehicle with a jumped title, you may be left with incurred expenses from the previous owner or may end up with a vehicle title that is completely void. In both cases, your time and money have been wasted. In this article, we’ll discuss examples of title jumping and how you can avoid getting a jumped title.

What is title jumping?

Title jumping occurs when someone transfers ownership of their vehicle to another person by way of fraudulent means. This can include selling the vehicle without transferring ownership or selling the vehicle to someone who cannot legally register it in their name. Title jumping is also known as a jumped title, skipped title, and floating title.

Example of title jumping

Title jumping can be intentional or unintentional. Unfortunately, regardless of the intention behind it, title jumping is still a federal offense in most states. 

For example: 

You sold your car to your neighbor and signed over the title to their name. Your neighbor, the new owner, decides to sell the vehicle before officially transferring ownership into their name. By receiving the title signed over to their name, they are the intended legal owner and are obligated to complete the process at the DMV. By selling the vehicle before completing the title transfer and giving the title documents to the new owner with the incorrect transfer name, title jumping has been committed. 

What are the consequences of title jumping?

The fines associated with title jumping vary by state. As stated above, title jumping is a serious offense that is considered a felony in most states. The penalties for title jumping are often financial penalties and possible jail time for both the buyer and seller.

Overall, title jumping is a very serious and costly problem. If you have purchased a car without a title, you may be at risk of having a jumped title. By carefully inspecting your vehicle before purchasing it you can identify if it has a fraudulent title history or not, along with finding other important safety features about the vehicle that could save you money in the long run.

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