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Mike Sal
12-17-2017, 05:07 PM
Some states are easier than others to get new titles for old cars which no longer have one. Can anyone offer suggestions? I have a friend in Ohio trying to get a title for an old Mercedes which was imported from Europe.
thanks,
Mike S

jts359
12-17-2017, 05:23 PM
There are people who advertise in Hemmings magazine who specialize in such things , I would get a copy and make some calls , Ed

tsenecal
12-17-2017, 05:26 PM
In Nevada you can take it to a towing company yard, leave it for 30 days for the sheriff to inspect, and the towing company to run ads in the newspaper, and you get a new title for $300.

lark63
12-17-2017, 06:22 PM
any ideas for Illinois?

studegary
12-17-2017, 07:04 PM
Some states are easier than others to get new titles for old cars which no longer have one. Can anyone offer suggestions? I have a friend in Ohio trying to get a title for an old Mercedes which was imported from Europe.
thanks,
Mike S

It partly depends on how old and how it was imported (gray market?).

Mike Sal
12-17-2017, 07:49 PM
I have been thru this in Illinois. A notorized bill of sale, a notorized appraisal, a sheriff's verification of VIN number document, a title bond (easy to get from your insurance company....$50), and the application for new title document (with a $134 check). The local DMV office didn't have any experience and didn't give me all the right forms & I went thru 2 rejections before getting the job accomplished. Took 5 months (when the reject your application, they don't look it all over, they just stop at the first hiccup and return it.....if there are more hiccups, they just keep rejecting it as they uncover them....very frustrating). There is an 800 number you can call at Springfield to ask questions, but they are not all that helpful. I did this for a 1957 Simplex motorbike 2 years ago.
Mike Sal

Mike Sal
12-17-2017, 07:54 PM
Almost all of those out of state title companies are scams these days. The one in Nevada used to be ok years ago, but the original operator passed the business to his son, who was a crook.

TWChamp
12-17-2017, 09:01 PM
10 years ago I just happened to go to the worst DMV to get titles made up for 2 Model A's I bought. They didn't have a clue what to do, and neither did the bonding company. It took my 18 months and cost $500 before I finally got the 2 titles. Others is Minnesota have got titles in days because they went to better DMV's. Ask around before turning over any paperwork, so you might get lucky.

studegary
12-17-2017, 09:37 PM
10 years ago I just happened to go to the worst DMV to get titles made up for 2 Model A's I bought. They didn't have a clue what to do, and neither did the bonding company. It took my 18 months and cost $500 before I finally got the 2 titles. Others is Minnesota have got titles in days because they went to better DMV's. Ask around before turning over any paperwork, so you might get lucky.

How true. There is a big difference in who you get and what office that you go to. When I was on the road, I went to as many as four different DMV offices in two counties on the same day. I knew that I owned the vehicles, but the paperwork was a little more convoluted than the usual. Each time an agent had a problem, I just asked for everything back and went on to another office until I got the car registered (transferable registration, not title, for pre-1973 in NY). This was always with Studebakers - sometimes from in state and sometimes from out of state.

clarkwd
12-17-2017, 10:57 PM
New York has no titles for cars older than 1973, but it's a piece of cake to get a car registered. If you can not contact the previous owner, you fill out a form attesting that you have had the car a year and can not locate the PO. They take a bunch of forms and your money, shuffle, sort, and staple papers and hand you plates and a temporary registration. About two months later you get a transferable registration in the mail.
Bill

t walgamuth
12-18-2017, 06:23 AM
I am in Indiana. I did not get a title with my CE. After some effort and sanding we found the serial # on the frame under the drivers seat. I had to take the car and have a policman verify the serial number, advertise so anyone having a claim could come forward and appear in court. After all that I had to go back to the license branch and get the title and a plate. All told it took about $750 or so and a couple months. Not too bad. They charged sales tax on its original sale price which they said was about $500 or so.

studegary
12-18-2017, 12:04 PM
New York has no titles for cars older than 1973, but it's a piece of cake to get a car registered. If you can not contact the previous owner, you fill out a form attesting that you have had the car a year and can not locate the PO. They take a bunch of forms and your money, shuffle, sort, and staple papers and hand you plates and a temporary registration. About two months later you get a transferable registration in the mail.
Bill

Most people do not want to wait one year before they can register their car. With that system, it would be at least 14 months before I could resell a car that I legally purchased. I have had many new and used cars that I owned less than one year (also a couple owned for more than 15 years).

wittsend
12-18-2017, 03:16 PM
In California you can't "lien" a car just to get a title. There has to be a justifiable cause (unpaid bill etc.). Meaning you have to be a company that did work/stored the car. Then it has to be offered for lien auction. So, your secret, prized barn find becomes anyone's business. And, even if it was originally offered to you for free you are subject to paying the increment above the second highest bidder. So, maybe you just take the car and make it a nice yard ornament.

DougHolverson
12-18-2017, 04:36 PM
How about Nebraska or Iowa?

RDWEAVER
12-18-2017, 06:45 PM
How about Nebraska or Iowa?

In small town Nebraska I was with a guy that pulled out of a canyon an old coupe, a 1937. Probably had been there for 40 some years. He found out the name of the old man who owned the old car. The owner had been past away for at least 30 years. He started building a street rod out of this car. A couple of years later he went back to that small town Nebraska and went to the county seat to ask a junking certificate or records of ownership. The gal at the DMV had no such information but she knew the grandchildren of the old man that had once owned it and parked it there. So I guess this was good enough. She asked him if he wanted a duplicate title and the rest was history.

t walgamuth
12-19-2017, 06:10 AM
A can do attitude by the branch workers will overcome all.

I once drove over 20 miles to Flora a small town near here to title a vehicle I expected trouble with. The lady didn't bat an eye when I gave her the receipt from the seller which said I paid $1 for the 52 Caddy. I even told her I paid more than that but she just said it was fine and issued whatever I needed.

ClayBelt
12-21-2017, 03:03 PM
Down here in Florida, as long as you have a bill of sale for the body, a bill of sale for the engine, and a bill of sale for anything your receipts show to be above $500, you just need a quick look over and then they give you a title and VIN. Just need to apply for a Custom Title. It's something like $50 to do so, as long as you have POI on the vehicle.

BobWaitz
12-21-2017, 10:26 PM
I was able to title my truck by applying for a title for a vehicle that had never had a title as sometimes farm trucks were never titled. They wanted to make sure I wasn't trying to title an old combine!

One strategy that might help is if you have a contact in a small rural city. The workers at City Hall are also the people who process title transfers and driver's licenses. If you can establish that you aren't some sort of scammer, they might allow you to fill out the paperwork that a big-city DMV worker is going to stall you on. My belief is that once the paperwork gets into the system (that is someone, somewhere has approved it) as it makes its way up the chain it's more work for the person that denies it and it might just go through. I was able to have my paperwork submitted by the fellow I bought the truck from. He worked in a small municipality and the gals at city hall knew him and knew he wasn't pulling a fast one. Plus we were trying to title a Studebaker, not a pre-war Mercedes (mit kompressor) -- the fact that this car may be valuable might work against you.

Studejohnn
12-22-2017, 02:52 PM
In California you can't "lien" a car just to get a title. There has to be a justifiable cause (unpaid bill etc.). Meaning you have to be a company that did work/stored the car. Then it has to be offered for lien auction. So, your secret, prized barn find becomes anyone's business. And, even if it was originally offered to you for free you are subject to paying the increment above the second highest bidder. So, maybe you just take the car and make it a nice yard ornament.

Interesting, I did exactly that, a lien sale, to get a title for an International truck. This was maybe 4-5 years ago, so maybe things are different now. I got the lien auction paperwork from Sacramento DMV HQ. Because the truck was worth less than $4,000, I did not have to put a public notice in the newspaper. Just had to tack a notice on my garage for 30 days. Since nobody comes to my house, I was good to go. I opened the auction and seeing nobody, I closed the auction. Essentially, I sold the truck to myself. A couple of hundred bucks and many hoops later I had my title.

many ways to skin the cat. Depends on your state.

clarkwd
12-22-2017, 04:08 PM
Most people do not want to wait one year before they can register their car. With that system, it would be at least 14 months before I could resell a car that I legally purchased. I have had many new and used cars that I owned less than one year (also a couple owned for more than 15 years).

I've done 4 restorations and the average time was a little more than 7 years.
Bill

studegary
12-22-2017, 04:40 PM
I've done 4 restorations and the average time was a little more than 7 years.
Bill

That is true, but some of us now like to buy cars that are done and ready to jump in and drive.

wallaby
12-25-2017, 09:59 AM
It's been a long time since I've had to do this, but here in California they only keep records of a car for 7 years. If it hasn't been registered in the past 7 years, it falls out of the system and the DMV knows nothing about it. In that situation, you can simply tell DMV the car has been yours all this time and you have lost the paperwork. They have you fill some forms and pay some back registration fees, and a new title is issued to you.
In my experience with DMV, the most important thing is knowing what NOT to say. Don't offer information, wait until you are asked for it. In the above situation, there was never any mention of a change of ownership, and that cuts out the search you would have to do to get signatures from past owners and such. Mine required a VIN verification, and when one couldn't be found, they riveted a new ID plate to the vehicle and called it done.

Studejohnn
12-25-2017, 08:30 PM
It's been a long time since I've had to do this, but here in California they only keep records of a car for 7 years. If it hasn't been registered in the past 7 years, it falls out of the system and the DMV knows nothing about it. In that situation, you can simply tell DMV the car has been yours all this time and you have lost the paperwork. They have you fill some forms and pay some back registration fees, and a new title is issued to you.
In my experience with DMV, the most important thing is knowing what NOT to say. Don't offer information, wait until you are asked for it. In the above situation, there was never any mention of a change of ownership, and that cuts out the search you would have to do to get signatures from past owners and such. Mine required a VIN verification, and when one couldn't be found, they riveted a new ID plate to the vehicle and called it done.

Good description of one of the ways to do it in CA. It was recommended to me to do it the way you described, but I had already gone down to the local DMV, and said too damned much. I was concerned they would be on the lookout for me, so I went the long route by working the mails and the Sac DMV. It worked out. As I said, many ways to skin the cat. Some easier than others.