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View Full Version : Would you ever buy a trailer w/out a title?



katyb
Jul. 31, 2012, 12:27 PM
The guy "can't find it" and didn't ever put it in his name when he bought it. It is cheap enough that I can pay cash for it, just what I want, seems sound if not pretty. He is supposedly calling the county clerk to see if there is any way to track down the title. I don't think it is stolen, just based on how much stuff is packed into it - or at least, not recently stolen I guess.


I ran the VIN and didn't get any results on google.

Thoughts?

tangledweb
Jul. 31, 2012, 12:40 PM
Without the title how will you get tags for it and therefore legally take it out on the road?

The standard suggested "cure" seems to be grinding the VIN off and claiming it's a homemade trailer. I've no idea how difficult that is in practice, or what the penalty for being caught lying about it it.

katyb
Jul. 31, 2012, 12:46 PM
I wouldn't do that. It may be grandfathered in on no tags here in TN (it's a 1997), but I'm not sure about that.

Belg
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:03 PM
lost/damaged/replacement title in wv, va, and ca is in the 10-15$ range; not sure about anywhere else.

But without the title, they can take your money and say you stole the trailer...

No title, no sale.

Now, I did do a salvage title on one of my first motorcycles...

FLeventer
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:06 PM
No. Too much effort to replace/deal with. I also worry if they stole the trailer.


Old cars (1980) and older I dont worry as much about the title as you can buy them and not only that. Who has a title for a 1952 chevy sitting around. Not many people.

Over the Hill
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:07 PM
Here in Florida, it depends on the weight of the trailer whether it needs to be titled. If unsure, you take it to a weigh station, take the weight slip to the tag office. If under a certain weight, just tag, if over, title.

walknsound
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:17 PM
I wouldn't do that. It may be grandfathered in on no tags here in TN (it's a 1997), but I'm not sure about that.

I know here in Alabama if a vehicle is over certain number of years old (I think 10) no title required, as long as you have a bill of sale. I'd call the tag office, they should be able to tell you. Here a tag is required, regardless of age. If the guy has no tag receipts or a bill of sale, I'd walk away.

Sithly
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:28 PM
Unless it is a screamin' good deal, I'd pass due to the hassle factor.

allikat819
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:44 PM
I know that in my state a title is not required if it weighs less than a certain amount.

My trailer does not have a title, but it does have a certificate of origin stating the VIN and such, which was sufficient for me to get it plated with the DMV along with the bill of sale.

Highflyer
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:48 PM
I was able to tag mine in Maine-- no title required.

katyb
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:51 PM
Unless it is a screamin' good deal, I'd pass due to the hassle factor.

It really is - just what I want, kind of ugly, but solid and cheap. I want to be able to camp and have dry tack storage, but I don't want to go into debt for it. If he had a title, I'd have snatched it up yesterday. He called me this morning and said he hadn't found it yet, and I suggested he call the court clerk. He did say he took down his ad since he couldn't find the title.

I need to look into the law, obviously.

OverandOnward
Jul. 31, 2012, 01:54 PM
He can get the title replaced, and legally that's what he has to do - both for himself and any buyer. If he's too lazy to get that done, he can keep his trailer.

I would not put myself in that position. I would tell him that when he has the title he can call back, until then I'll keep looking.

You have only his word as to why he can't find the title. That might well be true, but it might not. How well do you know him?

Snowflake
Jul. 31, 2012, 02:33 PM
I was able to tag mine in Maine-- no title required.

This - if the trailer is older than 1994 you can register it on the bill of sale only. Anyone can register their trailers in Maine and in many cases, it's much cheaper than your state's DMV fees. I do mine through the staab agency.

Fourbeats
Jul. 31, 2012, 03:17 PM
Not an issue here in Texas depending on the type and age of the trailer. We just sold an older stock type trailer, didn't have a title when we bought it and obviously, didn't have one when we sold it. Just a bill of sale for each transaction was all that was needed to get the tags.

ReSomething
Jul. 31, 2012, 03:27 PM
Don't think it's an issue here in KY either although I wouldn't be spending over a grand for it. Check your state's laws real quick.


And BTW we bought a 1963 Rambler from the original owner with the original title in 1987. It was pretty cool to look at. Some people do file them neatly away. We on the other hand, move too much. I think that's what gets people as far as keeping track of those things.

Guilherme
Jul. 31, 2012, 03:39 PM
The guy "can't find it" and didn't ever put it in his name when he bought it. It is cheap enough that I can pay cash for it, just what I want, seems sound if not pretty. He is supposedly calling the county clerk to see if there is any way to track down the title. I don't think it is stolen, just based on how much stuff is packed into it - or at least, not recently stolen I guess.


I ran the VIN and didn't get any results on google.

Thoughts?

In a state where titles are not required, yes.

In TN, no.

If you know any deputies or police officers see if you can get one of them to run the VIN for you. If you don't know anybody, call the sheriff's office, tell them why you need the check, and see if they will run the number.

If if comes up "clean" then you might want to take the chance.

Good luck in any case. :)

G.

WBLover
Jul. 31, 2012, 03:42 PM
Here in Florida, it depends on the weight of the trailer whether it needs to be titled. If unsure, you take it to a weigh station, take the weight slip to the tag office. If under a certain weight, just tag, if over, title.

Same here in Ohio, as long as it's under a certain weight (I think 4000lbs) here, no title required. Just get a good bill of sale. I would check with the laws in your state, and as long as you're legal and can get tags, who cares?

dani0303
Jul. 31, 2012, 04:17 PM
I'm dealing with this issue now. When my family purchased my trailer (brand new!) about 7 years ago, we were told we didn't have to get tags on it in SC. I was young at the time and had no dog in the fight. I have since moved to CO, which DOES require tags, and my trailer has no title. I'm fighting with SC to get one because everything (bill of sale, etc) is in my mother's name and she has since passed away. It's a nightmare.

coloredhorse
Jul. 31, 2012, 07:09 PM
It depends on how difficult it is to get a "hardship" title in your state. Here in SC ... pretty darn easy, so I wouldn't hesitate.

In VA, where I used to live ... awful lot of hoops, so I would probably pass, or insist that the seller do the work BEFORE I hand over my hard-earned cash.

katyb
Jul. 31, 2012, 07:24 PM
In a state where titles are not required, yes.

In TN, no.

If you know any deputies or police officers see if you can get one of them to run the VIN for you. If you don't know anybody, call the sheriff's office, tell them why you need the check, and see if they will run the number.

If if comes up "clean" then you might want to take the chance.

Good luck in any case. :)

G.

Thanks! That's a good idea.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 31, 2012, 11:10 PM
There are actually a couple trailer places here who are authorized to create VINs for trailers lacking a VIN. I assume it is for homemade only, but maybe not? Perhaps there is something similar where you are...

JanM
Aug. 1, 2012, 07:41 AM
It depends on the state. A friend in NM (this was the mid-90's) had to jump through all kinds of hoops to sell off her late husband's trailers (car hauler type), and the cars he used for parts. It was a total nightmare, and with the cars she had to get legal titles for the salvage place to haul them away. She finally did get it all taken care of and the cars salvaged, and the trailers sold, but she was very worried for a while that she wouldn't be able to get rid of them so she could sell the land.

WBLover
Aug. 1, 2012, 09:53 AM
I guess I wasn't worried when I had bought my previous trailer without a title, it was only a $2k trailer and I had no plans to move out of state--LOL! If it's cheap, and later you decide you are going to be moving out of state at some point, you can always sell it before you move then buy something else in the new state. If it were a more expensive trailer, I would insist on a title, but something that cheap wouldn't bother me.

tobruk
Aug. 1, 2012, 02:20 PM
TN does require titles although it's not rigidly enforced. No title, no sale. The seller can go through a procedure known as "homemade" trailer inspection. It will have to have brakes on both axles and all the required lights must be working. This only costs $50 and will enable him to receive a title for the trailer. The DOT folks will come out and inspect the trailer.

katyb
Aug. 1, 2012, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the extra info.

I called the Sheriff's dept, and they were really nice. They did a search on the VIN and said it has not ever been reported stolen. That's good news.

My buddy, Carol, said they gave her a tag without a title. She just took the bill of sale, and they mailed her a tag after doing some checking, I guess.

The guy with the trailer went to the county clerk's office to see if they would tell him who the prior owner was, but they said no. He said he sees the man occasionally at sales and such, but he can't remember his name. I do think he is being honest.

Will they do a homemade trailer inspection on a trailer with a data tag? It's a 1996, if the age makes any difference.