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kfle

Restored 1930 Ford Model A Is Not Junk, Nebraska Man Insists, but the State Disagrees

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Just one more reason to square away ALL paperwork PRIOR to a restoration. A little research goes a long way.

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Hard to believe the stat's intractability regarding titling. So I guess that someone would have to find a car that was never titled as junk and play whatever game was necessary to make it work. 

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Got a 1968 Plymouth Sport Fury convertible out of a California junkyard years ago and it was specified as "recycled junk" by the DMV. We were able to title & register the car to take back to Michigan.

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I had to deal with a car with a "junked" title like that, although my case was even weirder. In the days when serial numbers were set by each manufacturer, I ended up with a 1934 Packard that had the same serial number as a Studebaker that had been junked in Wisconsin. Now that the DMV computers are talking to each other, that serial number came up when we went to transfer title on the Packard and caused all kinds of mischief. Ultimately common sense prevailed and they admitted that a car that has been running around on a valid Ohio title for decades shouldn't be penalized just because the computers can talk to each other now when they couldn't before. But yeah, there really is that kind of stubbornness at the DMV. Nobody there has any real authority and if they screw up they get in trouble, so it's just easier to say, "No, too bad, get lost. Next?" They don't need or want the hassles of trying to figure that kind of esoteric stuff out. You need to find a sympathetic supervisor or one of the older ladies who have been there for decades and haven't yet lost their humanity because of it.

 

I suspect this article will be enough to get a supervisor's attention and they'll fix it and call it a big win for everyone and they can pat themselves on the back for a job well done at the good ol' DMV.

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I had an experience roughly the inverse of this. I inherited a 1949 Chevrolet that had been partly disassembled for restoration and then sat out in a field for years. I tried selling it to no avail. Even the street rodders didn't want it. Then a 14-year old boy showed up who was looking for a project. He was with his dad and you could tell they were not people of means. We agreed on a price -- a small amount, basically all the boy had, but he was happy. I went with him and his dad to the DMV to be sure the title was taken out of my name and the DMV evaluated it at $3,000 for tax purposes. That's what their "book" said a 1949 Chevrolet was worth and they were not budging. The boy and his dad had scraped together enough to pay for the car and title but had not counted on sales tax. They had no funds to pay the tax so I paid it for him and gave them a $20 bill to get back home. I basically got nothing for it, but the kid was happy and I remembered getting my first car at age 14. It, too was basically a derelict, but I got several years of enjoyment and experience working on it. 

 

Don

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Florida has two kinds of junk titles: Salvage Rebuildable and Salvage COA. As mentioned once COA it can only be titled/registered (with a new state-issued VIN) if several cars are incorporated into one. I suspect the real issue is "How did it get titled as junk ?"

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It's my distinct impression that Nebraska is a very difficult state to deal with as far as vintage vehicle titles go. A bad experience several years ago with a title-less late 60's BSA B 25 (250 cc ) motorcycle (project) is the basis for my opinion.  That's not to say the people at the NE DMV  are mean or unpleasant - they're usually very nice and helpful, at least with new cars. The laws just require that they be unyielding on title issues.

 

There was another recent thread on the aaca forum that linked to every state's title requirements for old cars, as I recall, but I can't remember where it was. The NE link (again, as I recall) said something like you don't need a need a title on vehicles prior to 1940 except for Fords going back to either 1932 or 1930 (I can't remember which.) You can acquire a title without an existing title for earlier cars. Apparently FoMoCo provided new car buyers with ownership documentation that maybe other makers didn't back in the 1930's (???)

 

Regardless, this page I found from the DMV just now makes no mention of titles for 1930's Fords, so I don't know what's going on with that. Maybe a change in the laws? Anyway, since the link says that if a title hasn't been issued in the last 30 years for these pre-1940 cars, then you can get a replacement title...THAT might've been an approach that would've worked in the Model A situation.  But it would be hard to know that going into the title process for the old car. My vintage motorcycle friends warned me about this with my BSA 250: they said they knew of several amateur motorcycle restorers who went through the time, effort and expense of bringing a bike back to life, only to find out after the project was completed that it couldn't be made street legal or insured. You take care of all title considerations before proceeding with any project. I sold my BSA project to the seller for what I paid without any additional investment.

 

https://dmv.nebraska.gov/dvr/title/antique-motor-vehicle-certificate-title

 

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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Nebraska is the most difficult state in the nation, bar none.

 

If you dont have an in state title, you must have an inspection. If the motor has been replaced in your vehicle, NE will not issue a title. They are completely unyielding to a fault.

 

 

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On 9/13/2019 at 12:27 PM, keiser31 said:

Just one more reason to square away ALL paperwork PRIOR to a restoration. A little research goes a long way.

 

I don't know how some people manage to do it. I do know that it has been done by a fair number of car people in Califunny.  But I have been repeatedly told that "NO car can be titled. or licensed until it is a fully running and driveable vehicle!" DMV even showed me the code book once. I objected, said I didn't like the idea of spending that much time or money on a restoration without first having some sort of legal title in my hand. They did not care, told me "Tough *******", get another hobby, "we don't think you should be driving that old junk anyway!" All kinds of things. So, I do my work. Spend as little as I have to.  And? So far, with more clerical errors than should be allowed, hassles aplenty, I have managed to get a title for every car, usually within a few months.

 
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Wayne,

many states still dont require an inspection- such as NJ. As long as that occurs, anything can be titled.

Many that do require an inspection, only require it to register and not to get titled.

 

 

Edited by mercer09 (see edit history)

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When I purchased my 32’ Olds roadster it had a valid title even though it had been put in storage 50yrs prior. Registration is no joke in MA either and thankfully the PO had titled the car in his name when he acquired it. He knew the system though as he owned a car dealership so he didn’t fool around. When I bought the car 3+ years ago, I immediately went to the RMV, paid the sales tax and title fees getting the new title in my name. All went easily and I just went last week to register it with my title receipt and RMV 1 form from my insurance company. $60 and 14 minutes later I’m walking out with my plates. Had to be the easiest registration I’ve ever done. The correct paperwork is a lifesaver!

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I have drug some pretty ugly stuff over to the Oregon DMV for vin inspection and title transfer.

One DMV guy questioned why I would even mess with that junk.

Once the title and registration is done on the permanent yom plates you never have to go back.

No safety inspection. They don't seem to care how rough the thing is when they register it up. Just has to pass the vin inspection.

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Quote

I don't know how some people manage to do it. I do know that it has been done by a fair number of car people in Califunny.  But I have been repeatedly told that "NO car can be titled. or licensed until it is a fully running and driveable vehicle!" DMV even showed me the code book once.

 

As I said, Nebraska is a notoriously difficult state on titles, but they did inspect - and issue a Nebraska title for - my '50 Plymouth  P-19, and it was not driveable or running (at the time) and hauled down to the DMV offices by a tow truck. I should say however, that my Plymouth had a valid Iowa title...maybe that was the difference. But I'm sure California is probably unique, with their own rules. Which makes me wonder: How does Jay Leno do it? He gets all those barn find obscure makes and turns them into show level cars. I wonder if there's a standard approach he takes (e.g. do the restoration, then apply for title) or if there's a myriad of different scenarios that require a different approach for each car.

 

Again, it sounds like the Nebraska Model A guy might have been able to skirt around the issue he's having had he just applied for a title after the car was finished, as if a title had never existed. But how could he know that up front? It illustrates the need for some sort of appeals process. Government bureaucracies that are regulation heavy create an enormous amount of resentment among the public if there isn't at least an effective appeals process that keeps people from thinking they're under the heel of "big brother."

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CALI IS A RELATIVELY EASY STATE- CHIPS COMES OUT AND THEN YOU GO AND TITLE AT DMV. OR, IF YOURE SMARTER, YOU HAND 70. TO AAA AND THEY DO ALL YOUR PAPERWORK.

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