Some used-car dealers caught up in a city crackdown on the industry have been issuing invalid titles to buyers, leaving them in a legal no-man's land, according to the director of the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

"The DMV has encountered a growing number of instances where citizens purchasing vehicles from used-car dealers are not being provided proper titles," the department said in a statement.

Without a good title, citizens cannot prove ownership or register their cars with the city.

Before accepting a title from a used-car dealer in the city, the department cautioned, buyers should consult a list of dealers whose privileges to issue titles have been curtailed.

The improper titles have been issued by some of the more than 50 used-car dealers who have lost DMV dealer privileges after illegally selling temporary license tags. Temporary tags are designed to be used by car buyers until they can obtain permanent license plates.

Under city law, used-car dealers can be authorized to transfer a car's title directly from its previous owner to the new purchaser, without the dealer's ever putting the car in his or her own name.

But many dealers accused of selling illegal temporary tags have been stripped of their privilege to execute direct transfers of autos. Instead, they must first put car titles in their own names, and only then transfer the titles to new buyers.

Some of the used-car buyers caught up in the temporary tag investigation are omitting that last step, leaving their purchasers in legal jeopardy, officials said.

The issue arose after DMV officials charged that some dealers had been illegally selling temporary tags for as much as $150. Criminals had been using the temporary tags on vehicles used to commit crimes because they could not be traced, police say.

The abuse of temporary tags allowed thousands of cars to remain permanently unregistered with the city and skirt the District's insurance, residency and inspection rules.

In April, DMV Director Anne Witt issued a 120-day moratorium on the issuance of temporary tags by used-car dealers because the problem was so widespread. Used-car buyers must take proof of insurance to a special DMV office at 301 C St. NW, Room 1032, to get 20-day temporary tags. The District's two new-car dealers are not affected by the moratorium.

The revocation and suspension of DMV dealer's licenses is another step to combat the illegal sales. The department, which has held 66 hearings involving allegations of illegal tag sales, released a list showing 40 dealers whose DMV license had been revoked as of July 7, and 16 whose licenses had been suspended.

The DMV advises citizens to call 202-727-5000 to see if a dealer's DMV privileges have been suspended or revoked. Such dealers can still sell automobiles, because their business licenses haven't been revoked, but they cannot directly transfer title from a previous owner to the new buyer.

The DMV issued this list of dealers whose licenses have been revoked as of July 7:

A.Y. Auto Sales, 1900 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Ace Imports, 1715 Bladensburg Rd., NE.

Aduke Inc, 1419 Kenilworth Ave. NE.

American Best Motors, 1830 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Bamoc Corp., 1419 Kenilworth Ave. NE.

Benobi Motors, 1618A Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Betterbuy Inc., 114 M St. SE.

Certified Used Cars, 1618 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Chres Auto Inc., 2201 Channing St. NE.

Demmy Autos, 1419 Kenilworth Ave. NE.

DKY Auto Sales, 1618 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Eniola Motors, 1004 First St. SE.

Feto Motors, 1004 First Street. SE.

Flexy Motors, 1400 Maryland Ave. NE.

Genesis Motors Inc., 1830 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Glory Motors, 1164 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Harmony Motors, 1501 Ninth St. NW.

Iyitumi Auto Sales, 2507 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Kenco Auto Sales, 2911 Rhode Island Ave. NE.

King Auto Sales, 2919 Rhode Island Ave. NE.

Kollington Auto Sales, 1036 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Lake's Motor Inc, 3010 Rhode Island Ave. NE.

LF Motors, 1900 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

LOSI Imports, 1703 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

M&R Auto Sales, 1618 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

MO Auto Sales, 1001 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

O & A Auto Sales, 1027 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Ozar Auto Sales Inc., 1164 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Palmglobe Motors Inc, 2507 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Precise Motors I, 1224 Mount Olivet Rd. NE.

Precise Motors II, 1224 Mount Olivet Rd. NE.

PRP Motors, 1164 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

QX Cars & Trucks, 114 M St. SE.

Riggs Auto Sales, 2919 Rhode Island Ave. NE.

Sunnys Auto Sales, 1027 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Superior Motor Inc., 2919 Rhode Island Ave. NE.

Tara Imports, 1703 Bladensburg Rd. NE.

T&M Auto Sales, 2911 Rhode Island Ave. NE.

Topsy Auto Sales, 1618-B Bladensburg Rd. NE.

Vibe Investment Motors Inc., 1618A Bladensburg Rd. NE.

The DMV issued this list of dealers whose licenses have been suspended as of July 7, and the dates the suspension will expire::

Amazing Grace Auto Sales, 1000 Bladensburg Rd. NE; Oct. 24.

Automax Inc., 1830 Bladensburg Rd. NE; July 19.

Chuks Auto Inc., 1050 Bladensburg Rd. NE; Aug. 25.

Delta Used Cars, 1270 Bladensburg Rd. NE; July 26.

Jega Auto Sales, 3451 Benning Rd. NE; Oct. 24.

Jorges Auto Sales, 447 R St. NW; Oct. 20.

Lake's Motor Inc., 3010 Rhode Island Ave. NE; July, 22.

Mikes Auto Sales, 1736 Rhode Island Ave. NE; July 27.

Performance Trend Motors, 2201 Channing St. NE; Aug. 18.

Prince Auto Sales, 1036 Bladensburg Rd. NE; July 16.

Royal Motors, 840 Bladensburg Rd. NE; Oct. 28;

Samez Group Investment Corp., 3621 Benning Rd. NE; July 27.

T&D Motors, 1001 Bladensburg Rd. NE; Oct. 28.

Trinity Auto Sales Inc., 1736B Rhode Island Ave. NE; July 19.

Vibeson Motors Inc., 1830 Bladensburg Rd. NE; July 22.

Western Auto Sales, 1618B Bladensburg Rd. NE; July 27.