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Old 02-26-2013, 06:08 PM   #1
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Can't find original owner

Hello,

I apologize firstly if this thread isn't in its appropriate category but I couldn't find a more appropriate category.

I am selling my Airstream and all I have is a bill of sale. My Airstream has been in storage and I never got around to registering it so now I'm finding roadblocks with this. The person I 'sold' the Airstream to is eventually exporting to the UK. Here's the dilema:

I can't find the seller who sold the Airstream to me (all I know is that he purchased the A/S in Georgia). When my buyer went to the DMV he was told that the A/S is registered in Georgia, but they won't give him the name of the person it's registered under. I emailed the DMV in GA and they replied that I need to fill out a form and send $5. After downloading the form, it reads that no records older than 5 years will be available. I've had the trailer seven years. When I pulled the public records online, it reads "Title Cancelled".

The original idea was to write a letter (and send it certified) to the person who's name shows up on in the registration, and start the process of transferring the registration, or, if the letter comes back unopened, take such letter to the DMV and perhaps we can finally get a registration and tag. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also wondering if, because the A/S is being exported out of the country, is the registration in the U.S. still necessary?

Thank you all in advance.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
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Well, you've learned a good lesson here.
You can get a new title for your trailer but you have to register it as a rebuilt trailer. You might even have to provide documentation for the rebuild. Best not to even try.
Contact your buyer and explain the situation to him. You can still export the trailer without any regisration or title. It will have to be listed as parts, salvage, project trailer or something like that.
I have no idea what trailer registration is like in his country.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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3rd party registration experts

It has been my experience that once a vehicle is not registered for a number of years, the title is placed in a "cold" file (my words). In both Washington and Oregon there are folks who deal with the DMV all the time and know what to do about a "lost" or "cold" title. If the vehicle is legitimately titled, said title can be resurrected with current registration, it is just a matter of dotting the "i's" and Crossing the "t's" to satisfy the dmv. Look on craigslist for such help; talk directly to the DMV if necessary. Shouldn't be impossible.
ol bill
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Are there red numbers on your Airstream? If so, those are WBCCI numbers. You may be able to find the previous owners through the club if you are lucky. You know, for a trailer that old in GA you don't need a title, just a bill of sale. I wonder if you could give your buyer a bill of sale and he or she could register it in GA if neccesary to have registration for some reason in order to export or to get new registration in its new country?
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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I have a 1965globetrotter I inherited from my father. He had never changed the registration from 1967 and I cant find the orig. owner to sign it. I went ahead and got a rebuid title for it, will that hurt its resale value?
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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I would not go to the DMV but to one of the private business that deal in title transfer, they will get it done quicker. I purchased a boat on a trailer, the trailer is a DMV issue. The DMV had me going back and forth with the seller like a Pong game. The last straw was when I had to many signatures on the title transfer which is what they asked for. I went to a private business they looked at it and said the extra signature doesn't matter here is your plate the title will arrive from the state in 2 weeks, pay us. I did and all worked out.

Jim
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:37 PM   #7
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No, it will make no difference. With a trailer that old it's all about condition. You might run across a buyer that will not want it with a rebuild title but there will be six more behind him that will not care.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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Smile

Thanks! I have the original title if I ever decide to get rid of it, but I am very glade to hear it is not as Big of a Deal as I was thinking!!
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Clark View Post
I would not go to the DMV but to one of the private business that deal in title transfer, they will get it done quicker. I purchased a boat on a trailer, the trailer is a DMV issue. The DMV had me going back and forth with the seller like a Pong game. The last straw was when I had to many signatures on the title transfer which is what they asked for. I went to a private business they looked at it and said the extra signature doesn't matter here is your plate the title will arrive from the state in 2 weeks, pay us. I did and all worked out.

Jim
Thanks for the advice. The DMV here in Miami has no clue what to do with this situation. A police detective gave me the official address on the Registration of the 'official' owner and so, I sent a certified letter. It came back 'undeliverable'. Do you think perhaps with this letter the DMV might grant me the title? How much did the private company you used charge you for their services?
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:40 AM   #10
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No, it will make no difference. With a trailer that old it's all about condition. You might run across a buyer that will not want it with a rebuild title but there will be six more behind him that will not care.
Technically, I already sold the trailer. The buyer is fixing it up while I resolve this issue about the title transfer. So, maybe a 'rebuilt' title is the way to go. But, how do I go about it? With the DMV? Or with a private company?
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Daisy2 View Post
Technically, I already sold the trailer. The buyer is fixing it up while I resolve this issue about the title transfer. So, maybe a 'rebuilt' title is the way to go. But, how do I go about it? With the DMV? Or with a private company?
My experience is the private company knows how to get things done. The employees at the DMV have to dot ever i and cross every t to keep their jobs. The private companies want to get paid so work harder at resolving the issues. A private company may well know more about the this issue than the DMV office.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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I had similar problem with registering a sailboat I wanted to put a motor on, never registered, no title just name of company and hull number, our county didn't know what to do, next county south said ok and issued a new registration for a motorboat and were happy to take my money. Maybe Miami and Dade co. not the place to register try next co inland and north, if they speak English you might be able to explain and they will understand.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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I've had some experience in dealing with the DMV. It often comes down to the individual you are dealing with. Some don't care one way or the other. Some are helpful and some do everything they can to make life hard for you. (I ran into one old witch that didn't think I should own a Corvette; she did everything she could to make my registration difficult) The rules are not as hard and fast as you would think. Having a good personal relationship with the DMV officer really counts. Good political contacts don't hurt either. You need to play the social game to get things done. If you don't have the contacts, try to find a friend or family member that does and use them. No matter how it goes; you're going to owe a favor to someone.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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I've had some experience in dealing with the DMV. It often comes down to the individual you are dealing with. Some don't care one way or the other. Some are helpful and some do everything they can to make life hard for you. (I ran into one old witch that didn't think I should own a Corvette; she did everything she could to make my registration difficult) The rules are not as hard and fast as you would think. Having a good personal relationship with the DMV officer really counts. Good political contacts don't hurt either. You need to play the social game to get things done. If you don't have the contacts, try to find a friend or family member that does and use them. No matter how it goes; you're going to owe a favor to someone.
The first thing I thought reading your post is you must be from Louisiana and your are.
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