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rslaymaker 06-16-2003 05:22 PM

Vintage Registration
I purchased a 1965 Airstream Safari from an individual in Georgia last year. At that time, I received a bill of sale, which I verified was ok for the state of Georgia. Now that I have relocated the camper to my home in Pennsylvania I am experiencing difficulty in obtaining a registration and license plate.

This is a synopsis of my story...

I went to AAA in Pennsylvania to obtain a license plate and they indicated that I would need to have a registration from the state of Georgia (FYI, the title is not available and was not required for trailers of that vintage)

I called the person that I purchased the trailer from and he sent me the Georgia registration

I returned to AAA, at that time the representative indicated that I would need a copy of the VIN. I stated that the trailer did not have a VIN (only the serial number). I was asked to provide an image of the plaque that had the serial number.

I returned to AAA, at that time they indicated that the plaque with the serial number did not have the trailer's weight. I showed them a copy of my 1965 owner's manual and they gave me a form to have filled out regarding the weight. I asked who would weigh the trailer, the AAA representative suggested that I take the camper to the camper store.

Today, I went to the camper store and they indicated that they would not weigh the trailer and based on the owner's manual know what the loaded weight would be (assuming the manual listed the unloaded weight). They pointed me to a trucking company to obtain a weight. Bottom line, the document provided by AAA will not be filled out.

I would appreciate any assistance or suggestion that you may have.


Robert Slaymaker

JPAIRSTREAM 06-16-2003 05:55 PM

My 1972 has a plaque on the rs front segment at the bottom. I am not sure that the 65 would have this but it is worth a shot. This is if you have not already looked in this area..

Here in Ohio we have alot of certified scales. whether these be at truck stops or a grain mill do you have any of these options?

rslaymaker 06-16-2003 06:50 PM

I am just concerned that the weigh station will only give me the unladen weight (I also need the registered gross weight, inspector's signature, and inspector's mechanic number). I don't think the people at the weigh station will be able or willing to sign off on this form.

I thank you for your response and I will look around for the other plaque you mentioned.

flyfshr 06-16-2003 07:05 PM

For some reason, every state seems to have a different rule book on trailers. It may be best that you get the trailer registered and plated in GA as originally planned. You will have to use a friend's or relative's GA address. Once you have the GA plate in hand, it should be much easier to transfer it to PA. At least one would hope so.

Good luck. Let us know how this works out.


FranyPul 03-29-2005 11:04 PM

Similar Situation
Hi all,

I'm in a similar situation. I've got a '67 Sovereign that I was told didn't need a title because of it's age. How does one verify this? And while I don't have any registration, I do have a bill of sale, which I was told is good enough for registering it in Florida, but is apparently not good enough in Wisconsin. The DMV said I needed the title... Any thoughts?


overlander64 03-29-2005 11:18 PM

Vintage Registration
Greetings Kim!


Originally Posted by FranyPul
Hi all,

I'm in a similar situation. I've got a '67 Sovereign that I was told didn't need a title because of it's age. How does one verify this? And while I don't have any registration, I do have a bill of sale, which I was told is good enough for registering it in Florida, but is apparently not good enough in Wisconsin. The DMV said I needed the title... Any thoughts?


If you haven't already tried, I would suggest taking all of the paperwork that you have on the coach and pay a personal visit to one of the DMV offices. One of the offices in a more rural area may be a bit more helpful - - they should have a rather thick reference book that lists all of the states' rules for establishing vehicle ownership (sometimes when questioned on the phone the answers are less precise than when the customer is present to observe the transaction). If my experience when bringing my Overlander into Wisconsin from Illinois (in 1995) is any indicator, it would also be helpful to have your local police or sheriff's department complete the VIN verification report form prior to visiting the DMV office -- my Overlander had a valid Illinois title, but there were several discrepancies that needed correction.

Good luck with your investigation!


fireflyinva 03-30-2005 08:57 AM

Trailers older than titles

I got my '61 in New York under similar circumstances. The PO notified me of this when we first looked at the trailer. We had a week between putting down our deposit and picking it up. We both ended up spending a whole lot of time on the phone with the depts of motor vehicles headquarters in both VA and in NY. I was fortunate to reach someone in New York who gave me references to the laws governing the transfer. I ended up going to a local law school, looking up the laws and making photocopies.

This was invaluable. Getting temporary plates in NY, then permanents in VA took a couple of hours at each place (and more time to correct that they sent us the wrong plate in VA). Add in more time for fussing with our vanity plates. But ultimately, having the rules printed out made the process easier. Your average desk clerk probably won't know how to manage the transfer--but the shift manager should be able to figure out what to do if presented with the regulation. Go in with patience, paperwork and polite resolve. If they can't figure it out, don't get upset, just ask them to make you an appointment with the head of the office so everyone can sort it out.

There is a book that has all the different state motor vehicle rules. That's the book I copied, it's considered as a DMV bible--and unfortunately, I don't recall what it was called. If I remember, I'll try to post it.

The good thing was that Virginia DMV issued us a title! The deal is, they are only trying to prevent the registration of stolen property. To me, that's ok.


Condoluminum 03-30-2005 09:57 AM

AAA may not be the answer
In Calif, our AAA gave up and refuses to get involved in any registration or titling of out of state vehicles, including Airstreams...

There is process and paperwork on our DMV Web site for "Verification" form which you can take to local police station and have sworn officer verify by signing serial number and weight numbers from plate... After that, it's a trip to DMV with stack of papers, a smile and a "Thanks for being sympathetic and trying to help me.." attitude.. There is still confusion at DMV, as there are 3 categories of trailers to code unit into, and taxes and fees range from $15 for five year license at low end ("Utility Trailer") through travel trailer to mobile home at several thousand $$/year.. Took further negotiation to get into lower category of travel trailer code... Keep smiling.. :D

If all that fails, West Virginia has reputation for easier registration than PA, and it may be possible to rent mailbox there, get title and plates, and then transfer to PA, after dumping a $100 or so in fees...

Good luck..

FranyPul 04-05-2005 08:45 PM

Thanks to everyone for you great suggestions. I'll let you know what happens.


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