Shuttered car dealer leaves vehicle owners without tags

Shuttered car dealer leaves vehicle owners without tags

C.R. Cars closed earlier this year. C.R. Cars closed earlier this year.
Faddis finally received her title after renewing her drive-out tag five times. Faddis finally received her title after renewing her drive-out tag five times.

6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

CLINTON (WATE) - When buying a used car, many dealers issue customers a temporary tag, also called a drive-out tag. The tags are good for a month and under the law can be renewed a second time.

But two local customers of a car dealer said they have been driving on drive-out tags for six months.

At some used-car dealers, drivers can leave the lot with an old license plate on the car. But often times they get a temporary tag until all the paperwork is clear.

The Nissan that Brenda Faddis has been driving for six months still has a drive-out tag on it. Her loan company has not received paperwork from C.R. Cars, the dealer where she bought the 2005 Altima.

"They were supposed to get me my tag as soon as it came back and it's been since March and we still don't have a tag or title," said Faddis. "This makes my fifth drive-out tag that I've had to purchase at $12.50 a tag."

The bill of sale shows she paid just under $10,000 dollars for the car in mid-March and even paid for the title and license registration.

"They charged me $80, plus the fees in order to register my car and I still haven't gotten a tag or title," she said.

Shortly after getting a second drive-out tag from the dealer in mid-May, Faddis got a letter from C.R. Cars saying that "due to unforeseen circumstances" they had closed their office.

The unforeseen circumstance is that the car lot owner hadn't paid the bills. The letter from the dealer suggested Faddis shouldn't worry.

"Someone will be in contact with you regarding your tag, registration, or title," said Faddis, reading from the letter. "I told the man, the owner, that I trusted them. Now I feel like there is no trust."

Drew Purifoy bought his 2004 Honda from C.R. Cars on April 20. He, too, has a temporary tag, which expired in August.

"I have paid for the car in full but I don't have the title and the Department of Motor Vehicle cannot give me a permanent registration without the title," said Purifoy. "I worry about getting pulled over or not being able to drive my car to work."

Purifoy said C.R. Cars financed his vehicle through a company called Dealer Services Corporation (DSC) in Indiana. Purifoy has contacted the company's attorney.

"I've been calling him, but he hasn't been answering my phone calls," Purifoy said.

Some dealers have license plates at the showroom that they immediately hand over to customers once their paperwork is filled out. But many dealers who sell only used cars issue temporary tags that are good for 30 days.

Under state law, two drive-out tags are allowed, but sometimes exceptions are made.

During those 30 to 60 days, the dealer's title clerk sends the bill of sale, the title and the odometer statement to the county clerk's office.

After the paperwork is completed, the clerk then sends a new license plate to the dealer who has the responsibility of getting it to the customer.

But that never happened at C.R. Cars.

Drew Purifoy has been denied a third temporary tag by the Knox County Clerk's Office.

Faddis' drive-out tag has been renewed five times in Anderson County, however a fee has been charged for each tag.

She financed her car through ORNL Federal Credit Union, and the other day she received good news.

"They do have our title and they will be sending off to get our title back," she said. "It's going to feel pretty awesome to have my own tag."

Meanwhile, Drew Purifoy and others who contacted 6 On Your Side said they've also met delays in dealing with Dealer Services Corporation, the finance company for C.R. Cars.

The company hasn't responded after C.R. Cars customers sent DSC the necessary papers.

6 On Your Side contacted DSC and let them know that these car owners are driving their vehicles with expired drive-out tags.

If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email

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