☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 301

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2020, 2 histories    bottom

  301.210.  Sale and transfer of vehicles, procedure — assignment of certificate — new certificate — notice of sale to nonresident — director of revenue to keep file — motor vehicle dealer, certificate of ownership requirements. — 1.  In the event of a sale or transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle or trailer for which a certificate of ownership has been issued, the holder of such certificate shall endorse on the same an assignment thereof, with warranty of title in form printed thereon, and prescribed by the director of revenue, with a statement of all liens or encumbrances on such motor vehicle or trailer, and deliver the same to the buyer at the time of the delivery to him of such motor vehicle or trailer; provided that, when the transfer of a motor vehicle, trailer, boat or outboard motor occurs within a corporation which holds a license to operate as a motor vehicle or boat dealer pursuant to sections 301.550 to 301.575*, the provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection 7 of section 144.070 shall not apply.

  2.  The buyer shall then present such certificate, assigned as aforesaid, to the director of revenue, at the time of making application for the registration of such motor vehicle or trailer, whereupon a new certificate of ownership shall be issued to the buyer, the fee therefor being that prescribed in subsection 5 of section 301.190.

  3.  If such motor vehicle or trailer is sold to a resident of another state or country, or if such motor vehicle or trailer is destroyed or dismantled, the owner thereof shall immediately notify the director of revenue.  Certificates when so signed and returned to the director of revenue shall be retained by the director of revenue and all certificates shall be appropriately indexed so that at all times it will be possible for him to expeditiously trace the ownership of the motor vehicle or trailer designated therein.

  4.  It shall be unlawful for any person to buy or sell in this state any motor vehicle or trailer registered under the laws of this state, unless, at the time of the delivery thereof, there shall pass between the parties such certificates of ownership with an assignment thereof, as provided in this section, and the sale of any motor vehicle or trailer registered under the laws of this state, without the assignment of such certificate of ownership, shall be presumed fraudulent and void unless the parties have executed a written agreement for delayed delivery of certificate of ownership as provided in subsection 5 of this section.

  5.  (1)  A motor vehicle dealer licensed under sections 301.550 to 301.580 may deliver a motor vehicle or trailer to a purchaser with a written agreement to pass the certificate of ownership with an assignment to the purchaser within thirty days after delivery, inclusive of weekends and holidays.

  (2)  The form of the agreement shall be prescribed by the director of revenue.  The agreement shall provide that if the motor vehicle dealer does not pass the certificate of ownership with an assignment to the purchaser within thirty days that the sale shall be voidable at purchaser's option and, in such case, dealer shall repurchase the vehicle by paying and satisfying in full any purchase money lien against the vehicle, including accrued penalties and fees, with the remainder of one hundred percent of the sale price refunded and paid by the dealer to the buyer.  As used in this subdivision, the term "sale price" shall include the negotiated price of the vehicle, the down payment, the trade-in allowance even if the allowance reflected negative equity, and the price of all optional services and products sold to the buyer under the sales and finance transaction.

  (3)  In the event a motor vehicle subject to this subsection has suffered physical damage covered by the purchaser's vehicle insurance policy and the vehicle is determined by the insurance company to be a total loss, the insurance company may satisfy the claim in full, with respect to the damage to the vehicle, by transferring all proceeds to such purchaser and any secured lienholder of record.  The purchaser shall not assign the purchaser's corresponding insurance benefits to any party without the express written permission of the insurer.  In conjunction with such satisfaction of the claim, if as part of such claim settlement the insurance company is to receive the vehicle under subdivision (4) of this subsection, but clear title never vests with the purchaser within the thirty-day period after the date of sale prescribed by subdivision (2) of this subsection or within ten days of the claim settlement date, whichever is later, the insurance company shall notify the dealer that clear title never vested with the purchaser and the dealer shall reimburse the insurance company for the salvage value of such vehicle as determined in the claims settlement with the purchaser, and in exchange the insurance company shall assign its rights to the vehicle back to the dealer.  If the dealer fails to make payment to the insurance company within fifteen days of receiving notice, the dealer shall be liable to the insurance company for the value of the salvage as determined in the claims settlement with the purchaser, plus any actual damages and any applicable court costs, in return for the right to acquire the title and apply for a salvage title under this chapter.

  (4)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, completion of the requirements of this subsection shall constitute prima facie evidence of an ownership interest vested in the purchaser of the vehicle for all purposes other than for a subsequent transfer of ownership of the vehicle by the purchaser, subject to the rights of any secured lienholder of record; however, the purchaser may use a dealer-supplied copy of the agreement to transfer his or her ownership of the vehicle to an insurance company in situations where the vehicle has been declared salvage or a total loss by the insurance company as a result of a settlement of a claim.  Such insurance company may apply for a salvage certificate of title or junking certificate under subsection 3 of section 301.193 in order to transfer its interest in such vehicle.  The purchaser may also use a dealer-supplied copy of the agreement on the form prescribed by the director of revenue as proof of ownership interest.  Any lender or insurance company may rely upon a copy of the signed written agreement on the form prescribed by the director of revenue as proof of ownership interest.  Any lien placed upon a vehicle based upon such signed written agreement shall be valid and enforceable, notwithstanding the absence of a certificate of ownership.

  (5)  No motor vehicle dealer shall be authorized under this subsection to enter and have outstanding any such written agreements until such dealer has provided to the director of revenue a surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit in an amount not less than one hundred thousand dollars in a form which complies with the requirements of section 301.560 and in lieu of the fifty thousand dollar bond otherwise required for licensure as a motor vehicle dealer.


(RSMo 1939 § 8382, A.L. 1947 V. I p. 380, A.L. 1984 H.B. 1045, A.L. 1991 H.B. 261, A.L. 1997 S.B. 59 merged with S.B. 316, A.L. 2020 H.B. 1963)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 7774; 1919 § 7561

*Section 301.575 was repealed by S.B. 52, 1993.

(1957) Section 301.210 applies to all sales of motor vehicles made in Missouri whether the vehicles were previously registered in this state or not. Lebcowitz v. Simms (A.), 300 S.W.2d 827.

(1957) This section does not apply to new car sales, and sale of new car to person who procured Indiana title therefor was valid. Stephen Burns, Inc. v. Trantham (A.), 305 S.W.2d 66.

(1959) So long as the certificate of title to a vehicle is not assigned and delivered, the buyer may repudiate his contract of purchase and may recover what he has paid if within a reasonable time he returns the vehicle in as good condition as when he received it. Matthews v. Truxton Parts, Inc. (A.), 327 S.W.2d 28.

(1960) Tender of assigned certificate of ownership to the buyer approximately two weeks after automobile was delivered constituted compliance with provision of this section requiring delivery at the time of delivery of motor vehicle.  Ashby v. National Bond Finance Company (A.), 343 S.W.2d 218.

(1964) Where no certificate of title was delivered to purported purchaser of automobile at the time the purchase money was paid, the sale was void. Galati v. New Amsterdam Casualty Co. (A.), 381 S.W.2d 5.

(1964) Purported purchaser of a motor vehicle to whom a properly-assigned certificate of ownership is not passed at the time of delivery of the vehicle not only does not become the owner thereof but also does not acquire any insurable interest therein. Moore v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (A.), 381 S.W.2d 161.

(1965) Failure to acknowledge assignment of automobile title certificates before a notary public in accordance with forms prescribed by director of revenue results in certificate not being sufficient to vest legal title. Commercial Credit Corp. v. Blau (Mo.), 393 S.W.2d 558.

(1969) The clear legislative intent is to outlaw and render void an agreement to sell, as well as an actual sale of a motor vehicle when made contrary to the provisions of this section.  Greer v. Zurich Insurance Co. (Mo.), 441 S.W.2d 15.

(1969) The provisions of this section are mandatory and failure of seller of motor vehicle to endorse an assignment of the certificate of title, together with a statement of all liens and encumbrances, renders the sale fraudulent and void, the seller transfers no title and the buyer acquires no interest which can be insured or mortgaged. Merchants Produce Bank v. Mack Trucks, Inc. (A.), 411 F.2d 1174.

(1974) Held that this section applies even though title in question originated in Maryland.  This section applies to all sales made in Missouri.  Fawley v. Bailey (A.), 512 S.W.2d 477.

(1976) The mandatory requirements of this section are intended to hamper traffic in stolen vehicles and to reduce fraud and deceit in the sale of used cars. A certificate of title is only prima facie evidence of ownership which may be rebutted.  Case v. Universal Underwriters Ins. Co. (A.), 534 S.W.2d 635.

(1977) Held, failure to comply strictly with this section left good-faith purchaser without title to a vehicle and prevented his having an insurable interest in the vehicle. Horton v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. (A.), 550 S.W.2d 806.

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2020 ----

use this link to bookmark section  301.210

 - All versions
Effective End
301.210 8/28/2020
301.210 8/28/1997 8/28/2020

Click here for the Reorganization Act of 1974 - or - Concurrent Resolutions Having Force & Effect of Law
In accordance with Section 3.090, the language of statutory sections enacted during a legislative session are updated and available on this website on the effective date of such enacted statutory section. Revisor Home    

Other Information
 Recent Sections Editorials May Be Cited As Tables & Forms Multiple Enact
Repeal & Transfer Definitions End Report

Site changes Pictures Contact

Other Links
Legislative Research Oversight MOLIS
Library MO WebMasters
Missouri Senate
State of Missouri
Missouri House