Mammy

Help Please! How to get title for '65 Chevy?

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Hello,

 

 My son bought a '65 Chevy from a guy in PA with the "promise" of a title, but it's been a year and no title has been produced.

 

 Meantime, the car is in my garage in NJ and my son has been working on it.      (We live on the Jersey side of Delaware Water Gap, my son lives on the Pennsylvania side.)

 

The guy he bought the car from has practically fallen off the face of the earth.  I would like the car out of my garage and my son would like to put the car on the road.  But how and where/which state to get a title has been the dilemma.

 

Is anyone here familiar with the procedures one would have to go through to get a title in either PA or NJ?   (We could go with whichever state is easier.)

 

Thank you very much in advance for your feedback.

 

Regards,

M.A.M.

Edited by Mammy (see edit history)

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You will find it extremely difficult to get a PA title, near impossible. Best to threaten the seller until he coughs up a title. PA maintains that even if you gave the guy money and he gave you the car you did not in fact buy it since the title was not transferred. Since in their mind you don't own the car you cannot get a title. Only the owner can get a title, Likely he has the title but it has an encumbrance he does not want to or cannot satisfy. 

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..or could be that the former owner never had it titled or registered?  So, either he never had one, or perhaps lost it.  I bet he bought it as a project himself, and never had one.  I can't think of a reason why he did not hand over a title while being paid...so I doubt he had one.

 

If he did have it titled in his name, he could apply for a lost title, then sign it over to you.  But since he already got paid, he might have just decided to ignore you. 

 

 

There are other ways, some sketchy and some legal, but I would not do that unless I knew for a fact that the last owner really did own it outright.  If it was reported as a stolen project, then it will be a legal mess if you try to use these other means to get papers for it.

 

 

My son and I just looked at a 83 Chevy Silverado pickup local, this morning.  He is picking it up right now.  It's his first keeper "vintage" resto.  We do not need titles for that age in my state, but since it's been off the road for decades, luckily it still had the former title issued in the late 80s.  It makes me more at ease, seeing that the title matches, and the lien is properly signed off.   I'd hate to see him invest time/money in a vehicle that had no iron-clad proof of ownership.

 

..he.he, it just pulled in our lot right now.... :)

 

.

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Thank you, Restorer.  I had come to a similar conclusion about  getting a PA title awhile back when I read a blog by a lawyer who happens also to be a classic car enthusiast, but was hoping someone here would know of a loophole.

 

I did some reading on the NJMVC website earlier today but the only scenario that seemed might apply was in securing a title for "an abandoned vehicle".   If I/we were to go that route, I'd have to claim the vehicle was abandoned on my property in NJ.  (Which it kind of has been), then put it up for sale for public auction...post legal notice in local newspaper of said auction ....record the names of whomever showed up...(IF  any showed up)...what they bid... and then IF no one showed up, then and only then would I (as property owner) be able to secure a title.

 

I am not sure what you mean by "encumbrances," though.  Please elaborate on that if you have the time.  Am also wondering if there is a way to search a VIN number online and trace the owner(s) backwards?    <<<<Not sure if I stated that right.

 

Thanks again,

M.A.A.

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Thank you, FJ, as well.   I suspect that the guy who sold it to him never had a title.  And you're right...my son was not wise (to put it mildly) to have paid the guy without the title in hand.   For a long time the guy played him...it will be "this Saturday"  (or next) that he'd have the title.  Now he is nowhere to be found.  I am about ready to have the local junkyard come haul it out of my garage and sell it for scrap metal.  :unsure:

 

Regards,

M.A.M.

p.s./ good luck with the Silverado.

 

Edited by Mammy
Additional thought (see edit history)

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10 minutes ago, Mammy said:

I am about ready to have the local junkyard come haul it out of my garage and sell it for scrap metal.

Some states won't allow scrapping a car w/o a title.

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Thank you, George.

 

:o  Aaaaggghhhhh!!!!   I don't know what Jersey's law is on that, but that would be just my luck!!!

 

But another thought came to mind:   

 

Assuming I went with the whole ordeal involved in securing title via "abandoned vehicle" route in NJ -- I don't know why my son couldn't attend the "auction" and bid on his own car.   

 

Cripes...these things are complicated!

 

Regards,

M.A.M.

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Yea, in PA you need to provide the scrap yard with a title, An encumbrance would be a situation where he pledged the car as collateral for a loan and a notation of such in put on the title. The encumbrance has to be released before the title can be transferred. 

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In PA you have to be a licensed salvor to sell a vehicle as abandoned. Not sure about Jersey.

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i'm not sure it's still a valid approach, but in the past, you could obtain an alabama title with a bill of sale. it might be worth looking into

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Can you have someone research the vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if turns up anything?  Could be done by someone in the auto trade or police.  You would want to be sure it's not a stolen car before you go much farther in your efforts to claim it.

 

Terry

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Thank you, Cheezestaak.  I don't even know if my son HAS a bill of sale. :unsure:

 

And Terry:  YES! Good idea!

 I do have a family connection to a police office.  I think he would be willing to look up the VIN.   ;)

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Selling it as abandoned is not as easy as it might seem. Read the details. In the end any money offered for the car beyond your expenses to advertise and sell the car goes to the municipality. At the end of the day you would likely end up with a "Salvage" title which is the kiss of death if your Son ever attempts to sell the car.

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Yes, but there is that clause about "if not able to put up for public auction."

 

IDK....this car has become a MAJOR headache.  I just want to be able to park MY car in MY garage.  I would like to avoid hiring a NJ lawyer.  

 

Grrrr......

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Sorry, but it's a little difficult to be sympathetic. No title, no money given to the seller. 

 

If you can't go with a title service, your options are to part it out,  sell it as a parts car with no title, or cut it up and scrap the pieces. I've never needed a title to get rid of scrap metal.

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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Take a ride to the seedy side of town where the car lots have a row of $2995 cars out front. Look for a dealer that has a vintage car sitting beside the building and tell him your situation. You will probably have your paperwork in a week. Throw in an extra $25 and you will get a fresh inspection sticker for the windshield, too. Give $100 tip and they will recognize you for the next 40 years.

 

Some people have been going to the same places for three or more generations.

Bernie

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You end up with a perfectly legal court directed title. Still somewhat of a hassle.

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In Pa you can do a mechanic's type lien and claim title . Just is a lot of trouble to get title . You have to be a business in Pa to do .

Edited by ArticiferTom (see edit history)

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Thank you, again, Restorer!  As a result of this discussion I called and spoke with Mr. Shook just now.  He wants $750 retainer plus whatever filing and mileage fees he incurs.  (He IS a bit of a distance from us.)   I will speak to my son and see what he is willing to pony up for retaining Mr. Shook.  (I am thinking to go halves just to get my parking space back.)

 

Thanks again, everyone.  I will update this thread when/if we move forward with obtaining a title.  Fingers crossed!

 

Edited by Mammy (see edit history)

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28 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Take a ride to the seedy side of town where the car lots have a row of $2995 cars out front. Look for a dealer that has a vintage car sitting beside the building and tell him your situation. You will probably have your paperwork in a week. Throw in an extra $25 and you will get a fresh inspection sticker for the windshield, too. Give $100 tip and they will recognize you for the next 40 years.

 

Some people have been going to the same places for three or more generations.

Bernie

 

Just saw this, Bernie.  NOT a bad idea!   Are you wiling to make a referral?  If so, please PM me. 

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I am no expert on this subject, but I am currently dealing with my own title situation and can tell you what I've done.  In my case, I bought a car in November where the out of state owner mailed me the title and bill of sale.  What he didn't tell me was that the title was still in the name of the person that he had bought the car from, he signed the back as the new owner, but never put it through for transferring into his name.  The result was there was no place for me to sign the title and my state wouldn't recognize it.  An internet search brought this company to my attention http://www.titlerecovery.com/index.html .  I decided to give it a shot and just this morning in my email inbox, I received notice that my application was approved and my registration and license plates were on their way to me.  In my case, the company charged me $158 for their services, and my registration and plates are coming from Vermont.  I do not live in Vermont, but checking the Vermont DMV website, Vermont doesn't require you to be a resident or have a Vermont drivers license in order to register a car there.  They are also a no title state for cars over 15 years old; your registration is your proof of ownership.  Vermont did charge me $510 in sales tax, but of course that amount is based on either what you paid for the car, or what the current NADA value is, whichever is higher.  I figure I'll keep the car registered in Vermont until the registration gets close to expiring, then as the now-recognized owner of the car, transfer it into my home state.  I think what saved me was at least having a bill of sale, but even if you don't have that, you may want to at least contact them and see what they have to say.  For me, the process lasted about two months and took place entirely via online, the telephone, and the US mail.

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This post is only an hour old and already has a bunch of comments. It is a common topic on the forum. It happens a lot. My Son just walked in the house and I told him what I wrote. He laughed and asked if he was a third generation. I said "No, fourth. Gotta count your Great Grandfather."

 

I will buy a car with no papers but the seller has to give a drastic discount. I think the last five cars I have bought I licensed and legally transferred to me as soon as I bought them. That assures there are mine and gives me the green flag to put money into them if I choose. If I become disenchanted with the purchase the sale is from me to the buyer without a string of non-registered owners. It may not seem like a big deal on a project car but time flies by and the paperwork can get put off for a decade or more. Just a question: How many forum readers have owned a car for years that is still in some other person's name legally?

 

So, for reference, I have some personal guidelines. When the internet came along I decided I can risk $3,000 per year, lose it, and not affect anyone in the family but me. I would probably buy a car with no papers up to that limit if I really wanted it. Worst case would not likely be a total loss. I wouldn't buy a modern car without them. Always license and register ASAP. If a problem arises let it happen early. Remember, if you bought it someone else will. I have bought cars I found I didn't like and made money selling them more often than lost.

 

Dealing with car hobbyists is safe and honest, Issues like no title are more commonly stupid problems than dishonesty. And if you are over 20 and can't recognize the difference a little cash forfeiture will smarten you up quickly. A '55 Chevy, I wouldn't expect stupidity. That's a shenanigans type car. The car is probably clean, but has some shady history.

 

Everything can be fixed. It's just a discretionary expense of the hobby. Some are small, some a little bigger. Sit down with your son and figure out a budget and timeline to complete the car. Maybe he will help you push it out to the street on that eye opener.

Bernie

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