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1939 Master Deluxe

Just picked up1939 2 dr sedan from family member no title or tag on cowl

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My father purchased this car 20 years ago.  The car had the original engine and title.  Before he started working on the car he put the car in his name.  He has since passed and we can not locate the title.  He was in the process of restoring the car.  He pulled the original engine and disposed of it(so no engine block id). He stripped and painted the firewall and cowl so no vehicle tag.  He titled the car in Delaware County Pa and we live in Chester County Pa.  How do I get this car registered in my name.  My mother has a copy of the death certificate if this is helpful.    I am ready to take to the paint shop as he fixed the body and it is ready for paint.  I do not want to invest the money until I know how to make it legal. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thank you

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Since you already had a PA title for it there are ways to request a duplicate title from the PA DMV.  A local license/ title transfer company should be able to help you.  They will probably charge a fee for their assistance.

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There is an attorney , an AACA member, who specializes in this kind of problem in the area.  I you need his help happy to pass along his info.

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I would try the DMV first and find out the procedure to get a replacement title. It may be a little involved as the registered owner is deceased. The executor of the estate may have to apply. There must be a way of doing this, this sort of thing happens all the time.

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There is usually a process within a Probate Estate in addition to many of the comments above (including application for a duplicate/lost title and Court processes to get titles too) - while there are work arounds, the question comes about as to what else you are working around via a probate estate and what problems that causes your mother and you/family further down the road (ie. my experience is that most people do not plan well to avoid a Probate proceeding)  As a sidenote:  there is nothing ever to be afraid of via probable - usually super user friendly process. 

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If you are a member of AAA you might want to speak with them. I have always found them to be very helpful in these matters.

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If your father put it in his name prior to his passing, you should be able to request a duplicate title without much issue beyond proving that you're his heir. In Ohio, a replacement title is $15. If your father never transferred it and it's still in the previous owner's name (or worse, three or five owners ago), you might have a bit of an uphill battle. There are resources mentioned in this thread who can help, but the degree of simplicity and cost of fixing the problem all depends on whose name is on the title in PA's official records. If it isn't your father, I strongly recommend you stop spending money on the car immediately until you have this sorted out, because you may not be able to quickly or inexpensively title it, register it, nor drive it.

 

This is why you always transfer title into your own name when you buy a car, not when you get around to it--yes, yes, I know paying taxes sucks. If you have a title problem in the future, finding that guy in North Dakota three owners ago whose signature is on the back from 1967 and asking him to jump through a lot of hoops for you at the DMV is going to be a real problem...

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