I live in Pennsylvania, I have my 1925 model T coupe about finished, it has no title and likely has not been titled for many many years. I'm sure a lot of these T's have been brought back with no/ lost titles. Since there is no vin.#, how and who can do this service for me?. I know it can be costly but I must have a good Pennsylvania title.
Thomas: the motor number is used as a VIN here is a thread from last year that provides a lot of info
forgot to add link
Use the engine number, if necessary stamp it on the frame near the firewall, drivers side. The AAA are usually the easiest though it may cost some funds for a insurance policy to ensure the number is unique.
The VIN is the number on the block. Sorry to hear that you are almost done and now have to get a title. There was a guy over on Ford Barn in the same boat (but in NJ), like someone said; pay attention to the guys responding from your state, they are the ones that will know. Every state is different.
This is a reminder to everyone, it's a good idea to get the title/paper work for your state in order before you start restoring the car not after.
Just take a look...
Be glad you don't live in North Carolina.
You will probably get several responses to your question. Most info will be worthless to you because each state's laws are different.
Go on line and look up what PA requires for titling an antique car. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE CONTACTING THE STATE! I used to live in PA and never had an issue but then again I NEVER offered any paperwork or information that they did not request or require. Most agents don't know the antique car laws so make sure when you do your homework you make copies of anything that may aid your case. DON'T go in with an attitude and you'll be OK
As stated by Dennis their all different. Ask first but you'll probably need a few pics, front & back + both sides. Eng. # is the VIN. Possible pic of that couldn't hurt either. Remember: They know NOTHING about your antique car. There will be no records or anything they can refer to so find out exactly what's required and submit that and nothing more. Good Luck. It just might be a breeze.
I live in Pennsylvania and it is a notoriously difficult state to revive a paper trail to establish ownership. If a title search shows that it is titled in someone else's name, a court order will be needed to establish ownership after attempting to contact that owner and next of kin if that owner is dead.
You've got an uphill battle that is going to take a lot of time and handholding. Go to the local DMV and ask for a supervisor to find out what is actually needed. They seem to have some discretion.
Your only other option would be to look into starting a paper trail in another state with more lenient laws and transfer it back in.
Good luck. And keep us updated.
The process you describe will get you an antique license plate in PA, but that is predicated on establishing ownership.
Even getting a plate is not a breeze in PA!
Yes, pay attention to ONLY what folks from your state recommend; every state is different.
IF you think you'll need a VIN number not on the engine (like the DMV here in California insists on), "find" such a number stamped on the top of your frame on the PASSENGER side under the floorboards, about 4" from the motor pan arm. Said number should probably be the number on your engine block, IF that number corresponds to 1925 production.
Now Ford didn't actually stamp the number there until 1926, but "someone must have been experimenting with the idea as many cars have been found with that number there." And I've never heard of the number stamping being challenged. My '16 has the number there, so the "experimenting" must have happened early on--maybe the "dealer" did it??
I hope you get my drift. . . .
Like Dennis said... be careful what info you give to the DMV. In some states it is a very serious offense
to have an "open" title in your possession.
Well thanks guys, I have done some search and talked to others but figured this was a good place to ask. I know I have to go through my state and it seems I may have to have a lawyer partition the court and the fee is substantial, be what it will I knew what I was getting into. As far as the engine # I know it is a 1923 so is not original to the '25. I have titled kit cars, car built from scratch and the laws in Pa. have changed much over the last 40 years! Never had a problem so far with my state, but then this is the first bought with a "bill of sale" only!
Hmm, Interesting that your state goes to such lengths--and I thought Califunny was bad. I hope your search included talking to other old car owners; at least here, older cars actually have some exemptions to the rules, especially the fines!
You may find it best to locate a 1925 block and use it's number for your VIN number (having the block in hand pretty much assures that that number isn't in use already, but like everything, there's no guarantee, just the odds are much more in your favor.
Do let us know how it goes.
Bill of sale will work IF you bought the car from a non-title state.
Sorry, not true. Been there, done that.
I live in Pa. and have been looking into the process myself. I assembled my car from parts so I don't have a title either. I've been told at the DMV that I'll need to take the car to an enhanced inspection station and they do the paperwork. This part was a little fuzzy but, it sounds like you get a car title for an "assembled car" and they'll call it a 2017 model. They also issue a special tag that you mount somewhere on the car. I explained that my car isn't a kit car and its built from original parts to original specs. I guess in the end the car will have a legal title and can be driven on public roads. I've been told by another source that Pa. didn't start registrations until 1923. I don't know if that's anything in a direction of another option or not. If it gets too ridiculous, I won't get it titled. I have enough forest roads around to drive on. Since I made the car, it's special to me and I'm not worried about selling because its staying til I'm in the ground someday.
You have violated the first rule of dealing with the Licensing people: NEVER volunteer information! Especially "I put it together myself!"
Out here in Califuuny (your state WILL vary) back many decades ago I helped re-assemble a 1927 Rolls Royce (American built-yes, they were made here for a short time) that had been taken apart back in the 1950s, maybe 1960s. Other than the body, it was all the original parts (and believe me, RR serial numbered almost everything, even the shock absorbers!). The owner decided to get the title and license clear up by himself. Well, the local office declared it an "assembled vehicle" and gave it a build date of 1995 (that's how far back this went). Took me calling the State main office, finding a clerk who's father restored old cars, so she had a sympathetic ear, and we were able to get it straightened out as a 1927 car. It helped that the car's purchase story was published in a book about the American RR.
Model T content here: the car was purchased new by the president of the Warford Transmission company. The book documented the car's trip across the US, including having the front shocks replaced during the trip. This car's front shocks were numbered differently than the rest of the car, matching the story!
So NEVER tell them the car was assembled from parts! On my '16, which was in pieces when I got it, the only thing we told them (which was true) is that the Widow I bought it from could not find her Husband's paperwork, and the car had been stored in her barn since 1959, and not operated on any streets. That part of the story is true, just some minor details (Her husband had disassembled the car) were glossed over.
Just give enough facts to satisfy the legal questions, do not elaborate! That rule should apply to ANY state.
BTW, on my '16 we had to dig the big barn doors out of the dirt to get the parts out! They hadn't been opened in decades, only the "man door" worked.
One of the simplest ways to get a lost title for a antique vehicle is to go through a bonded title service that deals with classic and antique cars.
I have restored 2 T's from parts and used a bonded title service for both of them. I didn't have a bill of sale, title or anything. Both of my cars are restored to pretty much original condition with the correct engine for the year of the car.
Each state is a little different so be prepared to do some head scratching if you spend a little money and don't use a bonded title service.
I live in Texas and used a good bonded title service. They can save you time and misery and know what to do and most importantly what NOT to do.
There should be some bonded title services in PA.
It saved me from a lot of head scratching, asking the wrong questions at the DMV and lots of time.
John gives GOOD advice. Although I am familiar with dealing with the CA DMV, as you can tell from my previous postings, when it came to getting the title for Barney (all I had was a bill of sale and statement of non-operation from the seller) I used a title service. Cost me, I think (it's been a few years!) about $200, but well worth it. They did ALL the leg work, and my pink slip and license came in the mail. Sooo easy!!
Now getting the YOM plates for him, well, that's another story! (took 2 trips to the office and many sawbucks)
To anyone here in NC don't get encouraged about bonding for a title here. I inquired and was told " If you had the necessary info you wouldn't need to bond."
Having a good clear title makes my '21 worth even more here in NC.
If the USA needed an enema NC is where the hose would be inserted.
You are 100% right. If I try it again, I'll go at it from some other angle. The DMV asked where the car came from so I told the truth. I had a bill of sale for an engine and another bill of sale for a frame with a rear axle. All the rest came from auctions, swap meets, trades, vendors, etc. If taking my car out on tours was a goal, I'd be in a big mess. Heck, even in a rural area and less than five minutes on the road in a modern car gets my blood boiling with texting drivers, catch-up and tailgate drivers and name your own speed limit drivers.
Have you tried Broadway Title???
Eric: I think if they say your car is a 2017, it will have to meet 2017 EPA standards. Be careful what you tell them.
Broadway Title, is that the one in Birmingham Al? Alabama does not issue titles for anything older than 1975. That is when they started titles here. Dan
Another option would be as stated earlier, find someone you trust in GEorgia to send you a GA DMV bill of sale as they don't require titles on cars prior to 1963. I had to do this on my 1963 Galaxie that came from GA. I had one extra step to get the state to make sure my 63 had never been titled. But with that, Wav gave me a title. Might work for PA. - Matt
Cardinal rule with DMV's: never under any circumstances tell them you assembled it from parts. This comes under the heading titled things they don't need to know.
You guys are great as usual, I got a phone call from a local T owner builder and he gave me some advise that I will try tomorrow. I had already got in touch with "Broadway title" this after noon, not cheap or simple so that is on hold. Broadway is now in Maine, a family member used them several years ago no problem but the title issued was for Maine tho' they were at that time in Alabama! And the price has gone way up!thanks again, I'll report what luck I have here in Pa.
There are something that should be talked about in private not on an open forum. Get my drift!
In my humble experience, friendly used car dealers are knowledgeable and have the "resources" needed to register old cars with missing paperwork.
You bring up a very good point. Glad my county is emissions exempt. My newest truck is a 1999 but, I think even a new car if driven under a certain amount can be exempt too here in Pa. Not sure if that's in every county though.
Mark Gregush, In most cases I would agree with you, the difference I see in this case is the year and low value of a 1925 model T. One thing I learned today (should have already known) If I had payed attention. Here in Pennsylvania the state doesn't keep title on record older than 10 years. That seems strange but is a fact.
Indiana is the same. Here in this county if the car is worth less than 5k, the judge wont even look at paperwork. You must then apply for builders title and deal with all lights,seatbelts ect...
Know anyone in Iowa? If so, sell it to them for $1.00 and write a bill of sale. He can take that to a license office and get a title. Buy it back for a $1.00, transfer the title into your name. My dad restored a lot of cars in North East Missouri. He helped many get a title that way.
I once contacted Broadway Title Co and was told there were 6 or 8 states that would not honor their paperwork and NC was one of those states.
There are a few options in PA.
1. Get a new title with a state supplied VIN # and plate. This requires a full inspection with all kinds of receipts, etc. and will result in a 2017 title. I think that is the least desirable option.
2. Petition the court for a "Motion for Involuntary Transfer of Vehicle Ownership". With this you need an old title, regardless of who's name it is in but definitely one that is clearly not able to be claimed. Old junkyard titles are good for this and they do exist. You can do this process without a lawyer by making up your own court order. Your local courthouse can give you a Fact Sheet on what is needed. As long as the title is old and you are sure that nobody will lay claim to it you must do the following:
- Send a certified letter to the address on the title with your intention to take ownership and the date of the court hearing. Most likely the letter will be returned as "no address" or "nobody by that name at the address".
- Place legal notice ads for the motion in the local paper where the title is from, and two local publications in your local area. These legal notice ads are very expensive depending on the area and the paper needs to send you a signed proof of publication document.
- After all of that is done, you have to go before a judge and if nobody contests the transfer, the judge will grant the transfer and you go to a notary and get a title in your name.
Note: When you obtain an old title for use, you will have to make a stamping of the number on your frame so it matches your title number, that is just how it is so if you aren't comfortable doing that then don't go this route. You could easily get over $600 into the whole process.
3. If you have an old title, you may find a reasonable notary that will simply apply for a lost title in your name. A little story will have to be made up on your end to explain why you have a title that isn't in your name. A gentleman I met did this and his cost was less than $200.00 and no headaches. He was lucky but again, there are reasonable notaries out there who realize that a Model T is not a risky car to title especially if you have an early title where the VIN has been purged from the state system (over 10 years).
In short, PA makes it really difficult to get a title on a vehicle. There are ways to make it easier if you find a reasonable notary as I mentioned. We don't have a DMV in PA so any authorized notary that does vehicle work can process a title.
Below is an example of a title that is without a doubt "dead" and the type that you would need. This one isn't for sale though.
Here's a hint also since you are in Sandy Lake...Crawford County Notary in Meadville.
Asking about the process of getting a title in your state, I was not aiming my comment at that. Does not matter the value of the car, it still is a car and in some states is considered as such esp if it is going to be operated on the public streets.
Eric: Unless your county or State is not in the USA, EPA standards apply. If it titled as a 2017 it will have to meet 2017 emission standards.
I'm glad I live in Nova Scotia. When I did this I filled out forms. Lost title and application for permit. RCMP came and versed and ran VIN. Came clear. I handed them those papers plus the receipt. Explained it had been in a barn likely since pre WW2. Lady thought that was cool. Paid taxes, and was issued a new title. Ten minutes.
CT is a non-title state. A friend sold a T to a PA owner. Cost him over $1000 to get a lawyer to take his "non-title" paperwork to a magistrate for a waiver. Others, "in the know" can get through the process more reasonably. Check out all avenues first!
Don't want to turn this into a political thrad, and I'm not a big fan of too much Federal Governmnet,, but this is one area where you think a standard set of regulations would be of help. Every State does their own thing and regards to title and registration and when a buyer and seller are from two different states, which happens oftren, it leads to a mess.
In GA, no title for older cars. And that is perfectly fine unless someone from another state needs or wants a title and I cannot provide one. Or, in the case of my WWII jeep, will have difficulty if someone from outside the country wants a vehicle with no title.
The old adage, let the seller get the paperwork, does not apply in a State that no title will be privded due the state regulations.
Robert: If your vehicle is registered in your state with a tag, the new owner should have no trouble getting registered in his state. That means he should be able to get a title too. States are suppose to honor another States paper work. Dan
The DMV in South Florida tend to be a bit dull, for lack of a better word, so anticipating the future I went ahead and bought a vin plate from Langs for an earlier T than my 1920... I stamped the vin on it. I beat the plate and scratched it a bit to make it look authentic, then nailed it to the wood bulkhead. When they came out to inspect the car I tested my theory and showed them the vin on the engine... the lady in turn said no that she needed to see the vin plate... "Well, yes... its right there..." I pointed to the "Old and original" plate (wink wink). She gave it a quick glance, checked the numbers and 5 min later I had my plates... In today's world common sense is out the window so one must anticipate what's to come...