Mailed in Title BEFORE paying fees/smog check. 1st time buyer. CA DMV. Please HELP.

01-30-2014, 03:38 AM
Hi. I bought my first car a couple months ago, nothing fancy just a 95 Dodge Neon for 900 bucks on craigslist.

I have NO experience in the car world, and this is my first car.

Well. The day after I bought the car I went to the DMV and gave them my name/info and paid the fees the told me to pay (Sales taxes, I think?? It was 100 and something) and they entered my name/info into the computer and the lady handed me back the title with some more papers attached to it and told me the car needed to be smogged and to mail the title in to the DMV in Sacramento so they could then mail me a title printed with my name/info.

What she DID NOT tell me was that I ---HAD--- to have the smog check first and that there was another fee of $69 that -HAD- to be paid --BEFORE-- I mailed the old title in. (HAD I KNOWN THIS I WOULD HAVE PAID THE 69 RIGHT THEN...)

I had NO idea and I mailed the title in a week later. The car needed some repairs to pass smog, which it did about a month -after- I mailed in the old title.

I called the DMV to find out why I had not received my new title yet and I was informed that "IT IS NOW LOST" just because I did not pay the 69 bucks and do the smog check...

I am at a loss. I thought when I paid the sales tax and gave the lady at the dmv my info, that it was entered into an online database.

Now I have NO way of contacting the old owners, the phone number they used is not in service and that was the only contact info I had on them.

How can they lose my title at the dmv? Shouldnt they have just "returned it to sender" or kept it til the obligations were met?

Am I completely screwed now and have a titleless car that I technically don't even own (As the person I was on the phone with, with the dmv, told me.)

Can someone PLEASE help me or has anyone ever been in/heard of this type of situation?

Thank you so much!

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