Originally published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 05:57a.m.

PHOENIX – If you’ve sold your car, it’s important to file a notice of sale with the Motor Vehicle Division. Not only is it the law, it can save you trouble and money down the line.

Arizona Department of Transportation is advising sellers to file a sold notice within 10 days of transferring ownership of their vehicle. It’s free and can be filed online at ServiceArizona.com.

It ensures that MVD and law enforcement have a record of who currently owns the vehicle. If the vehicle is abandoned, without updated sold notice information the previous owner will still be listed as the current owner and could get the bill for towing and other fees.

If a vehicle is abandoned on certain federal or state lands, owners can be charged $600 or more with storage fees also possible. Costs are similar for vehicles left on private property.

There also have been cases in which the prior owner of a vehicle has been contacted by law enforcement because their vehicle was used in a crime. You might be able to prove you sold the vehicle, but filing the sold notice will save you from the stress.

“If the vehicle is sold and is later in a crash or used in a crime, or if it’s simply abandoned, the MVD will have a record of the sale,” MVD manager Jennifer Bowser-Richards said.

The filing process is simple: Enter the buyer’s information and the date vehicle was sold; print a confirmation; and complete an optional survey.

MVD also keeps an eye out for unscrupulous unlicensed or licensed dealers who may attempt to sell a vehicle as though they are actually a private seller. When a vehicle is sold by a private owner to a dealer, a sold notice will alert MVD if that dealer attempts to resell the vehicle privately, and ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division will investigate.