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Old 03-18-2014, 10:52 AM   #1
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Hello everyone! My husband and I live in SC and have dreamed about an airstream for ever. We ended up buying a damaged one on ebay with the intent of slowly rebuilding it then spending our summers having weekends full of adventure...of course things never go as planned and we are now embroiled in a very bitter dispute with the seller of "Rosie" (what we called our airstream, Rosie the Wreck Yes, I know, Buyer Beware and we definitely should have known better, but we now have a 2006 19' Bambi that come to find out has a certificate of destruction on it and can never be titled/registered. Aside from the obvious frustration of having a lousy dishonest person out there who sold it to us, it's EXTREMELY frustrating because she isn't in any way totaled! She was towed from Orlando to here with no problems (a 7 hour drive), her brakes work, light work, etc. The damage is cosmetic along one side. So our next thought is to possible do a rebuild and apply for a new VIN number but we aren't sure what the minimum amount of new parts is to qualify or this is even a possibility. Any thoughts/insights etc are much long as its not a criticism of us buying a vehicle on ebay because trust me, we are WELL aware of how naïve and dumb we were! Thank you

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Old 03-18-2014, 10:58 AM   #2
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:07 AM   #3
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Question: Is a Certificate of Destruction considered legal proof that it was destroyed? If so, then the previous owner is guilty of fraud since obviously it WASN'T destroyed. Possibly twice, once when he didn't destroy it, once when he sold it under false pretenses. That takes it out of the realm of a civil dispute and puts it in the realm of criminal prosecution. Talk to an attorney, and see if you want to swear out a complaint against him. Unlike a civil case, if charges are filed against him he's prosecuted by the State and you don't have to appear as plaintiffs, only as witnesses.

But aside from that, talk to your local DMV to see what the requirements are for salvage title in your state.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:34 AM   #4
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There are ways around that, however, depending on SC law, you may need a trusted partner in a different state to get it done.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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From Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

A certificate of destruction, which authorizes the dismantling or destruction of the vehicle or vessel described therein, shall be reassignable a maximum of two times before dismantling or destruction of the vehicle shall be required, and shall accompany the vehicle or vessel for which it is issued, when such vehicle or vessel is sold for such purposes, in lieu of a certificate of title. The application for a certificate of destruction must include proof of reporting to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and an affidavit from the applicant that it has complied with all applicable requirements of this section and, if the vehicle or vessel is not registered in this state or any other state, by a statement from a law enforcement officer that the vehicle or vessel is not reported stolen, and shall be accompanied by such documentation as may be required by the department.
) Any person who violates the provisions of subsections (8) through (11) is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) Any person who uses a false or fictitious name, gives a false or fictitious address, or makes any false statement in any application or affidavit required under the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
it sounds like you need to retain an attorney. Ask for your money back nicely, then threaten to file a complaint against the seller with the local PD, he is guilty of a felony if the title of destruction did not accompany the trailer and not disclosing it.

to get a re-built title on a salvaged trailer, its not about re-building a certain percent. its about having the dmv inspect it and determine it is roadworthy and rebuilt. take photos to document your work, keep your receipts. But i would clarify with the SC DMV if you can re-build before doing so.

Edit: I believe what J Morgan is suggesting is title washing, which would be illegal.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:21 PM   #6
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Assuming that you want to keep her and rebuild/repair her, I would start by calling your state DMV office and find out if you can get a title in SC. Explain that you bought it out of state, and exactly what the title says. Laws vary from state to state, and while it may have been a requirement of Florida to have the trailer destroyed, SC may not look it it the same way if you can rebuild it.

If the SC DMV says no way you can get a title no matter what you do, then you can decide how to proceed.

Best of luck!!

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Old 03-18-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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I agree but would add to check with the state that issued the cod and ask why it was issued as to weather it was an insurance and damage issue or legal such as drug, or other criminal cause which requires that it be destroyed. The contact the sc dmv for further guidance and be very patient as you know they may not have a short fuse but when ignited you lose.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NJtoNC View Post
From Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
Edit: I believe what J Morgan is suggesting is title washing, which would be illegal.
Wassamaddawichyou? Doncha know what friends and family are for?

Try, for example, Alabama, especially if you keep the trailer for a couple of more years.

Georgia is another state to try for "modified" plates.

Where there is a will there is a way - especially if the intent is not to defraud.


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