If you’re looking to contact a previous owner about getting a title for a car that you purchased, the method that you use to contact them matters. A lot of times, it will determine how successful it is. If you just call somebody up and say, “Get me a title for the car that used to be mine,” you’re probably not going to have good luck. However, if you go through a process that makes it easy for them to help you, it might be more successful.
First of all, don’t rely on them to find the forms to find the papers. Do that all in advance, get the replacement form from the DMV or from the internet, and fill everything out. Send it to him by postal mail. You’re much more likely to get a good response if you don’t just barge in on him with a phone call; send it by mail or, if you’re going to call them, use a voicemail service like slide dial or some other service where you just leave them a voicemail. You’re not calling them up where you might be interrupting their kid’s soccer game or interrupting dinner, or maybe you sound threatening on the phone; do it very non-threatening and non-conferring.
Sometimes a third party might help. We offer that service if you’d like to have us do that for you. We can either make it very convenient or non-confrontational for them. Think about it from your point of view: if somebody just called you out of the blue about a car you owned five years ago, you might be a little hesitant and maybe skeptical of what their motives are. So make it less threatening because they don’t have to do anything for you. They don’t owe you anything. You have the responsibility of getting it done, and you’re asking them for assistance. So approach it that way. And you’re very likely to have somebody help you out if you make it easy and comfortable for them to do so.