Lebowski

Why is there no national database in the US that keeps track of antique car sales?

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I sold this 1960 Edsel Ranger in 2016 to a guy in the San Jose, CA area but don't have his name and address. Every year when I pay the registration fees for our other vehicles I have to pay for the Edsel too since there apparently is no national database that shows that he registered it in California. I don't have any proof that he actually did except that he said he would and I saw a pic of it on a tour out there with California plates on it. The guy at the vehicle registration office here in Kentucky said that even if he did register it there is no reciprocal agreement (or something like that)  between CA and KY which would show that it was registered out there and that I needed to give them his name and address. I don't remember much about the buyer except that he owns some other Edsels and I believe that he is active with other Edsel owners in the SF Bay Area. If someone knows who he is please send me a PM. Thanks....

 

PS..............In this day and age you would think that there would be a national database in the US which shows when someone registers an old car so that the previous owner can stop paying annual registration fees for it. Why isn't there?

 

 

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Edited by Lebowski (see edit history)

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There is usually an a form to fill out while selling a car. It says that you sold it and no longer have the obligation of registering it. Most states have this form on their titles. Did you do that? We in Oregon MUST let the state know that we sold a vehicle or this stuff can happen.

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What if you just don't pay the registration fee?

 

Here in WA, where we have historically had the most draconian vehicle laws in the country, there is a "release of interest" form that you send the state when you sell a car. It is a tear-off thing attached to the title. It is not for the state's benefit, it is for yours. If the car is involved in an accident, the state already has it on record that you do not own it. If it incurs parking fees, abandonment fees, etc., the state knows you don't own it. Also, the new owner is required to transfer the title within a certain period of time. He could incur fees if he waits too long and you have already sent in your release of interest.

 

They really require you to register cars you don't use? I thought only California did that.

 

EDIT: dc-8dave responded while I was typing. Yes, many people don't bother. Some ignore it intentionally to give the new owner more time. As long as there is no wreck... no harm no foul.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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All you have to do is fill out an incomplete title transfer form.  I did this with a motorcycle that the person never registered.  I am in KY also.

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The DMVs all talk to one another now. So if he registers it, your state will know and it should work itself out.

 

Of course, there's no guarantee he will register it, because that means he'll have to pay his sales tax like every other responsible adult. Everyone wants to dodge sales tax. I bet he asked you to just sign the title and leave everything else blank for him, didn't he? Or put down some crazy low number to "help him out on taxes?" Yeah, that's a problem. Most guys seem to just throw the titles in a file and drive around on an old plate they had laying around and never register the car. Then someday in the future, someone sells that car and hands the third or fifth or tenth owner after you your blank title with your signature on it. Fifteen years from now, some poor schlub who thought he was buying a car on a "good title" will call you and ask you to make him a bill of sale so he can register the car you didn't sell to him.

 

But this is a different thing than a database, I guess.

 

Making a database to track who owns what car, well, I suppose I'd be in favor of it if we can do it for all the guns first. No? Why would doing it for cars would be any more palatable? Especially if it's searchable by just anyone. Club directories are bad enough with bottom-feeders calling owners trying to buy special cars, but letting any jerk with a computer find out what I own? No thanks.

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45 minutes ago, 39BuickEight said:

All you have to do is fill out an incomplete title transfer form.  I did this with a motorcycle that the person never registered.  I am in KY also.

 

I asked about that the last two times that I went in there and was told that they need the name and address of the buyer. When I go in again next February I'll specifically ask for an "incomplete title transfer form" and see if they have even heard of it. In the meantime I was hoping to get the name and address of the buyer like they told me to do. By the way, I'm not losing any sleep over this since the annual fee for the Edsel is only 68 cents but it's just kind of annoying to be told that I have to pay it year after year....

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There very well could be a national database to track registered/titled ownership of all cars/vehicles, antique and modern, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's only accessible by LEO and may even require a court order to obtain information from.

 

OTOH, if the vehicle is not registered or even titled to current owner/possessor ...

... and if OP didn't bother to obtain/verify buyers information and notify his local authorities promptly, well...

... who's fault ? 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)

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All we need is more government data bases to protect people who do not follow procedures.  Yes we should have more government databases so we can complain more about big brother. 

In over 70 years the biggest problems that I have seen in person and in print has been caused to themselves or others by not following directions or by trying to circumvent the rules and regulations that are already there to protect us.

 

Cave venditor is as important in life as caveat emptor.

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When I sold my Honda S2000 and my 49 Ford pickup I lived in Lexington Ky. The goofy state of KY makes you and the buyer go into the county office and do the transfer paper work. Even if you are selling it out of state. The only way you are going to get it solved is going in with a notarized bill of sale and a copy of the new owners CA registration. That goofy state even tried to give me static when we moved out of state and they tried to tax me for our current cars. I’m sure You can thank Mitch and Rand for how messed up the state is but be careful Rand may take a swing at you. 

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I have to admit, I don't have the name and addresses of people I sold cars to. In my state, however, you can keep a car unregistered - without fees - by submitting an affidavit to the DMV. This is designed for people who maybe want to store old cars that aren't road ready, but could possibly be used for a situation like the OP's.

 

Having to pay registration fees on a car you don't own is just wrong. The gov't shouldn't get away with that.

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All you have to do is fill out an incomplete title transfer form.  I did this with a motorcycle that the person never registered.  I am in KY also.  If 39BuickEight is correct then the Government in KY is not doing anything wrong and they are not trying to or getting away with anything.

 

Follow the directions

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There is also a YouTube video of that car. Did you make the video?

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47 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

There is also a YouTube video of that car. Did you make the video?

 

That video came from the YouTube account of someone named Duder Lebowski. Does that name sound familiar? That was me of course. I ended up buying another 223 Ford straight six from a guy near Erie, PA. I mentioned on this site that I had never done an engine swap and was contacted by Junkyard Jeff who made a total of 5 (or was it 6?) trips here from Dayton, Ohio and we got it swapped in and the new engine didn't smoke at all. Here's a link to the video if you want to check it out for a few laughs. Thanks to Detective Keiser for finding it.... :)

 

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Looks like it's for sale again or is this your ad?....https://1car.one/1960-edsel-ranger-coupe-41509.html

 

I think that's an old ad from a couple of years ago but the name Ted sounds familiar. Salinas isn't too far from San Jose but 415 is a Bay Area area code and doesn't cover Salinas but I may call it tomorrow and see what happens....

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31 minutes ago, Lebowski said:

 

I think that's an old ad from a couple of years ago but the name Ted sounds familiar. Salinas isn't too far from San Jose but 415 is a Bay Area area code and doesn't cover Salinas but I may call it tomorrow and see what happens....

 

The 415 area code is San Francisco. But with cellphones and number portability that doesn't mean much nowadays. My house phone and both my wife's and my cell numbers are in the 408 area code (“Silicon Valley”) but we’ve been living in the 916 area code for several years now.

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In Calif there is a Release of Liability form that you complete and submit to the DMV that releases you from any DMV fees and liability should the car be involved in an accident or a crime.

I never let a car leave my driveway with the new owner unless one of those forms are completed at time of sale.

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For peace of mind and to limit your liability for tickets, accidents, etc. under the new owner, you might want to take care of this sooner rather than later. The downloadable Incomplete Transfer form and related instructions can be found on the Commonwealth's website at: https://drive.ky.gov/motor-vehicle-licensing/Pages/Vehicle-Titling.aspx under the heading Selling a Vehicle to an Out-of-State Resident. It looks like specific questions should be directed to the appropriate county clerk's office.

 

A seller can almost never count on the buyer following through, for whatever reason. For the last car that I sold, I met the buyer at AAA (some here in CA offer DMV services at their offices) and did the cash/title exchange while waiting in line to turn in the Seller's Release of Liability form and have the buyer transfer the title. I had marked up the sale price of the car to cover the smog inspection and transfer fees, then took care of those for the buyer so that the buyer couldn't claim they didn't have the funds to transfer the title into their name. I walked out with the cash, buyer walked out with the car keys and registration in her name. 

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7 hours ago, Writer Jon said:

A seller can almost never count on the buyer following through, 

 

Is that ever true!  The stories I can tell...

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30 minutes ago, Brass is Best said:

Ohio makes dealers put the car in the new owners name to avoid problems like this. 

 

I think that's good, but a good number people lose their minds when I tell them that's what we have to do. Several guys have even dropped the deal when I told them they weren't getting a blank title. They just want me to sign the title, leave everything else blank, and let them have it to do whatever they want. Um, how about no? How about I don't want to be responsible when you kill someone with your unregistered car? How about I don't want someone calling me 15 years in the future demanding that I fix a title with my name on it that subsequent owners never bothered to transfer? How about you act like an adult and actually own the car you paid to own? Waaa waaa waaa, I don't wanna pay sales tax. Too bad, we all have to live with it (I even title my personal cars in my own name instead of the dealership, and that means I'm paying sales tax as well). Man up or get out of the hobby if you can't afford to play by the rules.

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The liability issue is both the elephant in this room and a problem with a double edge. How can the new owner insure the car without holding a valid title? 

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I don't think I've ever had an insurance company ask to see a title when taking out a policy. I pay my elderly father's car insurance for him as part of my policy and they never asked for anything but the VIN.

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I haven’t sold a lot of cars in my life, maybe 5 or 6 at most. But everyone I’ve sold I write up a bill of sale with all of the buyers info (complete name/address info) and even his drivers license number. I have a place for signature and date for both the seller and the buyer. I usually do it in duplicate - one for the buyer and one for me. 
it protects me in case the buyer causes an accident or hits someone, he may even use it as a get away car in a robbery for all I know and I don’t want to spend any time explaining it wasn’t me. 
Common sense protect yourself! 

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