Can You Get a Title Loan with a Bill of Sale?

Title loans offer a swift avenue for accessing cash by leveraging the equity in your vehicle. However, the crux of the matter often lies in the type of documentation required by lenders to approve such loans. Among these documents, the role of a bill of sale in obtaining a title loan is a topic of much inquiry and confusion.

Today, we’re getting a close look at title loans and a bill of sale to answer the question, can you get a title with a bill of sale? And if not, what formal criteria do you need to meet to qualify for a title loan? 

Let’s find out more! 

What Is a Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale is a legal document that verifies you bought the item (car, boat, etc.) from the seller. It shows you have ownership rights, which is crucial when we’re discussing title loans that are based on the ownership confirmation. 

Can You Get a Title With Bill of Sale?

In many jurisdictions, a title is the ultimate proof of ownership for a vehicle. It not only indicates who owns the vehicle but also includes information about any liens against the vehicle. 

How do you obtain a title with a bill of sale? 

  • The seller should ideally hand over a signed title along with the bill of sale. This signed title allows you to register the item under your name at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • If the seller doesn’t have the title (lost or not received), you can use the bill of sale to apply for a new title at the DMV. In some cases, you might need a surety bond, which is a financial guarantee that protects the DMV in case there are any hidden claims on the vehicle.

In short, the bill of sale is a key piece of evidence to acquire the title, but it’s not the title itself. For a smooth ownership transfer, ensure you get both the bill of sale and a signed title from the seller.

Can You Get a Title Loan With Just a Bill of Sale?

Obtaining a title with just a bill of sale is a process that varies significantly depending on the laws and regulations of the specific state in which the transaction occurs, as well as the terms and requirements of specific lenders. 

While some lenders do allow applying for a title loan with just a bill of sale, that is not the case everywhere. You cannot apply for a title loan through Titlelo with a bill of sale – you need a clear title for that. 

Why Lenders May Require a Title Over a Bill of Sale?

Right now, you might be asking yourself why the bill of sale is not enough to prove your ownership of a car and secure the loan. 

It all comes down to the type of loan that is a title loan. A title loan is a short-term loan that uses your vehicle’s title as collateral. And this means lenders need to be confident you actually own the vehicle to minimize risk. A bill of sale shows you purchased the car, but it doesn’t guarantee the title is free of liens or that you’re the sole owner.

For this reason, many lenders require a title in their loan application process. 

Bill of Sale – How To Qualify for a Title Loan?

Having a bill of sale might not directly help you qualify for a title loan. Usually, title loans require the actual vehicle title in your name to be used as collateral. However, if you only have a bill of sale, you might still be able to get a title loan by following these steps:

  • Obtain the Title: Use the bill of sale to apply for a title transfer at your DMV. This process might involve additional paperwork or a surety bond (depending on your state).
  • Title Loan with New Title: Once you have the title in your name, you can approach a title loan lender. The title will serve as collateral, and they’ll assess your situation (income, car value) to determine eligibility and loan terms.

Lost or Stolen Car Title

Bill of sale is quite crucial when you’ve lost your car title, or it got stolen. In those cases, you can use this document, as shown above, to apply for a new title at the DMV.

It’s important to note that the process and requirements for obtaining a title with a bill of sale can differ from one state to another. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with the DMV or equivalent agency in your state to understand the specific requirements, processes, and documentation needed.

Alternative Options if You Only Have a Bill of Sale

Since a bill of sale doesn’t always qualify you for a title loan, here are some alternative options to explore, depending on your needs and creditworthiness.

Personal Loan

This is an unsecured loan from a bank, credit union, or online lender. It works by getting a lump sum of money to repay over a set term with interest. This option comes with some perks; however, it might not be suitable for those borrowers who need cash quickly and have less-than-ideal credit scores. 


  • Lower interest rates compared to title loans.
  • Longer repayment terms than title loans.
  • Doesn’t require your car as collateral, so you won’t risk losing it.


  • Qualification typically requires a good credit history and steady income.
  • Approval process can take longer than title loans.

Pawn Loan

Another alternative is a pawn loan. You pawn a valuable item (not your car) for a short-term loan. The pawnbroker holds the item until you repay the loan with interest. If you can’t repay, they can sell the item.


  • You can get the item back once you repay the loan.


  • Interest rates can be high.
  • Risk of losing your pawned item if you default on the loan.
  • The amount you’re able to borrow may be smaller, depending on what item you use as collateral.

Help from Family or Friends

Borrowing money from someone you know can be an option, but it requires clear communication and a written agreement to avoid misunderstandings.


  • Potentially lower interest rates or interest-free loan.
  • More flexible repayment terms compared to traditional lenders.


  • Can strain personal relationships if not handled well.
  • Important to set clear expectations about repayment.
  • This option might not be available to you.

Title Loan with a Bill of Sale – Parting Thoughts

In conclusion, in many cases, a bill of sale itself won’t qualify you for a title loan. However, it plays a vital role in getting the title transferred to your name, which is typically required by lenders.  

If you only have a bill of sale, consider applying for a title at your DMV first. Once you have the title in hand, you can approach a title loan lender to explore your options. 

Interested in applying for a title loan? Titlelo makes the whole process quick, painless, and stress-free. You can apply through our website and receive a decision the same day. See how title loans work and what you need to initiate the process. 


Do I need a bill of sale if I have the title?

In most cases, you won’t necessarily need a bill of sale if you already have the title in your name. The title itself serves as the primary proof of ownership for a vehicle.

Is a bill of sale proof of ownership?

A bill of sale is considered evidence of ownership, but it’s not the sole or definitive proof. It’s a legal document that verifies you purchased the item. It indicates you have ownership rights based on the transaction.

The bill of sale doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’re the legal owner. There could be outstanding liens or claims on the item that aren’t reflected in the bill of sale.

Can you transfer a title without a signature?

No, you cannot legally transfer a title without a signature from the registered owner. The signature on the title acts as a legal verification that the owner is willingly transferring ownership of the vehicle to the buyer.

In some cases, there might be exceptions depending on the situation. For one, if the owner has passed away, you might need additional paperwork like a death certificate and court documents, depending on your state’s probate laws.