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Applying for a title

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  • Applying for a title

    I don't know where to start. I bought a body out of Green Bay Wisconsin and towed it home (Flint Michigan) 2 weeks ago. They had it a year and got it from Minnesota and he had it 20 years and pulled it out of a river / stream in Iowa. I was told its a 1930 Studebaker but unsure on model and year. It has not been titled in over 25 years and not sure how long before that. I have the Body Tag # (provided in photo) but that is all I have. Is this the Number I would apply for a title with? and does it appear to belong to this vehicle? any help would be great! Thanks!
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  • #2
    This should get you started as I suspect you have no title. Hopefully you have a bill of sale for the body. I suspect that you will end up with a title for an assembled vehicle so it will have a new VIN plate.

    Some advice, I've been doing these things in Michigan for decades and don't start any major modifications until you have a title.

    Secondly, visit a SOS office in a small town as they are generally more friendly. Also, make a reservation on the SOS website and the wait will be minutes not hours. Also be friendly, these folks have the power to mess up your day and they will if you don't co-operate. Lastly, you can't go wrong by going into the SOS and asking what you need to title what you have.

    You may be inclined to assemble a frame, power train and the body prior to applying for a title but remember that it will be inspected by the local law enforcement dept so I'd recommend that you have the law and copies of the bill of sales for what you are putting together as the body and frame. If it's the body setting on a frame from that era you might be OK with a single bill of sale but setting on an S-10 chassis may evoke a question or two.

    Let me know if you need further help, always happy to help a fellow Michigander.

    Last edited by sweetolbob; 06-20-2019, 09:27 AM.


    • #3
      Thank you! Is there a serial number decoder anywhere? I want to make sure when i do apply for the title i know the model and year.


      • #4

        It would be nice to know what your plans are for the body, and why you think that you need a title for a body that is obviously not a car in it's present condition?


        • #5
          I am planning on building a frame from scratch. However i would assume that a 1931 title not as an assembled title would fetch more for a future buyer than an assembled one? or am i mistaken and will get an assembled title either way? also i did find that it is a 1931 Model 54.
          Last edited by Zeke Church; 06-20-2019, 11:42 AM.


          • #6
            That tag is the body number and not the chassis serial number that would usually be used as a VIN. The early cars had the serial number tags attached to the frames so if you only have the body, that info is gone.

            Agree not to spend much on this project until title obtained in case of worst case.

            Jeff in ND


            • #7
              Thank you! that is what i was looking for!


              • #8
                Just be glad you don't live in North Carolina. That would be good only as yard art here.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by thom View Post
                  Just be glad you don't live in North Carolina. That would be good only as yard art here.
                  Simply because of rust i assume? It will be completely redone and painted when finished. (prolly a 3 year project)


                  • #10
                    Rust repair is no more difficult in NC than anywhere else, but getting a title is. The NCDMV is , I am told, the most difficult to work with in the USA. I understand that some custom frame manufacturers will not sell to NC residents because the NCDMV will not honor a "statement of origin" and create a title from it. I've heard of otherwise restorable vehicles being parted out or going to the crusher because no title could be had here. Sad, and our highway use tax is the highest in the nation, I believe.