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Old 05-21-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
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Titling an old Airstream

Hello,

I'm not sure this is the right place for this thread nor did I see a better place for it. I recently purchased a 74 sovereign twin which was on an island. The person I purchased it from acquired it by purchasing the island and did not have the title for it. My question is does anyone know of a way to title an old airstream which was purchased with only a bill of sale? I live in IL. and can get it titled as a homemade trailer, but for obvious reasons didn't want to do that. Any help is appreciated!

Thanks
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:36 PM   #2
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Take the VIN # down to your local Department of Motor Vehicles. (Or whatever IL calls their tags office) If the island is not in IL, you might have to go state it is in. They should be able to do a search to see if it was stolen. If it wasn't, They might be able to issue a title once the AS has been cleared of all wrong doing.

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Old 05-21-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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As Ricky said, check with the state DMV and bordering states. If nothing comes up, then contact Broadway Title. They can help in most states get you a new title for your vehicle. Hot Rodders use it all the time, since after like 9 years of non-registeration states delete vehicle records. The paperwork with broadway title basically sells the trailer/car to them for the sale price you paid, they license it in their state then sell it back to you for the same dollar figure (plus their fee) and in a matter of 2-3 weeks, as long as the vin isn't on a stolen vehicle list your state will use their bill of sale (from a non-title state) to issue you a title. It is a few hundred bucks, but it was what we had to do on the 66 before we sold it since the previous owners had long sense lost the title and any associated paperwork. The other alternative in our state was to apply for title and and have registration only for 5 years then they would issue a title. That meathod was cheaper but we couldn't wait 5 years to trade off the 66.
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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As you probably have gathered it varies from state to state. You may be able to post a surity bond which will get the trailer in your name, but you may not be able to sell it for a period of a few years.

The answer you get from DMV depends on who you talk to. After waiting on line if you don't like the answer you get, get on the next line. I guarantee you wll get a different answer. DMV workers usually don't know how to deal with vintage untitled Airstreams. A place like Broadway will take care of the hassle factor for a fee. Unless. of course, you enjoy butting heads with the system as I do.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:52 AM   #5
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Titling an old Airstream

Greetings mobileoffice!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobileoffice View Post
Hello,

I'm not sure this is the right place for this thread nor did I see a better place for it. I recently purchased a 74 sovereign twin which was on an island. The person I purchased it from acquired it by purchasing the island and did not have the title for it. My question is does anyone know of a way to title an old airstream which was purchased with only a bill of sale? I live in IL. and can get it titled as a homemade trailer, but for obvious reasons didn't want to do that. Any help is appreciated!

Thanks
Illinois is a very strict title state and getting a title for your coach will likely prove to be a very drawn-out problem. The easiest method will be to have a title search done for the most recent registered owner (currency exchanges in the larger cities can do this as can licensed automobile and RV dealers). Then, there is an array of official forms that must be filled out -- most of these are the ones for the previous owner to apply for a replacement title and then the forms to transfer the title. Having gone through this nightmare with a collector car, I learned my lesson in Illinois -- if it doesn't have a tranferrable title avoid it as Illinois processes all automobile and RV titles in much the same way.

Kevin
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:20 AM   #6
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Another Illinois boy here.

I've run into a similar problem, except I have the original title... and Illinois doesn't want it!

It's the original 1962 Ohio title that came with my Airstream. The trailer was sold when the first owner died (so it's likely his wife or childrens' signing his name) but then when the next owner wrote his name in, they crossed out the first signature, which the Illinois DMV has decided renders the entire document invalid.

It had already gone through another collector's hands before reaching me (it was on consignment though TrailerWorks), and at this point Illinois wants nothing to do with it. They recommended I find the original family, have them get a new title, and start the whole process over again.

All of this is besides the fact that I'd really like to keep the unique, original title rather than have Illinois toss it in a shredder when they issue me a new one. But that seems to be the least of my concerns right now, because they won't offer me a duplicate, a homemade designation, corrected title... nothin.

So I'm stuck too. No title = no plates, no insurance, and possibly a major headache if I'm pulled over for so much as a burned out taillight. In the meantime, I'll obviously make sure every i is dotted and t crossed for the tow vehicle to cause as little additional trouble as possible.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:04 PM   #7
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brad,

in NY like i suppose most states, crossing anything out voids the title.
you can always keep the old title as a memento. when the new title is issued they usually keep the old one anyway.

what was said is the simplest route. i think the family will need a death certificate for the owner/family member that died along with their rights to the property.

mobileoffice:
i think you can get a title by sending a certified letter to the last registered owner on file. (a good reason to register a vehicle upon purchase) if the letter remains unclaimed and is returned, i think after a certain time it becomes "abandoned property" and you can claim ownership. ask NY DMV if this is possible. you'll also find out if their are any leins on the trailer.
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Old 05-22-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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Check out http://www.broadwaytitle.com/PDF_Forms/TRAILER.2009.pdf Illinois is not listed as a trouble state for their process. I had never heard of them until we got our 66, checked out everywhere, never found a negative review, and like clockwork they were fast and accurate, even though I was nervous going through the DMV with the paperwork from Broadway, sure enough a few weeks later I had a new title.
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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Ooh, I kinda like that idea too ~ let somebody else take this headache off my hands!
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:52 PM   #10
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In Tennessee, depending on which old lady you get at the DMV, you can get a form for trailers 30 years or older.
You can also download an affidavit from the state web site, and you state you own the trailer.
One thing I've noticed though.....right now the states usually don't communicate VIN numbers, so its possible you could have more than one trailer with the same VIN number. This could lead to issues later on if the states start communicating with each other or two people try to title the same VIN number.
Right now theres a trailer I sold to be used for parts on Ebay 2 years ago with no title. Some joker has found the VIN number and got a title issued in Texas. I sold the trailer as parts and thought I had ground off every serial number.
I have that same title on my trailer in Tennessee now!
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:21 AM   #11
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We're in California and agree with Lumatic and Apache_Camp. In our experience it really depends on who's line you end up in.

We purchased a trailer with only a bill of sale from the seller. We filled out an Application for Title or Registration and were informed that we also had to have the seller sign and complete a Statement of Facts form, stating that he was given the trailer by a friend and that he, in turn, was giving the trailer to us. So off we went to get the form filled out. When we returned we were worried that we would get the old bureaucratic run around since it would be highly unlikely that the same clerk would assist us. The second clerk spent what seemed like an inordinate amount of time perusing all three sentences on the Statement of Facts form (five minutes maybe?) and then sent us on our way to have the trailer inspected to confirm the VIN. Thirty minutes and a few hundred dollars later we were handed temporary operating tags and informed that the title would be mailed to us in approximately two weeks. We received the title before the two weeks were up!

We've found that one should never underestimate the power of a smile and kind words. Use all that innate charm you know you have, be patient, stay calm and hopefully things will work out.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:38 AM   #12
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Hi all,
I realize this is a very old threat but hoping someone can help me.
I recently purchased a 1960 Airstream from a guy in Seattle, for export to Melbourne. The ad stated there was no title, but after speaking to a friend who also imported one, she said it would be fine so long as I had a bill of sale. Not the case. So, the seller has an appt with the DMV to have it inspected and to get a lost title cert. I've spoken to someone at the DOL and she says there is no record of the vin on her system. So, what should I do? Is it possible as someone else said for the seller to fill in the affidavit and get a title that way? Is there any way I can get the history on the title and find out who it is titled to?
Any help would be much appreciated. It took me a long time to find the perfect trailer and I'm hoping I don't have to back out of it
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:07 AM   #13
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When your friend said that it would be fine with a bill of sale, was that a guess or what? Why do you say it's not true?
When you asked about importing the trailer, did you mention if Ira a vintage unit? Is it? I'n the US, rules are different for vintage units. Maybe it's the case in Australia.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:14 AM   #14
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Hi,
My friend honesty thought that I didn't need a title to export, and according to the shipping and export people I've dealt with, I do. Once in Australia, I just need a bill of sale to register - we don't have titles for trailers or cars over here.
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