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on Titling

Started by fishnjim, December 05, 2021, 09:52:45 AM

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I been doing this a long time, and nothing succeeds like a clean title.   
I've titled cars that never had titles, pre-title era/no title state, and it's a time consuming process at best.  You word against the states, often with no witness to the past or documents.   You need to plan for it, and not expect a quick flip.   All the states do it slightly differently even though we've had a uniform title law for many decades. ie; state's rights v federal.
I've turned down "parts cars" for lack of title when crossing state lines.  Why?   Because it opens one up to legal issues.   It can turn into a felony when you cross state lines if the parts are stolen.   No title often means no VIN or altered.   
I'm currently going through a "covid induced" delay on my boat trailer.   People are frightened, nervous, and anxious too.   Dealing with the DMV is not in your best interest.  Even if you know the law and they're wrong, doesn't win your case.   They waste your time and don't do things for you.   It's up to you or the dealer to figure out the law and do the right paperwork.   I been told conflicting things and not making progress because of it.   And with reduced staffing, etc. it's months not weeks.   Very frustrating and lots of money at stake.  You can't give up, but the slug is hard and slow.  Get a lawyer is the gendarme gets involved.
My advice is make sure the title paperwork is in order.  I asked, but took their word for it.    And if you're selling, it's on you to provide the buyer clean paper, not the other way.   The few dollars in fees more than out way the agony of dealing with state depts.  If buyers insist, then the sellers will follow.   Buying - insist up front, walk, if no paper.
That precious hunk of junk isn't worth the agony.   Let the seller do their own leg work their responsible for.
Do not touch or remove or replace the VIN plate in that fancy restoration either.  Someone posted recently on that and is having difficulties.   Some states won't allow it and won't title, if it's been changed or altered, even the rivets or screws changed.   Not saying it can;t be done, or hasn't been, but make sure the paper is in hand first.
Even using a dealer does not guarantee things will go smooth.   Be like Missouri, "show me" the paperwork before you drop a dime.   It's a particularly difficult time to begin with, there's not much or no new inventory, which is how I got in this - used.  State's are overwhelmed and suffering staff losses.
My CAD is coming off lease soon, so I might have to go through this all over again.   They send you "deal" advertising, but when you show up at the dealer's there's no/few cars.
Caveat Emptor* - it was wise in Roman times and still wise strategy today.
*- for the Latin challenged, "let the buyer beware".   Used to have to take two years of it, not even sure they mention it today.

Big Fins

They don't even teach cursive writing in school today.

Why should they? There's no pen attached to the phone.
1976 Eldorado Convertible in Crystal Blue FireMist with white interior and top. (Misty Blue)
1969 Fleetwood Brougham in Chalice Gold FireMist with matching interior and top. (The Old Man)

Past and much missed:
1977 Brougham de Elegance
1976 Eldorado Convertible
1972 Fleetwood Brougham
1971 Sedan de Ville
1970 de Ville Convertible
1969 Sedan de Ville
1959 Sedan deVille


They have cursive font for that.   
It's the lack of knowledge that counts.


One time I had to track down two owners back to get a title signed for a 57 Coupe DeVille. That was the last time I messed around with titles and being complacent not looking them over. The owner sold it to someone who never titled the car, who sold it to me. What a mess, but I was lucky enough to be able to track down the original owner, then to overnight the title to the gentleman to sign who sent it back.

As soon as I see "working on getting a title" or "should be easy to obtain a title in your state" I close the ad. Not worth it.
-----Dan Benedek
'57 Cadillac Sedan Deville 6239DX
'81 DMC DeLorean

James Landi

THis is important advice--- some years ago, I purchased a 1959 Century speed boat through an out-of-state brokerage.  Maryland requires a paper title, and that had been lost decades ago by its then present owner.  The brokerage  came up with a plan-- they"titled" the boat in yet another state, so I had an out of state registration and a brand new title--- however, when I arrived at the Maryland DMV, I was asked for the hull identification number "I'm sorry Mr. Landi, you must have a hull identification number--- you need to find it."   Well, in 1959 most small boat manufacturers had only the year of the build and number count, so suspecting that the series of numbers was too short, I used the boat's windshield serial number that was the requisite number of digits, and VOILA, I was good to go.  In Maine, when you sell a boat, all that's necessary is a handwritten bill of sale that includes the dollar amount you paid--- (another reason for living in Maine) James


Getting a lawyer.
I was on the phone with both agencies and so was the dealer, and state stories are different each time.  I guess if we ask enough they converge.   Plus it takes forever to get someone by phone, while you hear about the great online site that has misinformation...doesn't cover what your'e calling for.   I was caller 12 and the callback is broken?
They told me now I would be "in violation" if it goes out of state, but I live <8 miles from the border and dealer is out of state.   Not practical but they don't care.
Not practical to track down PO's when you're not at fault, they were, but they won't go after them?   The procedure to title untitled wasn't accepted because it wasn't "old enough", but can find no reference on that/not on the form.   I used that to title the '49, which came from a no title state pre-title law.  Took months, but I got it.   I had to trailer the non-running "car"cass to the DMV for VIN check.   In a previous nice state I lived in, the cops came to your house to check.   So the law is fickle at best.   
If it wasn't so cold up in Maine, I'd be up there, but I guess if you live were it's nice all year, you have to put up with this from the state.   Maine's probably ice fish'n hard water and I'm in "soft" water here.   I was in violation yesterday at the ramp apparently unknown to me.   OOPS, probably shouldn't have said that the internet police may hear.   Ignorance of the law...   But states' can make excuses ad nauseum.   Covid this, covid that.


   Don't know how relevant it is to the subject matter but a couple of years back we had a thread on obtaining a title for a car that doesn't have one. Vermont will issue a title, after doing a Blue Book search on value, and issue you a title if you supply a notarized bill of sale.


The Vermont title does work. My brother had his 2008 Mazda RX8 registered in Vermont. Done over the phone and had the plates shipped in mail. Provided you had a legal bill of sale the car can get a title even if it is an auction car.
1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 75


It comes down to the dealership is responsible so they're dealing with it as I wait.
I don't understand why the DMV would prefer to have the previous owner to title it, rather than me, since he no longer owns it but I do?   Just to get another $30?   But two states involved came up with that gem vs the discovery process, they say to use?   
It's like I have proof of ownership and chain of custody, and he no longer does.   They'll accept his word, but not mine?   Totally messed up.  I hope they call the police on him too, just for fun!   I tried to get the State Depts involved, DMV, DNR, to correct their erroneous websites and they just look at me like i have two heads.   I printed direct from their webs.   Wrong phone number, wrong instructions, etc.   Do as I say, not as I say to do?   How do you spell fiasco?

79 Eldorado

I've never understood NY State. Vehicles 1973 and older have "no title". But that's not really true, the registration is the title. However the registration in NYS needs to be renewed every 2 years and the size is small (easy to lose).

Just because the registration was the title in 1973 I will never understand why they don't they allow an owner, of a registered 73 or older, to obtain a "real" title... meaning one which doesn't have an expiration date on it and is consistent with every vehicle after 1973.

I bring this up because it's part of the reason people cannot find the title.