paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
9/23/19 4:15 p.m.

I have a situation I can’t seem to get a clear answer on.  Hopefully someone here has recent experience with such a thing.

The scenario: there is a good deal on a vehicle I want to buy from outside Michigan (Indiana).  Seller does not have a title, and will not get one for the vehicle before the sale.

Is it possible to complete a couple forms with the seller (he is willing to do so), bring it back to Michigan, then apply for a title?  Like a bill of sale form and an odometer statement?

Or is such a no-title out of state purchase something to be avoided like the plague?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/23/19 4:58 p.m.

Avoid.

You really need to dig to the root of the reason the seller refuses to get a title.

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
9/23/19 5:13 p.m.

He wants “no headaches” with the sale.  Which I guess means going to his DMV to get a title.

I didn’t dig much further than that with him.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
9/23/19 5:15 p.m.

There is an "Owner Certification" form available from the Secretary of State offices. It is" To be used as a last resort when a vehicle title has been lost,destroyed,or stolen AND the purchaser is unable to contact the previous owner for a duplicate title". That's quoted from the form. 

Only to be used for vehicles 10 or more calendar years old. Value of vehicle must be less than $2500.

And here's the kicker...."Cannot be used for vehicles acquired out of state". Again, quoted from the form I have.

You need to get the Indiana title, or walk away.

 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
9/23/19 5:19 p.m.

Did the seller ever own the car in his name ?

does Indiana have private DMV shops that do the paperwork for you ? if so get blank paperwork from them , have seller fill it out  and you take it back to private DMV.   Pay the fee and get a lost title.

Good Luck

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/23/19 5:32 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android :

It will be best if someone from Indiana can tell you what Indiana does for getting a title.  

 

Here in Ohio, if you lost a title, it is just $16 and a quick visit to a County Title office.  You must bring proof of ID that matches the name they have on record.  If you buy a car (lets say with hopes of restoring it) but you never got started, and you never bothered to put the car in your name then they will not issue you a title, here in Ohio.  The reason being that the previous owner (before bought for restoration) is still the name that the state has on record and therefore, in the states eyes, that person is still the rightful owner.  

The real question... Is the guy selling you the car, the rightful owner in the eyes of the State of Indiana? 

There is a state document that proves this and it is called a title.  

 

 

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
9/23/19 5:34 p.m.

He only used the vehicle off road, I guess.  So his intention must be to sell it as an off road only vehicle.  Which doesn’t suit my needs, and I stated as much.

When I asked him if he ever had a title for it, he said “I’ve never had a title I don’t know how Michigan does it but if you don’t have it registered in seven years you can get a new title Ford or some E36 M3 I don’t know”.

@Warren- thank you for that info, I hadn’t seen that form.  If there were a way for me to apply for one here, I would have done it.  But it seems Michigan closed that loophole.

Guess I’ll keep shopping!

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
9/23/19 5:37 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In reply to paranoid_android :

It will be best if someone from Indiana can tell you what Indiana does for getting a title.  

 

Here in Ohio, if you lost a title, it is just $16 and a quick visit to a County Title office.  You must bring proof of ID that matches the name they have on record.  If you buy a car (lets say with hopes of restoring it) but you never got started, and you never bothered to put the car in your name then they will not issue you a title, here in Ohio.  The reason being that the previous owner (before bought for restoration) is still the name that the state has on record and therefore, in the states eyes, that person is still the rightful owner.  

The real question... Is the guy selling you the car, the rightful owner in the eyes of the State of Indiana? 

There is a state document that proves this and it is called a title.  

 

 

I did a similar thing here with a car- brought the necessary info to the SOS, paid $15 and had a title in my name a week later.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/23/19 5:41 p.m.

One hope...  

Who did Indiana-guy buy it from?  Did he buy it from a Michigan-guy?  

If yes, then this fits Warren's scenario making this still a Michigan vehicle since that was the last place it was actually titled.  

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
9/23/19 5:57 p.m.

In a message earlier, I told him to feel free to list the vehicle for sale again while I dig into things here.  But I made it clear I needed to title the vehicle here or I’m not interested.

I would ask that very question John, but every time I bring up the word “title” he goes full Boomhauer on me.  So it sounds like this wasn’t meant to be.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
9/23/19 6:23 p.m.

The full Boomhauer and the avoidance of the question leads me to believe that he has aquired the vehicle via questionable means. 

I'm then back to my first advice...Avoid. 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
9/24/19 12:30 p.m.

Title questions always seem to fall into the "if you have to ask" sort of category.

Sure, there are 100 (questionably) legal ways to get titles/plates for just about anything in any state, but those ways generally require working within the gray area of the laws and moral high ground, having an inside connection or two that can do stuff behind the scenes or skip over a few important pieces of documentation, or not minding playing fast and loose with title regulations and the DMV.  For a first-timer the juice is rarely worth the squeeze.

Move on, plenty of fish in the sea.  

Drunkonunleaded
Drunkonunleaded HalfDork
9/25/19 12:01 a.m.

Good luck with this, Michigan has seemed to close just about every "loophole" for this sort of thing.  I know a guy who allegedly purchased an enclosed trailer from a friend who did not transfer the title upon purchase and neither did the owner before him.  Both guys rolled around on the original owner's plate because they were all racing buddys.  Now, the newest guy is stuck with a trailer with a rusted-off VIN plate and an original owner who has since passed away.  It's a shame because the thing is 110% legitimate, yet there is no legal way of getting it registered short of hoping the manufacturer is correct in their assumption that there was an alternate VIN stamp location when the trailer was made 20+ years ago...

Anyway, Hagerty recently posted something about a "Vermont" registration strategy, but YMMV.  Might be worth a look.

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