Video: Supply chain issues prevent car dealerships from printing titles to buyers

TULSA, Okla. – It’s not a used-car salesman thing.

“We had a customer who came in to buy a vehicle for cash and we couldn’t produce her title,” Rhonda Pruitt said.

That’s because Pruitt said they couldn’t print it for her that day.

“She was actually worried that we ripped her off because if you don’t have a title, is the car really hers? That’s how she felt,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt owns Chris Pruitt Auto Sales and getting titles for the customer is his number one goal.

“What we’re told is that they’re running out of title paper that they use to print titles,” Pruitt said.

On the Oklahoma Used Cars and Parts Commission webpage, it says there are delays in obtaining titles:

Dear Dealers and Dealer Associations,

The Oklahoma Tax Commission has implemented a priority printing schedule to anticipate any title shortages due to supply chain issues. This process has been implemented to avoid any potential stock-outs of titles later this year. Most titles are printed 8-12 weeks after the title request is processed. By delaying printing, we can ensure that stock of securities is available for transactions that require securities such as securities transfers. Our aim is to ensure that any title necessary to complete a transaction can be printed within our applicable legal requirements.

To achieve this, we have implemented a print priority workflow for green titles, all other titles print as expected. The print priority of the green title is as follows:

1. Duplicate and repeat titles are currently printing as expected.

2. Titles needed to facilitate title transfers can be requested for expedited printing via okcars.tax.ok.gov;

3. All other green titles will have delayed printing. Once we receive our stock shipment of titles later this summer, we will be able to provide an estimate of when printing will resume at normal times. If at any time the title is needed, the owner can visit the link above and request the title.

Pruitt says these delays can cause problems for someone who has just picked up the lot, as they must have the title within 30 days of purchase.

“What could happen is that a customer could come back and not be approved for that loan that the car was approved for and that car has been on the road for 30 days. It’s like lending cars for 30 days,” Pruitt explained.

Online dealers can apply for accelerated titles. The state website provides them with a link to do so. You can visit by clicking here.

“Having to come in and ask for proper titles all the time takes time and if we can’t get them back in time, we have to reissue the paper tags,” Pruitt said.

FOX23 asked if a reseller could do this.

“Technically not, unless we renew those customers,” Pruitt said.

“People are going to ask why don’t you hang on to the car until you get the titles? Well when we get the cars from the auction we have to go ahead and sell them because time is money, so the longer we keep a car, the more money it costs us,” Pruitt said.

She says applying for fast-track titles can take time, especially when she says not getting the title in 30 days is a guarantee.

The state said the paper supply will return to normal by the fall of this year.

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