Author Topic: Buying a car without a title  (Read 4963 times)

Offline Bill Balkie 24172

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Buying a car without a title
« on: March 08, 2011, 08:19:38 AM »
Hello,
     I have never purchased a car without a title , and my good sense tell me this is a bad idea . However there is a car for sale on Ebay located in Alabama . This car might  go as high as 40 to 50 thousand dollars .In the listing it says nothing about a Title . So  i E mailed the guy and asked him a few questions about the car , One of the questions was .. does the car come with a title , In his response he stated  No the car has no title . The car is to old and it is from Alabama.  I would not consider paying that much money for a car without a title  ... or am i missing something about the Alabama title system ?

 Thanks ,
      Bill
Bill Balkie
1957 Biarritz
2009 CTS

Online TJ Hopland

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 09:07:00 AM »
I have been told that many states are tightening up their rules on titles so even those get a title for any car companies are starting to have issues.  Most states should have some sort of process for getting titles that I would use if there was a car that was that expensive.  Its not a simple process but involves a paper trail and a bonding process that protects you if someone produces the original title within a certain time period.  I have only explored title companies for borderline junk cars so its possible that they would offer a full service option for a high end car but it would seem to get pretty complicated dealing with various states and still seems like you could end up paying to defend your claim.   I may be wrong in thinking that if you do it with your state would be better but it just seems less likely that an individual would choose to fight a state vs. an individual.   

The way I understand the process at least in my state is that you take the car in to an approved appraisal service.  You then take that report and the car to a state inspector for them to agree that the appraisal is for that actual car and there is nothing suspicious about the ID numbers.   Once all that is done you get a bond for the appraised value for the required time period.   The cars information goes up on some national database that the state people (like law enforcement) can search so if someone reports a missing car they can see if its turned up in another state.  If it does not turn up on that list then you get a temporary title that allows you to license the car.   If no one claims ownership over 3 years? then they issue a regular title and its yours.  If someone makes a claim that is where the bond comes in.   The bond goes to you and in theory the car goes to the original owner.  Apparently at that time you can then try to make a deal with the original owner to 'buy' the car (with the bond money).    Obviously you would be out all the time and fees and any improvements you made along the way.    I dont know what sort of protection you get from a title service.       
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Offline okccadman

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 09:21:27 AM »
If the car is registered in Alabama, a notarized bill of sale from the registered owner will serve as a transferable title in other states is what I have been told.
Jim Jordan CLC# 5374
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Offline Roy Schroeder

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 09:27:56 AM »
You didnt say what year it is , but this is from Alabama motor vehicle site.


What year model motor vehicles does the State of Alabama title?

Every 1975 and subsequent year model motor vehicle which is domiciled in Alabama and is required to be registered in Alabama is required to have an Alabama certificate of title. Travel trailers and folding and collapsible camping trailers designated as 1990 and subsequent year models also are required to have an Alabama certificate of title. Manufactured homes not more than 20 model years old are also required to be titled.

DEFINITIONS: The term motor vehicle shall include every automobile, motorcycle, mobile trailer, semitrailer, truck, truck tractor, trailer and other device that is self-propelled or drawn, in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway except such as is moved by animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. Every trailer coach and travel trailer manufactured upon a chassis or undercarriage as an integral part thereof drawn by a self-propelled vehicle.

Roy
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Offline 35-709

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 09:44:52 AM »
I can add to this for New York State and Florida.  I have purchased 2 older cars from NYS over the not too distant past.  New York State did not have titles until sometime in the 1970s, maybe late '60s (someone here may know the exact year).  On both cars I purchased and had shipped to me here in Florida (both built prior to NYS titles) all I got is a "Transfer" stub, I also made sure to get a dated and signed Bill of Sale from the owner stating the Year, Make, and Model, and the VIN --- also the sale price.  In Florida you bring those items to your local DMV or "tag" office and request a title, in return you will get a form to fill out and be informed that the car must be visually inspected by certain qualified person such as a Florida law enforcement officer, or even just a DMV employee if you can get the car to their parking lot.  Otherwise the law enforcement officer will come to your home or wherever the car is kept.  This is to verify the information about the car, including the VIN, is correct.  You need to make sure you know where the VIN is and that it is visible.  If you opt to have a law enforcement officer inspect the car (I use the Sheriff's Dept.) just call them (not 911  ;D) and they will send out a deputy.  Once the car's information has been verified and the form signed by the deputy you return it to the DMV office, pay the sales tax and fees and they will send in your title application. You will get a Florida title back in a few weeks.   In Florida it is a pretty simple and painless process and I would not hesitate to buy a car without a title --- with due diligence of course.  If the car HAD a title and it as lost I would not buy it until and unless the seller can get a replacement.      
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Offline 76eldo

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 10:45:38 AM »
You should check with YOUR home state to see if they will accept a notarized bill of sale to issue a title for you.

Brian
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Offline Jim Stamper

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 11:23:24 AM »

     New Jersey folk must buy New England non-titled cars regularly, check with your DMV, nothing is new to them.   Jim Stamper CLC#13470

Offline Eric S. Maypother #15104

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 06:53:11 PM »
I'm in Massachusetts, last year I bought a 1992 Cadillac Brougham in Rhode Island, it had no title, seller said 1 wasn't needed in RI for car that old, he gave me a bill of sale and his old registration and I was able to register it and get a Mass title no problem.

Like others have said, check your states laws and requirements. I think as long as 1 wasn't needed from state you bought it from your OK with a bill of sale, or seller would have to get a title for it.

I know someone who buys junk cars sometimes and if for some reason he doesn't get a title or someone puts wrong name on it and it's a sell able car he sells them to a friend from a state that doesn't need a title. I think it New Hampshire or Vermont.
Eric :)
1990 Cadillac Brougham

Offline Jim Beard

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 10:02:06 PM »

Offline D.Yaros

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2011, 03:43:35 AM »
I bought my '55 CDV from a guy in NY.  They have no title, rather a transferable registration.  It was acceped by the DMV here in WI, so I do now have a title.
Dave Yaros
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Offline TonyZappone #2624

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 06:03:30 AM »
The first titles were issued in New York State in 1973.  Cars before that are sold on the "transferable" portion of the registration stub. 
Tony Zappone, #2624
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Joe

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 05:00:49 PM »
There's been a lot of hype and attention lately in all areas of the hobby about "BARN FINDS".  
Know what the difference between a "barn find" and a stolen car is?
A TITLE!
Joe Gibeault

Pat MacPhail

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 12:44:10 PM »
You have to be careful that your state does not issue a new serial number for the vehicle. Can you imagine a Eldorado Brougham with a ugly new serial number tag riveted to the door jam?
I have seen this done on a valuable model of a Diamond T truck.
Cheers,Pat >:(

Offline CEC #20099

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 05:35:46 PM »
Pat, What state riveted on a new SN ??
c chleboun #20099

Bill Refakis

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 05:52:51 PM »
every state has a seperate title procedure,here in ny all vehicles 72 and back were only issued tranfer stubs on the reg.
in my 59 biarritz project,i went state by state,and no 2 were alike,i even came across a re-vin 59 eldo,of course now corrected,as with "collector cars" anything and everything goes

the best thing you can do is determine the state of last registration,and run a dmv history thru that state,if the car is inactive in the files,and has no stolen car alarms,you should be ok

Offline Eric S. Maypother #15104

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2011, 05:57:13 PM »
I wouldn't think they would make a new vin unless the other was removed from the car, or it was pieced together.

I wonder if when they you apply for a title if they can check a national data base to see if car was reported stolen or just in the state your applying for title.

But suggesting a barn find could be a stolen car I guess someone could always have a vin from a rust bucket put on the newly acquired car. I see some states require the state police or a verified person to check vin's before you can register a car so hopefully they can spot something not looking right. I'm not trying to give anyone any ideas, just commenting.

But in the long run I'm sure the states are more interested in the extra revenue than stopping stolen cars, in Mass. titles are now $75, when I got my first Cadillac in 1984 you didn't even need a title for a car over 10 years old, of about 25 Cadillac's I've registered I think 4 or less were 10 years old or newer.
Eric :)
1990 Cadillac Brougham

Offline D.Yaros

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2011, 07:17:21 AM »
CA riveted on a new VIN tag on the door jamb of our 92 Allante.
Dave Yaros
CLC #25195
55 Coupe de Ville
92 Allante
62 Olds  

You will find me on the web @:
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http://GrayLady.WebNG.com -1955 Coupe Deville site
http://www.freewebs.com/jeandaveyaros  -Saved 62 (Oldsmobile) Web Site
The home of Car Collector Chronicles.  A  monthly GDYNets newsletter focusing on classic car collecting.
http://www.scribd.com/D_Yaros/documents

Offline J. Weller

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2011, 07:29:42 AM »
If you were looking to title it in NC, you would be looking at a long and painful process. I used a title company once, and they essentially get you to transfer ownership to them, then take a temporary registration in a state (like Maine) where vehicles over a certain age do not get titles. They then sign the back of the registration over to you and send it back to you.

When you take it to DMV, they send you away to produce bills of sale from the previous 2 owners. At this point you are in a predicament.

Also NC currently requires that any vehicle coming from out of state that's over 30 years old be inspected. The inspector is nearly impossible to catch up with.

I'd have to think very hard about purchasing another vehicle without a clear title. It can eventually be worked through, but unless you have lots of time and patience on your hands I don't advise it.

Art Woody

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2011, 08:38:19 AM »
Looks like you folks who live in Cal. or NC need to move to another state. Don't live and work, pay taxes, in a state that limits freedom. I you live in TN take your bill of sale for a car from a state that does not issue titles for certain age vehicles to your county court clerks office and they will issue a title in your name and in your mailbox in about a week. It's just a car, not nuclear bomb. It helps if the bill of sale is notarized whether from a dealer or not. I do this a couple times a year , as I attend swap meets in AL and GA. frequently. Art Woody

Bill Refakis

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Re: Buying a car without a title
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2011, 09:38:06 AM »
tennessee,good ole tennesee,easy title state,as dealer,i recall the days when title mills would retitle 1000's of cars that would then surface with way less miles,heck,there were some towns that sent more cars to the auction each week than there were poeople in the town! (most of these guys were locked up a whileback)

on any car with a siqnificant value,its a good idea to have a history on it,for example,if 2 vehicles were around and titled with the same vin,who would own it?
if someone surfaced with an old document,and you have no chain of ownership,would they have a claim?

good idea to have a history

as a kid,i used to get a big kick out of all the 79 caddys from cleveland,tenn at the auction,12k miles,not an original tires to be found!

 



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