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Car Title


Sleonard65

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While in the process of purchasing a collector car in Ohio, the owner informed

me that the Title was still in the name of the previous owner, who was located in Illinois. Since he did not own the car that long, less than a year, he never titled it in Ohio. It is still titled in Illinois. Unless he is a dealer, The state of Pennsylvania says he has to title it in his name before he can sell it do you. Is that correct?

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Guest Bob Call

It is true that most states do not allow transfer of "open" titles by individuals. Some do not allow dealers to transfer "open" titles. Keep life simple, title the car in Ohio. If it qualifies for an antique registration, they are usually cheaper than regular registration, go that way. I think you will find this much easier than fighting with the PA DMV. If Ohio charges a sales tax, my state does, be sure the registered owner is OK with certifiying the sales price a nominal amount or that the car was a gift. If he is not agreeable to the titling process, find another car.

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Be careful if "underestimating" the sale price of a car in PA. I recently purchased a truck from a customer, partly thru barter. PA rejected the sales tax form we submitted saying the truck was worth considerably more than I paid. I had to submit a bill of sale and a sworn affidavit that I had reported the true sale price of the vehicle.

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Ohio does charge a sales tax; I think I paid 5.5% a couple years back when I bought another old car, but it may have gone up since then.

My only recommendation is that you be "honest" with the amount you paid. In spite of the fact that my top three pet peeves are taxes, taxes, and taxes (if 10% is good enough for God, then it ought to be for everyone else, but that's another tangent), I would recommend being fairly straight-up with what you paid for the car, lest the unthinkable happens and it is stolen or damaged in some fashion. That could cause problems in the future with any insurance settlements coming your way.

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In Ohio just state the condition of the car as poor and they will never question the sale price when you title it,I did get a letter from the state asking me what I sold a car for since someone down the line was honest or it went through a dealer and the state noticed the previous titles probably had much lower purchase prices but I sent it in saying I traded it. I got the car for free and probably put down gift or a small amount but it passed through many hands after I traded it.

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I sold a car years ago, and the guy understated the selling price when he went to retitle the car. He gave the car to his daughter who put the car in the ditch. The insurance company did a title check and wanted to total it based on "his" purchase price.

He objected and told them he paid more for the car. They contacted the DMV after asking me what the real selling price was.

I don't know the outcome other then he was now in a whole lot of hot water. I would guess that he owed at least the back sales tax and I am sure a fine was in order...

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