Technical Discuss lost title in the AACA GENERAL DISCUSSION forums; i bought a car to restore that has no title. but found info in car when dismantling and the car had a 1952 license plate on it from mich. a ...
i bought a car to restore that has no title. but found info in car when dismantling and the car had a 1952 license plate on it from mich. a card with a name on it was in the car. i tried to cotact the people on the card but found out they have died and had no kids i believe these people were the last to have registered this car.
id like to get the orignal title and dont know where to start. any help
would be nice. thanks leon
Re: lost title
You didn't mention what state you are located in. I retitled a salvage car I bought for parts here in Illinois and all they wanted was the VIN (Or serial # if older) and a bill of sale. It was retitled as a "1973 Homemade" (was a 1963 Studebaker convertable) after the VIN cleared the national theft bureau want list for stolen vehicles. Try your DMV for the process to retitle a car such as you have, there maybe just a set of papers and cash to pay. Stude8
Re: lost title
I lost the registration and title to my motorcycle when I was ill, didn't register it for several years. When I went to get registered again, they had no record. When I tried to get a copy of the title, no record. (I think this was gross dereliction of the State's duty.) They tried to stall me by asking for a rubbing of the chassis number, but that was pointless, they still had no record. (The key problem was that, while I was ill, the state switched from tiny scraps of paper to computers, and didn't input "dormant" records.)
Still, Michigan may do their job better than my state. Collect your data: serial/VIN number, 1952 license plate number, last known owner name. Call the Michigan DMV and see if they blow you off, or can suggest a process to claim title. You may need the cooperation of the person who sold it to you, and his account of why the car sat unregistered for 40+ years, and that he acquired it legally, and sold it to you. Of course since he sold it un-titled, his cooperation to get you titled warrants more money (the car is worth more with a title; in fact in some states possession of an unregistered car is an offense even if you don't drive it on the roads).
> they have died and had no kids
The obvious story is that the car sat in a barn. Who bought the land? Land records are tracked. Personal property is not part of the land and buildings, you would have to find land owners who would state that the car was on the land when they bought the place, and find the person who removed the car from the land. Might be a long search, and some folks might be reluctant to state that THIS car is the one that was in the barn.
Alternatively, the car may have been sold informally (sans papers) when the owners got old, or when they died and someone cleaned-out the barn. If that was a long time ago, good luck.
Most states have a "salvage title". You say you bought it dormant and inoperable without title, want to fix and drive it. The salvage title is valid as long as nobody comes along with a real title to the same vehicle. As Stude8 says, they will check against a hot-car list, and may want to see a bill of sale. I recall that one southern state only required your notarized statement of not-illegal ownership. Seems to me that Hemmings has ads for agents who will (for a fee!) walk your papers through that DMV and help you transfer the shiny new title to your state.
Oh: I never bothered to re-title my cycle. A bike-collecting friend out in the sticks bought it off me w/o title. He has enough land and back-roads to ride without hassle. The story has a bad end: the barn burned down. Shed a tiny tear for my 1974 BSA 250, a big tear for his Norton Commando.
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