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Old 04-09-2024, 04:23 PM   #1
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1966 30' Sovereign
Mount Dora , Florida
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Question SOS Title Help

Hi, I was gifted an airstream 5+ years ago from my dad who got it from a friend who has since passed. My dad being from a different generation did not obtain a title or bill of sale and the man he was gifted it from has since passed. I have 0 contact information for next of kin. I have since remodeled this airstream and am living in it but my husband and I would like to be able to travel one day (I have already been crucified on airstream facebook pages for renovating without the title so spare me). I reached out to airstream and they were able to help me translate my VIN but any data base I search to see if it is stolen says the format is incorrect. Can I do a bonded title? The weight is too much for a home-made trailer build. I really do not know what to do. Please offer suggestions. I am in Florida (which I have also been told is the worst state to acquire a title in).
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Old 04-09-2024, 07:50 PM   #2
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RE: SOS Title Help

Greetings Emmaroberson1! Welcome to the Forums!

Strict title states do put many hurdles in the road to obtaining titles for vehicles lacking titles. My understanding is that Florida does have a process for obtaining a bonded title, and there are two forms related to pursuing that process found on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles web site --

Form 82026 --Application for Bonded Title Affidavit
Form 82033 -- Title Security Bond for Motor Vehicle

You may have to do some detective work regarding the last known registered owner, but if your father knows the first and last name of that owner and the approximate date he or she passed away, you may be able to locate an obituary online that will provide you with leads to possible family members who may be willing to assist in your project. Depending upon the state's rules, obtaining the last known owner's full name and address (as much as you can find) may satisfy the rules given the age of the trailer. I suspect much of this may hinge on how helpful your local office is that handles titles and registration.

I know that I would certainly dread handling a problem like yours in Illinois, as we, too, are a strict title state.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:43 PM   #3
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If the trailer has BRNs (Big Red Numbers) or shadows of them you might be able to track down a previous owner through them. They are the membership number of the Airstream Club and can help you find previous owners if you are a member with access to the data.
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Old 04-10-2024, 07:06 AM   #4
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The search function is your friend. There are many threads on these forums discussing the same issue you have. Seems like I recall there being a quick and dirty solution, registering it in another state with much more relaxed rules (Maine, Vermont??). Try search terms such as "lost title" and "missing title," and you should get plenty of hits.

good luck!
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Old 04-10-2024, 09:22 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forums, you have a challenge ahead of you but there is probably a path forward. Realizing that Florida is not Colorado there could be several similarities. #1 - certified VIN inspection, done by State Patrol, you must take the trailer to them, may include a safety inspection so make sure your tailer brakes and breakaway switch function properly. #2 - bonded title, buy the bond online, will cost a couple hundred dollars. #3 - attempting to contact possible past owners, this can be challenging, the above suggestions all have merit. Some states allow you to run an add in the paper. #4 - be careful answering questions, for example, do not admit to having tampered with the VIN plate at all. Make sure YOU know what the VIN is. Know if it is stamped somewhere on the frame. #4 - be patient with the DMV personnel, they likely don't know what to do. Nicely ask to speak with the supervisor. I've been through some pretty ugly ones but always succeeded in the end. One took 18 months , 1946 Spartan parked on a ranch for 40 years.
Good luck, Mark D
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Old 04-21-2024, 06:30 PM   #6
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DON'T Give UP!

Back in 2018-19 I posted a wanted ad for the travel trailer that my parents brought us up camping in. I knew the one Dad owned was gone but wanted the exact model, knowing very few were made. Dad had # 7 made, Uncle had #12, Neighbor had # 20 and guy Dad worked with had #55, they were only made for 2 years is what I discovered.
Long story: I found one that was #78 and was in a barn since 1978, ORIGINAL!
Lady called me and said her BF bought a barn and contents and if I wanted this trailer I had 1 day to get it, I went BUT towed home on prayers and original tires 75 miles. Her BF wanted nothing to do with contents of barn so she thought camper was so cute she Googled and found me.....unbelievable.
Now I had a trailer with no proof of ownership so work started.
1) Find VIN and stamped VIN on frame. Take photos and then etch it onto heavy material to show it is real.
Next was getting lucky by having old plate the BMV did a background check to show not stolen...WHEW.
Getting the original owners name took alot of snooping and visiting old neighborhood the original owner lived in......I got lucky but still no "kin".
Obit worked and I got in contact with PO's Sister who told me kin's names.......OMG I CRIED.
The Son of original owner drove 200 miles(I gave him $$) just to see it, then went to BWV with me and I SHUT UP.

The Son simply stated Dad stored it and KIN forgot about it.
KISS........Keep It Simple Stupid

Don't DON'T VOLUNTEER any info to BMV.....Yes and No answers.
Legally after over 3 years the trailer was mine!
Yes BMV wants ALOT of info but the hardest part is finding close kin. Yes it might cost you a few bucks and even if you can't find VIN, Highway Patrol can help but I didn't have to go thru that.(Prior post explains perfect, you take to them)
Best for you is find ANYONE and keep good notes but when doing final transfer, BITE YOUR TONGUE OFF to anything you are 100% unsure of.
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Old 04-22-2024, 05:22 AM   #7
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Florida

I live in Florida. It's a very tough state without an old title to start. One of the guys bought an old Corvette that had been a race car and featured in some publications. But he didn't get a title and can never get it titled in Florida. I go with the suggestion to keep it simple, if possible have a relative or good friend who's in a soft state for trailer titles and have them register. At one time Minnesota was pretty easy going on trailers - maybe they still are. GOOD LUCK.
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Old 04-22-2024, 08:44 AM   #8
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I can attest in Minnesota getting our new camper registered required a bill of sale with the dealer signature, a title, and also residency. I don't know if there is a different process for untitled trailers.

I work for the State of Minnesota and I don't know if I'd give up on contacting the state authorities and see if they can help. I know here at least many government people are very helpful and not necessarily out to get you.
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