How could the city not know who the owner of the car is?
Over here photo tickets follow a simple rule: if it's your car, it's your responsibility to know who's driving it. When you get a ticket, you either name the driver, or you pay it yourself. But I haven't heard of anyone getting a ticket for someone else's car.
Because frankly the city doesn't care about change of ownership. Many cities (probably most in California, and SF for sure) are totally disconnected from helping citizens. They really neither interested, nor in business of helping you out. They BELIEVE you did something wrong and that's enough. Most of the time they are right and that's enough of a fuel for a SF budget committee not to allocate budget to helping few citizens out of majority to "make it right" for them.
An interesting story from an App that made it simple to fight wrong tickets. Who would have thought that SF would give you wrong ticket or that they would be in wrong generally? You not supposed to be well-informed either. At the end, they got frustrated by all people who lawfully and willingly were submitting claims via Fax and just simply... unplug their fax machine!
When Fixed began faxing its submissions to SFMTA last year, the agency emailed the startup to stop using their fax machine. When Fixed pointed out that it was legal to do so, the agency simply shut off their fax.
Eh, Boston isn't in California but from what I gather most of the populace has contracted whatever California has so it may as well be.
If the seller forgets to send in the sell notification and the buyer flakes out on registering the only person they know to pursue is the seller. Hopefully the seller has a signed bill of sale so they can point the finger further down the ownership chain.
That's not always the case. In some states the plates are "owned" by the vehicle, not a person and are transferred with the vehicle on sale.
Depending on the states in question the fine for invalid registration is usually much less than the cost of having the unregistered vehicle towed from A to B so many people just slap an old plate on the back and cross their fingers.
Some states have an excellent DMV. Others suck. It depends.
Part of it is just due to population density. They need to increase the number of DMVs by about 10 to get a reasonable distribution for the population.
Or you pay a fine for not naming the driver. Which makes sense, because if you're unaware who was driving (or not willing to say), why should you be punished for speeding/running a red light, as opposed to not naming the driver.
Some states require that the title be notarized (signed and sealed in front of a notary public who verifies your identity) which can be done at a bank at transfer time.
In both cases, the buyer is responsible for registering the car (at which time they'll pay sales tax on it. The seller will usually print and fill out a bill of sale. It's best to get this notarized too along with the title).
Unless you fill out one of the forms mentioned in the comments, the car will still be listed as belonging to you until the buyer registers it.
As you've described it, you're depending on the buyer doing the right thing.
What? No they do not. The plates stay with the person not the car. You can transfer the plates from car to car as well.
> Do you live in a place where one must obtain new plates immediately after purchasing a car?
Where do you live that you don't????
Are you sure that in your state plates transfer with the car? What state is that, because I would like to look that up.