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Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag

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Old 06-03-2003, 11:03 PM   #1
Islander21
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Default Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag

OK, what are the implications and headaches involved in purchasing a car without a VIN and/or title? This would be a very rough builder project body, BTW.


[Modified by Islander21, 10:03 PM 6/3/2003]
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Old 06-03-2003, 11:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

How would you register it once it was completed. Wait until the right car comes around, dont be in such a rush to throw your money at a headache.
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Old 06-03-2003, 11:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Ray z)

I'm not rushing, certainly not even close to making a buy decison but I would like to know what's involved, just in case.
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:26 AM   #4
Mel Foye
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

Strong possibility that it is stolen would be number one in my book.
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Mel Foye)

It's just a mid-year shell, nothing more. Just the fiberglass and the doors, good luck to anyone proving it is/was stolen. And the possibility of it being stolen is about as high as the VIN tag being removed to use on another, more restorable (but not as legit) vehicle. Regardless, what are my options concerning a registration for this type of carcass? Is it going to be a real hassle, or perhaps a dead end? Will I be able to ever drive the car legitimately?


[Modified by Islander21, 11:46 PM 6/3/2003]
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Mel Foye)

Do you really want to take a chance on possibly buying a stolen Vette, spending THOUSANDS of $$ to restore it, then have the rightful owner legally "repo" it :confused: :nono: :nono: :nono: :nono: :nono:
:steering: Cruz :steering:
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Cruzmeisters)

OK, I get the picture.....
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Old 06-04-2003, 01:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

Think you ought to talk to your local State Troopers and/or DMV. Give them the info and let them tell you yea or nay.

Myself, I would probably agree with everyone else, and stay away unless it was really something worthwhile (too many other opportunities to waste my money on!).

Plasticman
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Old 06-04-2003, 03:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Plasticman)

In South Dakota you can apply for an abandoned title or have a vehicle re-titled if the owner of the vehicle is not locatable for period of time. When I was repossessing cars as a part time job I also towed vehicles that were abondened. These vehicles would sit in the yard for months. The proprietor would apply for the title for these vehicles so that they could be taken to the salvage yard and or the scrap yard. There was one instance were I repo'd an older CJ Jeep. It sat in our yard for around 6 months until we located the actual owner. It was a used car lot that owned the vehicle, they had sold it to someone, they quit making payments and just left it were it broke down. When they came to claim it and took one look at the bill they walked right back out the door. They would not give us the title so we applied for one and had one in 2 weeks. I bought the little Jeep for around $100.00, put the seats out of a wrecked escort in it, painted it etc. Ran great and was loads of fun. I GAVE it to my girlfriend at the time (What was I thinking).......

I am sure if you investigate and have the vehicle inspected by the DMV or the HP you could get a title in a matter of weeks. If you plan on keeping the car and this is one heck of a deal then maybe it is worth going for. If you plan on a resale at anytime forget it, as this may seem incredible to most prospective buyers.

Mark
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Old 06-04-2003, 06:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

If you do take on this car, you can probably get a title through services provided in Alabama that can get one fairly easily. I am not sure exactly how it is done. In some manner you sell the car to the service for a minimal fee and they get title in Alabama and then turn around and sell it back to you.

Just a thought. Be careful!
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Old 06-04-2003, 07:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

Now you got me thinking? Whats a car? The body or the frame?
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Old 06-04-2003, 08:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (396 RAT)

Interesting exchange of ideas. I went ahead and e-mailed the Florida DMV and stated my case. I wonder how many months it will take them to answer me.

I can just hear it now: " What? You're going to buy a car that doesn't have an engine, transmission or even a frame? How are you going to get insurance in order to drive it?"
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (396 RAT)

I assume this is the body for sale on Ebay where the seller indicates the vin tag is available for an additional cost. In this instance, I would do title research on the vin tag and title. What is the implication of buying the body – really just parts - without the vin tag – if you know the vin tag exist? :confused:

On Ebay auction # 2417924441 you can purchase a vin and trim tag, with a dash section for $1,500 (396 cu in based on the weight on the MOS?). That brings in interesting possibilities…

I know with aircraft, I can start with a Cessna 172 data plate, build a 172 from parts and have it licensed (after numerous FAA inspections). It will be a Cessna 172 for which Cessna is liable if anything occurs later.

Dave
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Dave McDufford)

The only "interesting possibility" that could result from buying a Corvette VIN tag without a car is getting arrested.

It's not just illegal to apply that VIN tag to another vehicle, it's downright sleazy behavior.
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

The best thing is to go and talk with the HEAD of the state DMV where you would attempt to register it. Do NOT try to talk to the yocals in your local DMV office, they have no idea what is going on and no say in the final decisions.

For my project I got in touch with the deputy director of the DMV auto registration department through a contact given me by the state police (car had VIN and title, just not current). I was able to converse over many e-mails and phone calls, FAX them a "pre-application" copy of all the paperwork I had available so it could be reviewed, and find out exactly what I needed and how to submit things to get a new clean title issued to me.

For "pre-48" cars it is no big deal to get the states to issue a new VIN/title to anything that reasonably looks like the original year car thanks to the street rod industry. For later cars you have the "kit car" option usually available, but that often entails meeting "now year" emissions and safety stuff. Getting a "Southern State" type of title is I think still possible, but becoming more difficult for later year cars (some states that used to allow it have put a ceiling at around 1970 or so).

Go to the kit car web sites and you will find much information and some contacts that will be good background reading, and have some contact info for some states.

As stated before, make sure you track it down and have your legal status locked up before you get into it for mega $$$. Getting the new title issued to me was the FIRST thing I did when starting my project.

That said, take a close look at the cost difference of starting with a "bare" body like I did pretty close, as by the time you add the trim, window mechanisms, glass, some interior stuff, etc you may find that a clean title more complete but more expensive starting point is actually better.

I should also add that I was originally planning to starting with a race body shell and no original parts, but found that it would be very difficult at best to get a title and insurance issued to it when I got done (although I did exactly that with no problems for my 1927 'T' due to the "model year" difference).

-Greg


[Modified by GregP, 9:10 AM 6/4/2003]
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (jerrybramlett)

Jerry,

If I buy a vin tag and parts I do not think it is illegal. If in my case it is an Ohio title I think I have a legal car with no additional legal requirements. If not, how many parts and which parts need to be there to be legal?

Dave
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Dave McDufford)

Dave -

I do not know of any state in which it is legal to apply a VIN tag from one Corvette to another.

If you start with an incomplete body that has a factory VIN tag still on it and repair that into a driveable car, then that is not the same as removing and applying the VIN tag to another vehicle.

Let's put the legal considerations aside. This kind of VIN tag buying and selling is not something an ethical Corvette lover should be considering.


[Modified by jerrybramlett, 7:05 PM 6/4/2003]
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

It could be registered as a "home-built" and your State would assign a VIN to it (police inspection required). If you want to re-register it as a 67 Corvette, you would need EITHER:
a) The original VIN tag still attached (w/any frame) AND a bill of sale (no title prior to 1975) .
-OR-
b) The original frame AND a bill of sale. Again, your State police will require an inspection prior to them assigning a VIN (or giving permission to a 3rd party to reproduce the original VIN tag), so you'll want to consult with them on their procedures PRIOR to your purchase.

Federal law prohibits tampering (removing, altering) with the Vehicle Identification Number. Academically, you could have just the crossbrace with the original untouched VIN tag still attached...and build the car out from there. Lets see...birdcage, body, frame, then replacement title, data plate, POP, and window sticker..add a few aged B&W photos..and viola ! Bloomington here I come :D
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Old 06-04-2003, 08:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Islander21)

In Florida, you could get a salvage title- but would you really have when you get done?

Plus, it would cost no more to restore another "rough" Vette that had a perfectly good title.

So why start out with something that might give you major headaches down the road, and when you want to sell it???

:confused:
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: Implications of buying a car with no title/VIN tag (Rair67)

OK, here's the deal: Once completed this car is my driver until I pass it on to my cats, er, children. No resale is involved anytime soon.

Here's the "good" news:

In Florida I can obtain a title, new VIN, and register the car under Procedure TL-43 "Application for a Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, Motorcycle or a Trailer Assembled From Parts". Of course, before I do that I have to file form HSMV 844940, "Statement of Builder", form HSMV 82040, "Application for a Certificate of title With/Without Registration", and possibly Procedure TL-07, "Application for a Certificate of Title on a Motor Vehicle with Alternate Proof of Ownership and Procedure for Securing a Court Order Awarding Ownership". I did not make that up, folks.

It's enough to make a grown man :cry but at least I got the info I needed - in my state I can build a car starting with a VIN-less, title-less fiberlass tub If I so choose to and not be considered a criminal. And I have certainly not made that choice, but I sure have learned quite a bit about DMV procedures. :banghead:

BTW, it is unlawful in Florida to remove a VIN plate from the vehicle, to possess a VIN plate that's been removed from a vehicle (even if you own the car) or to alter a VIN plate. Surely obtaining a VIN plate that does not belong to a vehicle you are going to purchase is unlawful as well. Remember what your grandma taught you - do the right thing.


[Modified by Islander21, 8:44 PM 6/4/2003]
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