Projects with lost titles

BrianS

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Since completing all my projects I have been looking for another. I have always had pretty good luck on Craigslist so I have been looking on Craigslist, Marketplace and other sources for something that catches my attention. What I am finding is besides the fact prices are off the hook right now and it does appear overpriced projects seen to not be selling. I am assuming this since the ads have been up for months but the phenomenon I am noticing that bothers me is folks are dragging out every junk car on the planet with missing titles. Some without a VIN which I will not touch. I was just scrolling through Craigslist and 6 out of 10 pre 1975 project vehicles have no documentation. I was recently talking with a guy in Sparks, Nevada and his car was last registered by him 12 years ago in Arizona and he has since lost the Az title but has the expired registration. If I was to buy it and bring it to Ca it could possibly turn into a DMV nightmare being three state involvement. In Ca an unregistered vehicle is purged from record after seven years which makes it pretty easy to register with a VIN verification and a Bill of Sale it is just the headache of going down to DMV. Three of my last four projects had no documentation and came with a bill of sale only so I know how to get a title issued in Ca but I would prefer not to have to but it is looking more and more like I am going to be dealing with Ca DMV again.........uggg.

Are you guys seeing the same thing in your states? Do other states purge vehicles out as well? There has been some discussion on this forum that some states do not issue titles for older cars and I read other states are almost impossible to get a transfer if you have no title.
 

Runcharger

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What I get a kick out of is that the sellers always state how easy it is to get a title. I guess if it was so easy maybe they would do it themselves then.
 

#41

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It's much easier to get a title if you are the owner of the car, but lazy sellers would rather pass on the problem 5x worse to the next guy. I think this is why you see so many cars for sale with "no title": People know the challenges and risks and don't buy them. Here, if you buy a car without a title it is a three year wait to get one. In the meantime, if you invest any money in it and it turns up stolen or belonging to someone other than the seller, you lose the car and your investment without any recourse.
 

MIKESPOLARA

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Tell him to get a duplicate title first then you'll buy it..
 

f569

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NYS DMV informed me they don't issue titles for cars older than so many years (?), I can't recall what the cutoff point was. When I registered the car I was told the bill of sale and current registration proved ownership upon relinquishing the signed title (given to me by the previous owner).
Makes me wonder how problem free it will be if I decide to sell.
 

JackR

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My roadrunner had no title. I knew that car would be clean as I was after it for 25 years.
had two have two VIN and hidden VIN inspections done. one by Arizona state police then Az DMV. Then had to purchase bonded title insurance….for $500.00 as the DMV used book value (on a sale able used car) for the bond insurance money.
 

68BabyBlue

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NYS DMV informed me they don't issue titles for cars older than so many years (?), I can't recall what the cutoff point was. When I registered the car I was told the bill of sale and current registration proved ownership upon relinquishing the signed title (given to me by the previous owner).
Makes me wonder how problem free it will be if I decide to sell.
I bought a GTX in 2010 with a NY registration and bill of sale. The car had previously been titled in PA, where I reside. For that reason alone, I was able to obtain a PA title without issue. Car never left body shop jail in NY. Guy I sold it to only agreed to deal after I showed him the PA title. PA normally demands a title. It took me nearly a year to register a bill of sale '66 Corvette from a Georgia dealer. Dealer was finally able to produce a Florida title that was acceptable. PA absolutely refused to issue a title on the bill of sale.
 
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BrianS

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Tell him to get a duplicate title first then you'll buy it..
That is exactly what I was thinking. I wonder how long Arizona keeps records it might be out of the system and in order to get a duplicate it might need an Arizona VIN inspection which would require him to take it back to Arizona which from Reno is a 650mi drive. I might need to call him again and ask.
 

Cranky

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Been a long time since I looked into getting a title for a car in Texas but when I did, they said no if I'm not the owner and that the owner of the car had to apply for a lost title and then go forward and he could only do that once he was proven to be the owner of the car.
 

1STMP

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If your state allows for bonded titles that
may be your only recourse.
I'm going thru the same P.I.T.A. process.
The truck has a 'homebuilt' chassis and
a factory cab with a serial number tag,
bought on a bill of sale. DMV is telling me
I need a title. The problem is the truck was
only registered once when new and spent
it's entire life on a ranch, never having been
driven on a public road since 1941. One
can reasonably assume the title is long
gone, and possibly the original owner also.
It's an assumption on my part that DMV's
have been directed to make re-titling a very
stringent, difficult process in order to get
ICE vehicles off the road, and force us into
"climate friendly" EV's.
 

supergluehero

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Sometimes it depends on which DMV you go to as well. Took me about 50 weeks to get my car registered in NC after buying it in GA w/o a title. I went to two different DMV's that said it couldn't be done. Turned out the third place was the charm.
 

patrick66

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I nearly went to jail over buying a "lost title" car. I had a '65 Galaxie 500 that had no engine or transmission. The seller claimed the woman who (actually) owned the car had given up claim to the car after owing him money for work on it. I got the car, filed paperwork with the state for a title, and waited. Got that paperwork, then the cops show up at my door, claiming the car was not the sellers to sell. The cops had a warrant, in which they took the car. I kept the engine, trans, wheels and tires I had bought for it. Turns out the "seller" had done this not once, but twice before. The Ford was NOT his to sell, as he had not filed the proper paperwork to keep possession of the car.

He ended up getting nine years probation and served 30 days in the county lock-up. This $300 car (at that time) cost me over $3,600 to not go to jail, plus I lost any money I had in the car itself.

So, all you folks that are trying to sell "no-title" cars in title-required states - GET THE DAMNED TITLE in your name FIRST, then sell the vehicle legally!!!

Now, with that said, all State DMV offices know exactly what states require a title, and which don't. Getting a car from a no-title state a title/registration in OK, anyway, generally requires a notarized Bill of Sale, along with proof of current or recent registration in that no-title state (GA, NY, CT, others), and you're set.
 

Cranky

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Sometimes it depends on which DMV you go to as well. Took me about 50 weeks to get my car registered in NC after buying it in GA w/o a title. I went to two different DMV's that said it couldn't be done. Turned out the third place was the charm.
Seems to be that the main office for Harris county is the place to go whenever there's questionable paper work on a car or if you have questions on a car. All the other secondary offices all over the county are not trained to do much except for doing registration renewals and title transfers so long as everything is in order.....
 

patrick66

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Also, keep in mind that most states do NOT accept bonded titles from other states! Oklahoma is one of those states. If you have a CO, KS, or TX vehicle with a bonded title, you're not going to find an OK buyer, guaranteed! I believe those three states, at least, are reciprocal. If the vehicle you are buying has a bonded title, you MUST check your own States' rules on whether they'll accept a bonded title from another state!
 

YY1

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What year is the car?

Pre-1968 Mopars don't have a second VIN on the body.

Most state statutes are indeed worded to require two.

Unfortunate and can cause "official parties" to become uninterested in helping.
 

Budnicks

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I've never had a problem registering a car 'out of the system'
with a good bill of sale & nothing wrong on the title
if it's clear & 'no leans' against it
I did it a few times to racecars I turned back into road cars
most were all Ca. to Ca. cars thou,
I did one out of Minn. on just a bill of sale,
not title & a letter from the org, owner
basically a rolling hull of a 68 Barracuda,
I had to have the CHP certify it, that was 20 years ago
they verified that it wasn't stolen or claims on the books anywhere...
*I took no time, I had them/AAA-DMV do a non-op reg. org. too...
I was going to make a street/strip car out of it anyway...


Here smog is the biggest hurdle IMO
& $$$ to pay penalties if they deem it necessary here
if the car is worth it, it's not that big of a deal

I have AAA insurance, I go into their office
& do it thru their DMV registration system, better service
& detail instructions if needed
 
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