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Old 12-02-2004, 10:15 AM   #1
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Missing Title

I recently purchased a old trailer (non AS) it was built in 1949. I found out that it doesn't have a title. My question is 'How hard will it be to get a title for this old of a trailer?' I live in PA which is very hard to get one for a car. I bought it to restore and may never sell it, but would like to get a title incase -- forever is a long time.
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Old 12-02-2004, 10:40 AM   #2
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Vehicle titles are state law matters, which vary from state to state, so you should begin by asking your PA DMV how to get a title for your trailer. Not all states were title states in 1949, i.e., not all states issued titles for motors vehicles or just vehicles, like your trailer in 1949. So your trailer may never had had a vehicle title.

NY became a title state in the 1960s or 1970s; before that, the annual registration was your indicia of ownership in NY. Vehicles were titled in NY as they came up for registration after the title statute was enacted.

When did PA first become a title state? If after 1949, maybe your DMV would just issue a title after an inspection of your trailer to verify its manufacturer and serial number. If before 1949, try another avenue. Perhaps you could title it as a homemade trailer with a PA DMV assigned serial number.

In any event, ask your DMV what options you have and what they require under each option to issue a title for your 1949 trailer. You ultimately will have to meet PA title rerquirements in one way or another, so you best begin there.
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:21 AM   #3
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Here is what I'm doing in Illinois. It is very hard to get titles around here to.
A friend of mine ones a garage. I am having a title search done through him. Once I get the title, then I will place a "Mechanics lean" on the title. After X number of days I will forcolse on the title and it becomes mine.

X days is the number of days times the "$XX.XX" per day of "storage" to equal the value of the trailer.

I have found that the DMV is not very helpful here in Illinios
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by till
Here is what I'm doing in Illinois. It is very hard to get titles around here to.
A friend of mine ones a garage. I am having a title search done through him. Once I get the title, then I will place a "Mechanics lean" on the title. After X number of days I will forcolse on the title and it becomes mine.
Tedd,

I'm puzzled. Once you get the title, why do you need to place a mechanic's lien on it?
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:51 AM   #5
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I think he means that once he locates the title which whould be in the previous owner's name, he'll put the lien against it, and then his mechanic buddy will claim it, have it titled in his name, then sell it to till for a buck or two.

Previous owner might even be deceased - who knows? Seems quicker and easier than going through the process of locating the actual titled owner, who might say "Hey, that's my trailer, I don't want to sell it," and then find out you've just paid for a bag of air.
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:22 PM   #6
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Dave,

You get the big cigar!!
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:28 PM   #7
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Woo-hoo! (puff-puff...cough-cough!)
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:39 PM   #8
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I think he means that once he locates the title which whould be in the previous owner's name, he'll put the lien against it, and then his mechanic buddy will claim it, have it titled in his name, then sell it to till for a buck or two.

Previous owner might even be deceased - who knows? Seems quicker and easier than going through the process of locating the actual titled owner, who might say "Hey, that's my trailer, I don't want to sell it," and then find out you've just paid for a bag of air.
So, what's to prevent me, or some other unscrupulous person, from doing this? I have my eye on a nice boat across town.
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:47 PM   #9
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Don,
In Illinois you have to be a "tax paying business" to do any of this. That is why my friend at the garage is helping me out. If this were not legal, he would lose his business. On top of all of this, I do have a legal certificate of purchase and a bill of sale.

But what you are saying has (and most likely still happening) in the great state of Chicago. It was all over the news for a couple of days here.
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:55 PM   #10
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Don,
In Illinois you have to be a "tax paying business" to do any of this. That is why my friend at the garage is helping me out. If this were not legal, he would lose his business. On top of all of this, I do have a legal certificate of purchase and a bill of sale.

But what you are saying has (and most likely still happening) in the great state of Chicago. It was all over the news for a couple of days here.
Sounds like the way to do it in Illinois. Here's more info:http://www.sos.state.il.us/publicati...ns/vsd5264.pdf
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Old 12-02-2004, 03:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by whistler
I recently purchased a old trailer (non AS) it was built in 1949. I found out that it doesn't have a title. My question is 'How hard will it be to get a title for this old of a trailer?' I live in PA which is very hard to get one for a car. I bought it to restore and may never sell it, but would like to get a title incase -- forever is a long time.
whistler
I know from previous bitter experience that PA is a difficult state to deal with, as far as titles go. You may want to title and register it in another state, get a title there, and use that to title it in PA. Just be prepared to take the trailer to a licensed PA state inspection, or car dealership (and pay$$) to get the paperwork taken care of.
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Old 12-02-2004, 03:58 PM   #12
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Some states are tougher to get this handled than others simply because they have more vehicle thefts and have more security in place. We had a similar thing with an old motorcycle here in New Mexico. Here we filed for an abandon vehicle title. I's been quite a while so I don't remember the details but some way or another the DMV looked for the last know owner of that vin #. When none was found, we had to buy a Bond of some kind for a short period of time. The DMV should be able to give you info on how to handle it. I would be real careful about putting any money into it without a title. You don't want someone to waltz up and claim their trailer ofter you do a restoration.-----Pieman
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:05 PM   #13
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Mike,

That is exactly why I have stopped most of the work on my trailer. If it gets pulled out from under me, I'm out maybe a grand and a couple of months work. I am at the point that tall money needs to be spent, so I will hold off till I get the piece of papaer that says ALL MINE.
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Old 12-02-2004, 10:40 PM   #14
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Try West Virginia...

I used to live in Pittsburgh area, and built a car from wrecked VW chassis, Corvair engine and plastic body, with assorted junkyard accessories, etc.. (It was long ago, and a long long story..)

Anyway, it became impossible to title in PA with only junkyard bill of sale for VW chassis, so we drove to Charleston WV, and used friend's address (though PO Box rental from UPS store works just as well..) and WV DMV was happy to title it and deliver plates for small fee.. Once it's titled and plated in your name, PA or other states are more willing to register it locally, for additional fees and use taxes...

Just had similar experience in Calif with $20 1970's Puch moped from garage sale.. Found special category in CA DMV code and persuaded Calif to title and register by mail with photo's and affadavit, plus good faith check for $19.. Those were not really titled at the time either, and old Motorized Bicycle regs still exist. I've seen several Californians successfully register Airstreams as "Utility Trailers" for $15 fee for permanent plates, relying on DMV workers who were mildly confused (perhaps redundant..). You might want to try separate category of trailer as well, rather than camp trailer or mobile home...

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