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about to buy a car to restore w/ not title....what to do

8863 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Humphrey351
I know there are ways around this. What is the best way to get a new title in my name. I'm sure some of you have run across this a time or two.

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Before starting down this road, get the VIN number and see if it is listed as stolen, missing or has disputed title in the local area, your state and any states bordering yours. That may save you a lot of grief down the road.

Second, what state are you in? Start at the motor vehicle department, agency, bureau or whatever they call it there. They usually have forms for unusual transactions.

The important things to consider are how old is the car?
What condition is it in, realistically - how much is it worth?
What would be its value after being restored?

Finally, how trustworthy is the seller, what is his connection to the vehicle.

It would be ill advised to start pouring money into a car without doing some homework to insure, to the best of your ability, that someone will not come knocking at your door to reclaim their car.

There have been several “lively” debates on just this subject in this forum. Boils down to “finders, keepers” and “What if it was your car, it was stolen…would you expect another Hot rodder to fake a title?” Pulling a rusted hulk from the junk or back yard is one thing. “Finding” a car without a title is a totally different animal.
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On 2006-03-16 21:28, Humphrey351 wrote:
I am sure this will ruffle a few feathers here, but I really have to ask this...why is it whenever some one needs to find out how to register a car without a title, they ask here first? I know the idea behind this board is to share information and experience, but this is an issue concerning legalities. To me it makes more sense to contact your local DMV, or MVA about this...since THEY will be the ones you need to deal with, it would (at least to me) be the BEST place to start with since they are the ones who know what you need to do. Here you will get (like you already have) a boat load of different suggestions and ideas, different laws and opinions for almost all 50 states (and sometimes Canada too...don't want to leave our friends up North out
) and hardly will the info be accurate for your specific area or situation (like the suggestion about putting on a new VIN, if the vehicle came from the manufacturer with a VIN, and you change it...I do believe that is a Federal Offense...which is why if you read about the Shelby history, Shelby had to have FBI watch them closely as the changed the VIN's on the left over 69's to make them into 70 models). I do agree with Sharpshot, you can (and probably might ) be told conflicting information in regards to what you need to do by calling the DMV sometimes, if that happens, question them about it, or check out the DMV online, most information is already posted there for you and generally is accurate. You can also run it by your car insurance agent, since they need to insure the vehicle, they should have a decent working knowledge on what you need to do to accomplish this.
Again, I know I may ruffle a few feathers, and that is not my intention...but I feel when it comes to issues of legal your local authorities on it, don't rely on the suggestions from people who are in other areas and states, every state has it's own "policy" on what it requires. That is just my opinion, so hopefully no offense is taken by this. I just would hate to see a posting at a later date where you took someones "advice" here and later it cost you a bunch of fines, court time...or worse you lose the car after fixing it all up.
Just my .02 cents worth.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Humphrey351 on 3/17/06 12:30pm ]</font>
You echo the same sentiments voiced in the first reply. Again, this subject keeps coming up because its something that car guys are often tempted with. The issue is whether that "derelict" wreck is really a good project or is it what was leftover after being stripped. You don't have to go too far back to find pleas for assistance in tracking down someones stolen project.

Something for nothing is seldom worth the price.

If it really is a just a good deal, it should be able to stand up to a little scrutiny! Isn't it better to find out where you stand before you put any money into a project?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 3/17/06 7:50pm ]</font>
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