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Old 01-26-2004, 01:52 PM   #1
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Question Information on Trailer "Title" process

Hi All;

Well I finally went to bed last night after dragging my self off this board well past 1:00 am - what a panic reading all your stories - can't wait to start adding our own stories.....in the mean time.....

Can anyone explain how the US Trailer "Title" process works.

Our seller is presently waiting on receiving his "Clear Title" from the State of Louisianna.

How long does the process usually take?

If we happen to be enroute back home before his title comes through does anyone know if we could still transport across the boarder? Anyone had any dealings with the US Customs in this type of situation???

I had read somewhere that a notorization and bill of sale will suffice - is this true? has anyone crossed the boarder with just these? (been on so many sites of late I can not seem to find that information again - can someone point me in any direction to find out this info?)

What is a notorization and how is it obtained?

Does anyone know of a reputable dealer/or RV service place in the area of about 1 hour west of New Orleans that could take care of servicing the trailer brakes, axle, wheels and tires. Or will a standard say Midas or Speedy handle these things. We have our insurance company checking with the underwriter right now to see what we have to do - to "certify" for trailerability if required.

And thanks to our responses yesterday - we are now shopping for some important items such as mirrors, brake controller for the tow vehicle, compatible wiring harness spare wheel/tire - and I think we might be wise to pick up extra bulbs for the trailer lights? - just in case they decide to burn out on the way home. It is better for us to get all this at our end - then we are not paying a bunch of duty and stuff when we cross the border. - I think we should just get rid of the border and become one big huge happy family - wouldn't that be neat.

Don't want to give away where our prize is yet - until we have paid for it - you never know someone close might just snafoooo our find Cause she is a real looker and in fab shape and we think a very good price!!! for a 69.

Any help would be muchly appreciated.

SPK

PS. Holding off posting pictures until she is ours for sure - then I will have to get someone to help me get back into my registration info so we can ad a photo to our name - we might also think of a new "handle" at that time and change the GT6921.
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:00 PM   #2
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I dont know about crossing the boarder, but in DE no title, and the State Police "Stolen Vehicle Unit" takes a very special interest in you, and I mean big time! even with a $250 junk boat trailer from a marine dealer!!! Man-O-man, have both the title and bill of sale notarized. In DE, no notary, means you get no plates.
Dick
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:32 PM   #3
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I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence, but here is how I understand it. Maybe it will be useful.

clear title means a record of ownership with no leins or obligations attached.

The owner will have a title to the vehicle. If he bought it on loan, that piece of paper will say the vehicle belongs to whoever made the loan - the title is not 'clear'.

When the loan is paid off, the loaner sends a document to the owner saying obligations are cleared. The owner then takes this paper to the appropriate motor vehicles department and gets a 'clear' title that says the owner owns the vehicle without any restrictions or obligations.

Once the owner has a clear title, he can then transfer ownership - usually just by filling in a form identifying the new buyer and signing it. The new owner can then take this form to his appropriate motor vehicle department and get his title to the vehicle.

As for how long it takes? That depends. If there is a loan, then that loan has to be paid off and an appropriate receipt received. Then that is taken to the DMV to get the clear title. That might take a couple/few weeks. But usually a seller will make arrangements with the loaner so as to expedite the process, maybe. And the motor vehicle authority may allow the non clear title and loan resolution document to serve as a substitute for a clear title, maybe.

In the U.S. these things are usually a state thing and mainly matter when you register a title in your particular state. Otherwise, they are just a part of making sure you are buying something someone else doesn't have a claim on.

Your biggest issue with authorities anywhere is likely to be good documentation. A bill of sale, current title, and current vehicle registration will show that you are authorized to have the vehicle in your posession and that is usually enough.
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Old 01-26-2004, 02:52 PM   #4
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You'll need a valid license plate

What is the current license plate status of the trailer? If the current owner has been licensing it a title isn't too remote -- which Leipper has covered. If there is not a current license plate/sticker you might want to begin troubleshooting with your DMV. Multiple channels for you to pursue on this...

After you get your trailer home take a look at CO-Don's post in Buying used Airstream. It shows a good approach about what to check out before you press it into camping.
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Old 01-26-2004, 03:13 PM   #5
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What is a notorization and how is it obtained?
A notary will witness the signatures of whoever is required to sign the title. They are licensed by the state and will stamp and initial/sign their stamp. Good picture ID will be needed to prove to the notary who is actually signing. Any lawyer's office, larger banks, and most government offices will have a notary, and they will very likely charge as it does cost them for the license, stamp, etc.

John
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Old 01-26-2004, 04:07 PM   #6
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Lightbulb See if you can do this

Before you leave Canada, check to see if you can get temp plates from your local officials.
My thoughts here is:
Since it would have temp plates from Canada on the trailer, maybe you wouldn't have as much of a problem in crossing the border.?
You might ask the good folks at Can-Am, which from what I understand, is a very large Airstream dealer in Canada.Can Am
also, the number is:
I-866-226-2678

Just my thoughts
ciao
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Old 01-26-2004, 04:44 PM   #7
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Getting in touch with your DMV sounds like a good idea. Even if they won't give you temp. plates they should be able to tell you what you need to register compared to what is done in Louisana and then make sure you have all the proper paperwork while you are still there and it is easy to get. I would also call US and Canadian customs and ask what to expect.

John
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Old 01-26-2004, 05:09 PM   #8
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Update

Hi - thanks for the responses.

So far I have found out that she is exempt from the heavy duty Vehicle import process due to her "graceful" age!

No word on the insurance yet.

We know we can get "trip" permits or temporary 10 - 15 day plates from this end but only valid in Canada.

The Vehicle Import Office advised that I will need to get the equivilant in the states which apparently is called a "transit" permit. Just missed the DMV office closed at 4:00pm. The question will be whether they can provide a multi-State transit permit to get us to the border - or we may have to stop in each State which will be a big pain in the "pocket book" because our timing is putting us in to Louisiana on Friday and doing the 24 hour run over the weekend.

So the scoup just in case some else might need the info in the future is...
When we get to the border we still have to get a Form 1 - Which is a Vehicle Import form - it is first stamped to acknowledge that she is over 15years old and a second stamp to acknowledge she is exempt.

Apparently somewhere along the process at the border a value is placed on the trailer in Canadian Dollars so that the GST amount is determined. (This may or may not be the bill of sale - no one can answer this one - maybe there is a magical chart someone follows - I will bring the VAC Pricing chart and tell them it is "as Found" - Ha Ha) - Then when we get our Ontario plates - we have to cough up the PST (this is based on the value indicated on the "bill of sale".) (usually a second sheet - if you know what I mean sort of like "as Found...in rough shape price....).

The seller is waiting on his Title - because it had to be transfered from Texas to Louisiana - I somehow doubt that there would be any liens on it (not at these prices So hopefully the transfer will be in soon and then all he has to do as explained above is sign it over ( hope he has a friend (notary) handy!!! (what pain that is I must admit). Up here all we use is the signed off ownership and re-register it in our name at that time you pay the provincial tax and get your plates).

We could just take our boat trailer plates off and run with them - but lady luck would definately have to be with us!!!

So I will be on the phone first thing with the New Orleans DMV to get the skivvy on a transit permit for a TT.
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:32 PM   #9
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About the GST estimate at the border..... This might be one of the few times that your auto insurance companies estimate of the TT value may be useful. Typically these insurance comanies are happy to write coverage on the depreciated value of the TT - in the case of my argosy - they valued it at $549.00 - based on the original sale price - new. They were happy to give me a written quote. That document might help establish the GST value at the border. Not a good way to insure a TT, but a great way to save a buck.
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Old 01-26-2004, 08:10 PM   #10
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Louisiana resident response

Where are you picking up the Airstream? Is it the one for sale in Patterson La. ? It might be possible for my wife and I to go look at it for you. Dont worry about me buying, it we are very happy with ours LOL.

It takes only about one to two weeks to get a new title thru the mail in Louisiana, if the paperwork is correct. My advice is get a "notarized" title and bill of sale, prior to handing over the money. Unless it is someone you trust very much.
Most Notary's in Louisiana charge about $20 US.
As far a reputable dealers there are quite a few.
There is a new Airstream dealer just south of Lafayette and there is one in Shreveport. The one south of Lafayette is about 2 hours from New Orleans, Shreveport is about 5 hours from New Orleans. For brakes, bearings and lights just about any reputable RV dealer can help you out.

If I may be of service I will certainly try, please let me know.
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Old 01-26-2004, 09:22 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Hello Goyo

Huge big WOW!!!!

Yes we would love your help if you can. - We have sent you a private message and would like to hook up with you through personal e-mail off the forum if possible.

This truly is a great Neighborhood and Peter and I already know we made the right decision to buy an AS - all the rest is just a big pile of icing on a very exciting silvery cake!

Talk to you soon.

Sharon & Peter
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Old 01-26-2004, 11:29 PM   #12
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A transit permit from an issuing state should be accepted as you go thru other states. If that would involve a temporary permit you tape to the back window like on a new car, I see no problems. Other states just want some authority vouching for a legal transfer.

Do I know this exactly? No. But a temporary permit will let me drive a car through every state in the US. But one would still be accountable for insurance, etc, if stopped. Not many straight arrows get stopped though.

Hope you dodge the winter weather like I did a month ago driving back here from Delaware with my 'stealth Airstream.'
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Old 01-27-2004, 07:01 AM   #13
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Question Just a thought..

Maybe it would be wise to run a VIN check thru the DMV to preclude a worse case nightmare? We have had a few reports of stolen A/S from OK, as I recall..
It's not casting a "shadow" on the owner but, just being a smart buyer.
Otherwise, sounds to me like you're on top of things. Done all your homework and, should be good to go soon~!
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:03 PM   #14
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State to state clearance on titles can take quite some time. I bought a trailer with a clear Virginia title and submitted that to Minnesota back in mid-December. I'm still waiting for it to come in the mail...

Your current owner sounds pretty diligent about pursuing this the right way. Best wishes -- it sure is fun!
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