Tons of misinformation in this thread, although the laws vary state-to-state. For most places in the US, the only thing REQUIRED is insurance (either a policy for the car or you may be covered under your existing policy). However, if the LEO is a jerk the car itself could be impounded. If you have a signed/dated bill of sale (sort of sketchy to do in your situation) then most states will allow that. That being said, with car/motorcycle sales if it feels weird it IS weird. Keep in mind that a vehicle stolen from a few states away might not show up as stolen in your state... So you could have it inspected (even by a LEO), seller signs a fake out of state title, you give him money, you take it to dmv/tag office and they impound your car and leave you with nothing. The fact that this guy won't meet you to pickup the car is a huge STOLEN and/or title issue flag, in my opinion. He does not want to be there if you have a cop come out and determine the car is stolen. Let me guess, he lives with his mom/gf/someone else too right? No kidding... run from this one. The options you want will come up again, just be patient.