Originally Posted by smithcreek
That's exactly what I would do, except I would look into a VIN check first to make sure there was no record of it being stolen.
Like I said, hand it back to the seller and say “please locate the owner and bring this back signed. Here’s $25 for gas”. Let him take care of it. This is being made way more complicated than it is.
The guy’s in Texas, so quoting California or Mississippi laws ain’t gonna help. Neither is warning about frame separation, tires falling off and taking out others, etc. I assume he is a grown-up and has at least verified this will tow OK or he wouldn’t do it.
I’ve driven cars home with no plate, bill of sale (and proof of insurance) in my pocket, never an issue. Unless your vehicle has pieces hanging off, no exhaust, or three different colors of body panel or you have warrants, you are fine. I’ve even been pulled over in a bad area with said car by 6 sheriff’s cars, was back on my way in 2 minutes.