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reattaone

Purchasing an out of state car question...

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I have been talking to a man in New York who has a Reatta for sale. Probably going to take it and have it transported to Pa. When you do this how is the paperwork [transfer of title, etc] handled? Thanks..

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First order of business is to run the VIN through a service such as AUTOCHECK which charges $25.00 for unlimited VIN checks for 60 days. When looking at cars on Ebay, I was surprised to find about 5-10% of the vehicles had some serious title history, salvage title, flood title, odomoter report inconsistent with what seller is reporting, etc. The other plus of doing this is you can print a report on all your current vehicles (and those of your family) to show potential buyers in the future when that vehicle is sold. ;-)

Regarding the mechanics of the purchase, I have done it three ways depending on how much money is involved: 1) Bought Reatta on Ebay, not a high dollar sale, I had seller fax me a copy of both sides of title so I had some assurance that he really had something to sell then wired the money to his bank with the understanding that seller would immediately FedX title upon receipt of wire. Titles from some states, such as NJ, the average person would never know it was a Salvage title as it only has a small letter "s" on the title. Other states a salvage title is a differant color, so if you are not familiar with all the markings on the title, best to make some inquiries. Obvious problems with this system is seller could still be dishonest and the vehicle could be misrepresented; 2) when more money is at risk, I try to make an arrangement with a local dealer or repair shop to inspect vehicle and deliver cashier's check I provide to dealer/repair shop so long as the car has no obvious issues and the dealer receives a clear signed title endorsed to me. 3) nothing beats going there yourself to inspect the vehicle and complete transaction. Obviously, if there is going to be any sort of delay from the time you agree to purchase and your going to the sellers location, the seller is likely to want some sort of deposit.

If you do option 1 or 2 above, it makes it easy for you to secure license tags at your location for use in transporting the vehicle. Option 3 above necessitates either getting a temporary tag from the State where the vehicle is located or, if you are a bit of a gambler, you tape the title in the back window and drive it home. So long as you have insurance, even if you get stopped, an officer may not issue you a ticket for no tag because they can see you are doing nothing but taking it home. I think it is a poor idea to put the plate registered to a differant vehicle on the car as that will surely get you a citation--or trip to the police department--if you are stopped.

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Yes, heed the suggestion of wwebb and try to look at the vehicle in person before making an offer or transferring any funds. I put a sizeable down payment on a car in Chicago a few years back (I live on the west coast) and had to go back home empty-handed as the car looked in person nothing like it did in the pictures. That was a big lesson to learn!

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I read your question differently than the other.

It seems your question is how to handle the paperwork.

Start by asking your local license people what they want.

At the very least, you should get from the seller........

* the original title from his state.

* get or make 2 copies of a bill of sale. that should have the sellers name and address, the vehicle ID (VIN) and your name and address. I sign both and the seller signs both.

The purpose is ...he has a document that proves he no longer ownes the vehicle (If you were in a serious accident on the way home) and it proves you own the vehicle until you get official documentation from your state.

I purchased a car in Indiana (1100 miles from home) and drove it back. In Texas, I could get a temp Texas tag, one was good for 2-3 days and another choice was 30 days.

This is extra protection. In some states the tag stays with the owner, also if the car has vanity tags, those stay with the owner. So in many cases, the car might not have tags unless you get temp tags.

It is also good to let your insurance agent know about the car in advance....just to be safe, mine generated a proof of insurance to carry in the car until it was formally insured.

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I bought mine from N.C.; I flew out from Chicago to inspect it, taking the "folding green" with me. I saw and drove the car, then tried to get a temp license from N.C. They had all kinds of limitations and restrictions, and finally told me they could not provide a temp plate. I had called my ins. co. before I left and got assurance that I was covered to bring back the car.

I wasted a day trying to get a plate that I didn't need!

I highly recomment your personal inspection before money changes hands.

Regards,

Jack C.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I wasted a day trying to get a plate that I didn't need! </div></div>

If you pass through Tennessee without a plate you will more than likely be greeted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He might let you go but you will have a lot of explaining to do and your paper work had better be in order. Having insurance in Tennessee does not meet the requirements of registration and having a license plate displayed on the rear of the car.

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Jack, Tiny bit confusing....did you use a tag from another car (did you drive it home with any tag at all)?

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Having worked in automobile dealerships in the past as their Comptroller, I would run into two issues regarding titles. They did not happen often, but they did happen. One was the status of the title. The title status is very often over looked. This seems to be more of the case where the car was sold from one person to another as opposed to a car be sold to a person by a dealership/lot. By status, I mean if the tile has the words SALVAGE or JUNK stated. Many times the person currently owning the car never bothered to look and had no idea that the car had been "totaled" sometime in its life. A car in a flood could look just fine and even run OK, but an insurance company deemed the car not worth repairing and totaled it out. The same could be true of an older car, such as our Reatta, a minor fender bender could simply deem the car a total. The issue with a Salvage title, insurance companies will not insure a car that has a salvage title at least from a collision/comp. standpoint. Also, almost never will a dealership or used car lot buy or take into trade a car with Salvage status. A Salvage title makes selling the car yourself an issue as well. Next up, and more common, is the title was never transfered into the current owner's name. Mostly, because the current owner did not want to pay taxes. Sometimes, many think, OK, here is the title, that's all I need! Wrong. Transferring a car without the correct paperwork can be a nightmare. It's different from state to state, but a nightmare none the less. One last case, while rare, does come up from time to time. A car's owner has died, the family wants to sell the decease pride and joy. Without the correct paperwork, varies and state to state of course, they can't. In a nutshell, check your state and find out in advance what they will need to issue a title in your name. Make sure to follow to the letter what they tell you, you will need. Look carefully at the title, if the person you are buying the car from won't let you see it, run, don't walk, away. When you do inspect the title, make sure it's not salvage. Make sure it's in his/her name. And lastly, do what Barney has mentioned. Good luck with your purchase.

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I bought mine trhough eBay. I think my dad used PayPal to pay for it, and the title was fedexed to us. Then the car was picked up and shipped.

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I owned a '92 blue Roadmaster and had purchased a red '93 Roadmaster in Arizona. Had the title as I bought it from a dealer in Arizona. I did a license plate transfer the week before I was to fly down to pick it up and as luck would happen I got pulled over by a state patrol officer for speeding that same week. He asked me what the hurry was and I told him I was late for an appointment, he said wait 1 moment I'll be right back. When he came back he walked right past my door and looked at the VIN# and then asked me what was going on...

Well all I could do was tell him the truth about buying a car in Az. and that because I was going to drive it back so far, I wanted to be sure I had proper registration for my return trip.

I think that because I was so straight forward with him, he didn't even give me a written warning for anything [improper registration or speeding] and advised me to follow ALL traffic laws. I figure I could have owed the State of Wi. DMV $500.00 and 3 points.

In Wi. most when you are pulled over by the state patrol you are going to pay both a fine and points.

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Nic,

I had no license plate but did have the title as well as a bill of sale. I couldn't get a temp license p[late from NC as my insurance Co did not have the right representation in NC. Something about ownership of the ins facility in that state - - ?

Jack C.

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I think if you really want clarification ofr your specific application, you should contact your insure, in both places, and the DMV in both places, I'm sure they've done this before.

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I purchased a Triumph Spitfire in FL, from a student who bought and restored them as a hobby. The car had never been retitled in his name however. The FL DMV had no issue with issueing me a temporary plate to drive the car home, but Il gave me a heck of a time about the title never having gone through the kid in FL. IL pushed to have me have the kid title it before they would transfer, but I'd already put a good amount of money into it and didn't want to. Eventually IL came around with the Sec of State saying that if I was willing to go through so much over a cheap car, the least he could do was help me. He did say that Il is very difficult on FL transfers, so check with your home DMV.

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One of the most meaningful reasons to any states DMV for the proper and timely transfer of vehicle titles (other than keeping track of ownership, wherabouts, insurance information, etc), is that title transfer is DMV's most important source of Revenue....revenue that is received/generated from TTT (Title transfer fee, Title tax, and Tag fees. When a title is "jumped", DMV considers the practice illegal, and their Investagators do get upset.....

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I sold an 89 Reatta in October and bought a 90 convertible in November 2007. I called Indiana BMV and was told that I could use the plates from the 89 on the 90 for the trip home, with proof of sale of both cars and proof of insurance.

I bought the 89 Reatta in Texas and used the TX plates for the trip home due to they can't transfer to another TX car. Proof of insurance and the bill of sale were my backup for getting pulled over. I think as long as you are polite to the officer, the above should get you home. Any comment from an expert on this would probably help a lot of potential buyers. Of course, using the cruise control to avoid unconsiously speeding is always helpful.

When you buy a car out of state you normally need to get a temporary tag from the state you bought it from, which can present problems if you fly in on the weekend and no BMV is open.

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