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Old 02-08-2008, 03:15 PM   #1
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Getting titles in Texas

Ok, we will see how this works.

I live in an area loaded with AS and other trailers. There is a guy who is getting them for scrap. Doing a "clean-up" type operation in the area. He does not care about titles because he is scrapping them. That hurts.

Is there a way to get a title in Texas? Lets say I find a 1952 (I know where about 20 total in the 50-60 range are) AS and get permission to remove it. What would be the steps to title it and restore? And would it be worth the hassle as a hobby?

I know, a hobby is something you spend money on, not make it.

I just hate to see good Airstreams getting cut up for scrap. I saw one 74' that looked like it was almost new cut to shreds.

Keep in mind, this is in Texas. I have reviewed the TxDot info on line, but don't see anything in this area to help.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Titles in Texas

Here's what I would try first - find out if you have the serial number from a unit and bring it to the local County Tax office - where you get your license plate renewals etc - can you from that apply for a "salvage" title. I don't know, but that's where I would start. When I bought mine I was told by the seller that a lot of the old units no longer have titles. Luckily I have one, but I have to jump through some hoops still to get it registered in Texas. It has to be weighed and inspecting for safety before they will register it.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:33 PM   #3
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Titles in Texas

Just checked my file - you have to complete Texas form 130-U - Application for Texas Certification of Title. On the back of the form you are instructed to contact your local County Tax Assessor-Collector - and/or contact Austin - the phone number in Austin for title and/or registration information is 512/465-7611.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:26 PM   #4
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Hey tkendall, Viva Terlingua!

If AS coaches really are growing on trees out there, I might be interested in salvaging one as well. I'd be willing to trade services by helping with any legwork you might need here in Austin, although I think it's likely your local tax assessor/collector office will be the most help.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:21 AM   #5
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Revisiting this because I'm considering purchasing an out-of-state trailer with no title, only Bill of Sale.

Has anyone in Texas obtained a Texas title in this type of instance before and, if so, what are the general steps and how difficult/time-consuming is it? I've heard that in Texas it can be pretty tough, but don't know for sure.

Thanks!

-Marcus
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:41 AM   #6
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Bumping this one to see if any Texans out there have any ideas? I'm getting closer to sealing the deal, but don't want to make a mistake that I can't get out of...

Thanks!

-Marcus
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:58 AM   #7
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Honestly, if it were me, I wouldn't do it. If it's anything at all like trying to re-title a boat in this state, (it's borderline impossible) you may end up forever chasing your tail. I've heard Travis County is particularly difficult to deal with in this regard. If the seller can provide proof of ownership to his own state and obtain a replacement title in their name, it would make it infinitely less difficult for you going forward when you go to transfer it.

But unless this is the one, I'd sit back and wait for the next one - with proper documentation - to come along. Otherwise you may spend more time hung up in Texas' bureaucratic flypaper than you will enjoying your purchase.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:31 AM   #8
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Thanks Dave, I appreciate the input. Not really what I wanted to hear, but it's not the first time I've heard something similar.

-Marcus
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:04 AM   #9
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I purchased a car in El Paso years ago and they could not provide a title. There are two ways you can do this. If you know who the last registered owners were, and dmv might be able to give you this information, you can apply for a bonded title. This is where you put up an insurance bond based on the approximate value of the coach as it is today. The only drawback would be if the people decide to claim the unit and the ins. co has to pay off. Using this method, do not do anything for one year to the unit, this is the time frame they have to file a claim on the unit. The second method and the best in my opinion, if you have a friend who has a mechanics shop, is to file a mechanics lien on the unit. You send a registered letter to the last owners address with a substantial amt of money owed to the shop. This has to be done twice if you get no response from the first letter. Have you friend take both letters and a copy of a "bill" to the county tax assessor's office and they will issue the title in his name. He then transfers the title to you. I have used both methods. The last one was on a 63 Buick Riviera that had been parked in a garage in 1975. The owner passed away and his son was selling the car but could not find the title. I have him 1/2 of what he wanted for the car and a year to furnish the title to get the rest of the money. Never heard from him again. Cost of car 1000.00, cost of title 135.50, value of next door neighbor who owned a transmission shop, priceless. Good luck in your endeavor. Ross
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:55 AM   #10
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Thanks rceptx, that's not very encouraging either, as I don't really have any mechanic friends. I also don't have much desire to purchase a trailer and then let it sit for a year.

Thanks for all input though, I appreciate the responses.
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
Revisiting this because I'm considering purchasing an out-of-state trailer with no title, only Bill of Sale.
Thanks!

-Marcus
You might end up doing more work on obtaining that title than you will do on the actual restoration! But before you go there, first things first. How are you planning on getting it into Texas? Looks like you'll have to have it towed in on a trailer or you risk catching a ticket and a fine!

§ 501.022. CERTIFICATE OF TITLE REQUIRED.

(a) The owner of a motor vehicle registered in this state may not operate or permit the operation of the vehicle on a public highway until the
owner obtains a certificate of title for the vehicle or until the
owner obtains registration for the vehicle if a receipt evidencing
title to the vehicle is issued under Section 501.029(b).

(b) A person may not operate a motor vehicle registered in
this state on a public highway if the person knows or has reason to
believe that the owner has not obtained a certificate of title for
the vehicle.

(c) The owner of a motor vehicle that is required to be
registered in this state must apply for a certificate of title of
the vehicle before selling or disposing of the vehicle.

(d) Subsection (c) does not apply to a motor vehicle
operated on a public highway in this state with a metal dealer's
license plate or a dealer's or buyer's temporary cardboard tag
attached to the vehicle as provided by Chapter 503.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
Revisiting this because I'm considering purchasing an out-of-state trailer with no title, only Bill of Sale.

Has anyone in Texas obtained a Texas title in this type of instance before and, if so, what are the general steps and how difficult/time-consuming is it? I've heard that in Texas it can be pretty tough, but don't know for sure.

Thanks!

-Marcus
Should you choose to accept this mission: you're going to have to apply for a certificate of title with your local tax assessor collector. Since the trailer will be brought in from out of state there will be additional requirements. And because you will only have a bill of sale rather than a certificate of title possibly even further requirements. (BTW trailer is included in the definition of motor vehicle.)

§ 501.030. MOTOR VEHICLES BROUGHT INTO STATE.

(a) Before a motor vehicle that was last registered or titled in
another state or country may be titled in this state, the applicant
must furnish the county assessor-collector with a verification form
under Section 548.256.

(e) Before a motor vehicle that is required to be registered
in this state and that is brought into this state by a person other
than a manufacturer or importer may be bargained, sold,
transferred, or delivered with an intent to pass an interest in the
vehicle or encumbered by a lien, the owner must apply for a
certificate of title on a form prescribed by the department to the
county assessor-collector for the county in which the transaction
is to take place. The assessor-collector may not issue a title
receipt unless the applicant delivers to the assessor-collector
satisfactory evidence of title showing that the applicant is the
owner of the vehicle and that the vehicle is free of any undisclosed
liens.

(g) Until an applicant has complied with this section:

(1) a county assessor-collector may not accept an
application for certificate of title; and
(2) the applicant is not entitled to an appeal as
provided by Sections 501.052 and 501.053.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

§ 548.256. VERIFICATION FORM REQUIRED TO REGISTER
VEHICLE.

(a) Before a vehicle that is brought into this state by a
person other than a manufacturer or importer may be registered, the
owner must have the vehicle inspected and have the inspection
station record the following information on a verification form
prescribed and provided by the department:

(1) the vehicle identification number;
(2) the number appearing on the odometer of the
vehicle at the time of the inspection, if the vehicle has an
odometer; and
(3) other information the department requires.

(b) An inspection station may not issue the verification
form unless the vehicle complies with the inspection requirements
of this chapter.

Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 967, § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:28 PM   #13
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Thanks Todd, did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express recently?


-Marcus
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
Thanks Todd, did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express recently?


-Marcus
Huh? I'm a little slow today?

Congrats on obtaining rivet master status!
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:39 PM   #15
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Gee, thanks, didn't even realize it. I bet I'm the only "Rivet Master" who doesn't have an Airstream. I guess I'm one chatty mofo.

The joke about Holiday Inn Express is that you appear to have all of the answers...
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:15 PM   #16
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Probably better to have rivet master status and still be looking than four rivet status and a frameless trailer! No worries you'll find one. Wise to do the research. I probably should have looked before leaping...but I like leaping...it's where I got the scars.
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkendall
Ok, we will see how this works.

I live in an area loaded with AS and other trailers. There is a guy who is getting them for scrap. Doing a "clean-up" type operation in the area. He does not care about titles because he is scrapping them. That hurts.

Is there a way to get a title in Texas? Lets say I find a 1952 (I know where about 20 total in the 50-60 range are) AS and get permission to remove it. What would be the steps to title it and restore? And would it be worth the hassle as a hobby?

I know, a hobby is something you spend money on, not make it.

I just hate to see good Airstreams getting cut up for scrap. I saw one 74' that looked like it was almost new cut to shreds.

Keep in mind, this is in Texas. I have reviewed the TxDot info on line, but don't see anything in this area to help.
Rceptex's methods are viable options for sure. There are two possessory type lien situations in Texas: a garageman's lein and a worker's lein. The garageman's lein carries a right to force a sale, after proper notice, whereas the worker's lein carries a simple right of possession, repossession in some cases, until payment is received in full.

The bond scenerio happens in a situation where the department of motor vehicles refuses to issue a title after an application is filed. There an applicant has a right to a hearing before the local assessor-collector and may submit evidence. Or the applicant may file a bond in an amount equal to one and one-half times the value of the vehicle. Such a bond would expire on the third anniversary of the date the bond became effective.

Of course it seems like the simplest way, although not possible in your scenerio, would be to find the owner and have them make an application for a lost or destroyed certificate of title. In some situations it might be possible to make an application for a salvage motor vehicle certificate. And then after repairs an application for certificate of title by the rebuilder of a salvage vehicle!

Interestingly a salvage dealer that receives a properly assigned certificate of title is required to submit to the DMV a report stating that the vehicle will be scrapped and accompanied by the certificate of title. So check with the salvage dealer he's probably not supposed to be scrapping vehicles without some form of title and a report to DMV. And for obvious reasons...
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque
In some situations it might be possible to make an application for a salvage motor vehicle certificate.

Interestingly a salvage dealer that receives a properly assigned certificate of title is required to submit to the DMV a report stating that the vehicle will be scrapped accompanied by the certificate of title.
Brings up an interesting point. If you were wanting to insure a vehicle with a salvage title, would you be able to find an insurance company willing to do it?
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bake315
Brings up an interesting point. If you were wanting to insure a vehicle with a salvage title, would you be able to find an insurance company willing to do it?
I'm sure somebody would take your money. But keep in mind a person with a salvage title may not operate it on a public highway, even in Texas.

A person who holds a salvage vehicle title for a motor vehicle:

(1) is entitled to possess, transport, dismantle,
scrap, destroy, repair, rebuild, reconstruct, record a lien on, and sell, transfer, or release ownership of the motor vehicle or a used part from the motor vehicle; and

(2) may not operate or permit the operation of the
motor vehicle on a public highway, in addition to any other requirement of law.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:40 PM   #20
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Do you have a friend in New York state? I bought an Airstream without a title,in New York and had a temperary title and licence in 20 minutes. It had to be made out in his name for 5 weeks for a title search, then he sold it to me and I took it across the border and licenced it Ontario where they are very hard to deal with without the original title.
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