• Private car sold but ownership not transferred

I sold a car I owned in Pune to a college student back in 2010. I had signed the RTO form for transfer of ownership and given to him. But it looks like he never got the car transferred to his name. Unfortunately I did not follow up. I read a newspaper item about a recent case where the owner was held liable for damages arising out of any accident involving the car. So I checked up and to my horror found the car in my name. I dont remember the person I sold the car to and cant trace him. I would like to take legal action to insure myself from any untoward development involving my car. Please advise.
Asked 4 years ago in Criminal Law
Religion: Hindu

15 answers received in 1 day.

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17 Answers

“It is the responsibility of the transferor to make sure that the vehicle registration has been changed in the name of the transferee,

2) According to the Indian Motor Vehicle (IMV) Act 50, the transferor has to intimate the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) within 14 days of the transfer of ownership. Similarly the Act also instructs the transferee to inform the RTO about the change in vehicle ownership and produce all the required documents within 30 days of the transfer.

3) . The transferor is required to fill Form 29 while the transferee is required to fill in the Form 30,

4) if vehicle is involved in major accident owner whose nane is reflected in RC book would be held liable

5) you can inform the RTO about sale of vehicle by you by letter sent by regd post AD

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87916 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

public notice can be published in at least one or two prominent local dailies of the city where the buyer resides, citing the non-transfer of ownership and explicitly stating that "the seller shall in no way whatsoever be responsible for any misdeeds,unlawful activities or any acts of omission or commission with the motor vehicle (state make, model,type of body,registration number, engine and chassis nos.)by the buyer or any other person who directly or indirectly uses the motor vehicle for such misdeeds,unlawful activities or any acts of omission or commission. The liability of such misdeeds,unlawful activities or any acts of omission or commission shall solely rest with the buyer of the motor vehicle."

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87916 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) In case of an accident both the owner and the driver are to be impleaded as parties. In such cases the liability of the driver is only a vicarious in nature while the owner has an absolute liability.

2) First solve one by one Problem, If they find the car is in your name still, you must have done sale deed agreement of car and must have details of it to whom you have sold the car Name and address of that person.

3) If you are held responsible for the driver act as per the Law to pay the compensation amount. If you don't know to whom you have sold the care. Tell to Officer that you have sold the care in the year 2010, but that person did not registered car on his own name. If you are held for liable to pay compensation money "ask them to sale the car and recover money from it" if that current original owner is denying from ownership of the car.

As you don't have any proof that you had made the sale deed transaction. that's why you have to say "SALE THE CAR AND RECOVERY OWNER'S (MEANS YOURS) LIABILITY FROM IT" If current owner is denying from act.

Ganesh Kadam
Advocate, Pune
12335 Answers
191 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Trace out the person who using the car now and send a legal notice to him . The same time file an application before RTO about sale of vehicle . Also file complaint before police in the address of person who entered in to sale agreement

Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
3990 Answers
93 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Sir

Yes true. Bombay High court judgement is very clear on this. We will give details if you want on judgement.

Give a police complaint as your car is lost. You will be safe some extent.

When it was sold, whom etc will help us to give more clear opinion.

Feel free to reach out us.

Shettar SS
Advocate, Bangalore
182 Answers
1 Consultation

4.4 on 5.0

Respected sir...

A delivery note is a one of the most Profound option to tackle such situation but the thing is that u need to have a revenue stamp and seal to make it authentic and valuable many a times dealers will just sign the delilvery note which is having no value. There are other ameture ways of doing it like making a registered agreement in a 50 rs stamp paper recording the transfer and sale. It will be good if you can inform the RTO soon after the sale that the transaction is made with the delivery note.But if we do not have any of these proofs the sole resposibility will be with the seller until and unless u do not have a case registered with the police stating that the vehicle is missing or Stolen on or before the miused date.....

Thank you

Dinesh Sharawat
Advocate, Delhi
1258 Answers
12 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Dear Sir,

You are correct. And your idea of taking legal action to insure yourself is also wise. You have file a complaint to the police to trace out the case and see that it is legally transferred in the RTO records so that you are not liable for any untoward incident/accident caused by that car. The relevant law is as follows. You my get issue a legal notice also.

Motor Accident Claim: If The Transfer Of Vehicle Is Not Registered With Authority Original Owner Is Liable [Read Judgment]...


Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
Advocate, Bangalore
6050 Answers
381 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

Yes you are right, the liability of any damage by the vehicle vests with the owner of the vehicle and you will be responsible for any such claim arising out of this.

Please inform the police in this regard with all the detail to save your self from any such incidents and keep the record with you.

Vimlesh Prasad Mishra
Advocate, Lucknow
6848 Answers
23 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

As held by hon'ble supreme court the owner under motor vehicle act is the person in whose name the vehicle is registered and name shows in RC book.

Now if the car is not transfered it is your liability in the following unfortunate accident to pay compensation.

The vehicle cannot be transfered in back date if you submit the documents to rto office now so you can either inform rto about the transition happened in 2010 with sale agreement the transfer certificate and other forms and issue a legal notice to the transferre for same .

Or you can file an FIR stating that somebody has stole your car and the date of scene was day prior to accident.

Before doing all this check the quantum of damage from accident and whether vehicle.was insured or not if there was no negligence on part of driver and vehicle was insured than the insurance company will pay the compensation and you.donot need to worry after that you can.take.possession of your car back.

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
25516 Answers
179 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Inform the RTO about this by means of a registered post. Retain the acknowledgement slip.

Give a public notice to this effect so that you may shielded from future claim arising out from the present matter.

Inform the Police as well through a letter and take their receiving.

Retain all the above 3 acknowledgements so that you are protected/shielded in case is there is any untoward situation.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
9426 Answers
245 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

File a police complaint against the purchaser of the car for your safety.

Make an application to the RTO explaining all the facts to get the car document transfer to the purchaser.

Advocate, Bangalore
584 Answers
4 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

1. Nothing can be done, till you trace the new owner and the vehicle is transferred to the new owner, in the RTO records.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Hemant Agarwal
Advocate, Mumbai
5612 Answers
25 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Send a notice to rto stating you sold your car recently to such and such person and he has not got it registered. Secondly it's duty of owner to ensure that the car is registered to new owner name so only way you can save your skin is by writing to RTO authority stating you have transferred car recently to that person.

Swarnarka Chowdhury
Advocate, Mysore
1878 Answers
5 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. you are required to find out the name whom you had sold your car for taking further action in this regard.

2. Lodge a police complaint alleging that despite your signing the RTO form and handing over to the buyer after selling your car, he has not yet filed the same with RTO for which the ownership of the car still stands in your name.

3. Mark a copy of the police complaint to the RTO and send by speed post collecting track/delivery record from the internet after 3/4 days of its posting.

4. You shall have to request the police to seize the car after finding it on the road for not changing the name of its current owner.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
26602 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Even now you can inform the concerned RTO about the sale transfer of your vehicle top a third person.


You have to somehow gather the information of the person to whom you sold this vehicle.

The latest judgment what you refer is absolutely right, you may be in trouble if something went wrong after you having sold the car, hence take steps immediately.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78070 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0


You can not take any legal action at this stage.

Get a publication in the local newspaper at Pune that you do not have the possession of the case and the possession of the same is with Mr. X, and in case there is some misshaping then you will not be liable for the same.


Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17940 Answers
377 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Inform the same to the RTO and local police station about the same with the delivery note and other documents you have with you. You can provide the address of the buyer to the police station stating that you have executed all the documents and the buyer has not followed due process of law.

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
27246 Answers
88 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

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