Lost title, lost cause?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Lost title, lost cause?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gale Bray on Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 09:29 pm:

A TT is for sale by daughter and wife of passed (dead) owner. It has been parked for over 20 years. Is it next to impossible to get titles with a bill of sale? I didn't know if being an antique makes a difference.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:10 pm:

It's a pain in the butt, but not a lost cause. According to your profile you're in California. You can try using a Statement of Facts along with a Bill of Sale. If that doesn't work you can always get a title bond.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:17 pm:

If it was in the husbands name why not have the wife get the title or papers to transfer ownership. She should have all the proper papers to show she is the owner.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:48 pm:

Lost title means that a title was issued and recorded with the DMV but the owner has misplaced the paper title.

If that is the case, then the seller should apply for a replacement title which is typically a very easy procedure.

If the owner has passed away, then the executor of his estate has the power to apply for the replacement title and transfer the title to the person who inherited the vehicle or sell the vehicle depending on the terms of the will, etc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gale Bray on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 02:28 am:

Thanks. Unfortunately, I think the sellers are too unmotivated or timid to apply for a duplicate title. At this point they are still looking for the orig. I wanted some information so I could decide what was possible on my end before walking away or pushing them. I will encourage them, and see what I can do to help before giving up.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 03:48 am:

Gale, I sent you a private message explaining how I got the title for my '15 Touring, which was in nearly identical circumstances as the TT you are looking at.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Lonnie Smith Baxter MN on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 07:24 am:

If it was in MN it would be easy and cheap, I've done it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Otto on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 09:38 am:

In Washington State I acquired a vehicle (70's Ford truck)with a missing title and deceased owner. The wife of the deceased had to go to DMV with me to show a death certificate. After that, DMV issued a new title in my name. Wasn't too hard.
Some states even have a AVP (Abandoned vehicle Process) that you can run the VIN number through, follow their process for a determined length of time and if no one contests the vehicle, they will issue you a title.
Just my .02 cents and experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 09:43 am:

Best bet? Have her apply for a replacement title. If one existed she'll be able to get a new one. Never titled is another tale.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 10:06 am:

Gale, since your interested in the TT I would tell the owner that you would buy it if they would deduct the cost of getting a title from the price of the TT Truck and that you would go with her to help her get it done.

If she can prove she is now the owner of the truck that would seem to be the answer but some people find it hard to getting a title if they don't have much desire to do so.

Hopefully you can convince her to get one. You may have to recommend some ways for her to do it. Some people are just that way.

If she can prove she is now the owner that would be a start. But if she cant the best bet is to go through a bonded title service. They have all the answers with this type of situation.

I didn't have anything for my 21 T to show or prove it was my car. Nothing. I used a bonded title service and I finally got a title. But that's here in Texas. Don't know about any other state.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 10:14 am:

Nice old person doesn't cut it at the DMV. You buy it without a title and you've actually paid for the "privilege" not only of proving that you own it but the she owned before you and had the right to sell it. You'll be surprised at how quick those nice old folks get tired of you bothering them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 01:01 pm:

Here's what I would do: get the serial number off the truck as well as the gentleman's name and take that information down to the DMV. Pick an office that isn't too busy and one where the workers are experienced. Explain to them that you're looking at buying an antique truck that hasn't been on the road in decades, the title has been missing for years and the man who last bought it has passed away. Ask if there's any way you could get it titled in your name after purchasing it. If there is, then do all of those steps. If not, I would either walk away from it or if I wanted it badly enough I'd get it and replace the engine block with one that has its papers in order.

As I understand it, the process for doing this varies from state to state and I bet it even varies some between offices in the same state. Do remember that the DMV holds all the cards on this so there is no guarantee that something you were told on the internet will work for you.

Good luck, let us know how it all works out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 01:33 pm:

Here's where you could call for the information you need.
California Auto Title Services.
Their website is Californiaautotitle.com

Good luck!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 02:26 pm:

OK guys, If I sound a bit peeved, I am, I have mentioned numerous times in other threads that what works in your state does NOT necessarily work in another state. In California, a non-registered vehicle, unless it has been opted into the non-operation status system is lost after about 3 years. Despite the believed fact that the registration still exists on a microfiche somewhere, the CA DMV does not & will not research an old title for you. They purge their computers frequently, Gale will not be able to have the TT title searched, all she will be able to do is have the VIN checked for theft or duplication. I sent her a PM telling how I got the registration for my '15 T touring, which had been in a barn since 1961, the owner had passed, and his widow had no idea where the paperwork was, or had been. Sounds just like her situation. And I recommend she use a professional title company, just as John suggested. While it can cost between $200-$200 it is worth it for getting through the poorly trained DMV clerks, who can make your life miserable. I know they did (make life miserable)for the City of Oroville and their 1922 Buick--which they still had the pink slip, the records of transfer to the city and all the documentation to prove the Buick sat in the Lott Home Museum Garage since the city quit paying the registration about 1977(because the engine quit running). It took over a year to get that mess fixed, all because of one Clerk who likes to be the south end of a north-facing horse. The District manager finally straightened things out--and that was how they treated a City!
ALL my T projects are registered, and on the non-op program until I get them running. Registration fees in CA are too high (My '25 costs me over $77/yr) to keep them current! BTW, if you're in CA, the vehicle code exempts antique cars from the penalties and collection of back registration, if the car has not been operated on streets. This is often a hassle, because the uniformed clerks automatically go for the money.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gale Bray on Friday, February 12, 2016 - 10:00 pm:

Thanks everyone so much for the advice. A local friend I talked to today said exactly what David told me; Calif purges all record of vehicles not registered within the past 10 years. He said he had sellers fill out a statement of facts and bill of sale. He had no problem getting a title for the old farm truck his neighbor gave him. My seller is still searching, bless her, but I made an offer with a worst case scenario planned. We will see what pans out. Again, thanks to you all. We live in a tiny ag area, so I suspect old farm trucks are not unusual at our DMV.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 02:42 am:

Most of what David D says, I know to be true. I am not sure about the three years. I have been also told both five and seven years by DMV employees. I also know them to not be very reliable with their information.
Something I would add to the Califunny story. It used to be well known in this state that a huge fire in 1948 or '49 destroyed all of the archived records at that time. The state had to reconstruct all new records from the current records of the day. Because the state lost all those records, almost any car built before 1948 can be re-titled without a lot of trouble. Even the DMV told me years ago, that if they could not find current information on a specific car, the had to assume that all record of it was lost in the fire.
Good luck Gale B!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerome Hoffman, Hays Kansas on Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 02:02 pm:

Tail if the sellers are that unmotivated give them 800 bucks and say it would be worth more with a title. Then get a title for a different engine number. AKA buying lots of parts that just happen to be all bolted together.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Dugger on Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 05:17 pm:

Gale" Well I had a post to put in here but screwed it up
I have a 1919 Touring that was a basket case. It had to have a lot of work to get it on the road. It had no title. I had a bill of sale and went to the Red Bluff, Cal DNV and presented the facts.
Bill of sale and a report from the CHP and my YOM plates. In about 2 weeks had the new title and was ready to go. Have had a lot of fun ever since.
You may have to take to the Local CHP and have them to verify the engine number. You will have to get form from DMV, and make sure the CHP officer signs the the paper work with name and badge #
Good luck and enjoy the ride and hobby and look at my profile for the Hack that I have


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 05:48 pm:

Gale, WARNING: In my area, the local CHP officer that verifies titles is a pain in the @#!!! He will cause you more grief than you can believe; maybe the guy/gal in your area is better; but any police officer can verify the title, ask around old car folks in your area, they'll be able to tell you who to see. I still strongly suggest a title service, especially if you haven't done this kind of thing before. As I stated, I've done many, but my last one was through a title service, as the CA DMV has made titling more difficult in the past few years. I still think it was money well-spent; and you can ask anyone that knows me, I don't spend money well! (I AM CHEAP!, not fugal!) :-)
(that's my 2)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 01:23 am:

I do so hope you get the T your wishing for!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gary hammond on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 07:17 am:

Look the vehicle over really closely, many owners leave titles in the car ''so they can be found''.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Husted on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 10:50 am:

Get the probate court Judge to sign an order telling DMV to issue a certificate.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gale Bray on Monday, February 15, 2016 - 09:33 pm:

Well, I got the truck cheap enough that if I have to go the more expensive route, I'm not upside down. Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I am a very optimistic person (aka, fool?) So I am going to first throw myself on the mercy of our very nice DMV clerks. It will work out...it will work out...it will work out. Ommmmmm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 09:37 am:

Congratulations and good luck! :-)


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