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Titles in PA.


Littlestown Mike
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Is Pa a "difficult" state for titles?  I have looked at a few "project" cars from out of State and they have "open" titles.  i think that means that the name on the front of the Title is not the same as the signature on the back, and neither is the current owner/seller.  As these are long distance potential purchases, I ask for a photo of the Title.  Some seller comply and other s ignore the request.  When i showed the photo of an open title to a PA Title Clerk, he said "That would be a problem in Pa."
I certainly do not want to purchase and then restore a car only to find out I can't Title it.

I know some sellers at flea markets give only a Bill of Sale.  How does that work in PA.
Spring Carlisle is just around the corner and I'd like to know how you guys handle Title issues--especially in PA.

Thanks,

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I would never buy a car from anyone anywhere without a clear transferable title. If the Title Clerk says it would be a problem then it will be. You're just asking for trouble. There are plenty of cars for sale with proper titles. Stay away from the questionable ones altogether. 

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From my experience, I can tell you every used vehicle I have tried to title in PA has been a royal pain unless the documentation is exact.  That includes a boat and a boat trailer.  I had to track that boat and the trailer back through 4 owners to find the one who happened to have the titles, the bills of sale were not accepted.

 

PA is even getting pretty fussy in that the name of the owner printed on the title must be the one signing it over to you on the back.  Titles that were signed over to another owner in the past, but not transferred into that owner’s name, get flagged for “title flipping”.

 

You will have a much easier experience if the seller has the title printed in their name and they are the ones who sign it over to you.  In the rare case that the car is being purchased from a state that does not title, a current valid registration from that state in the seller’s name will work with some red tape.  

 

PA will also make their own independent determination of the value of the car, and if it your stated value is only marginally lower they will make you justify it.  They want every tax cent they can get.

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17 minutes ago, classic_cruiser said:

PA will also make their own independent determination of the value of the car, and if it your stated value is only marginally lower they will make you justify it.  

 

That happened to me once more than 10 years ago when

buying a used or antique car, but not in recent years or this year.

To "justify" the price, I merely wrote that their price guide was

not accurate.  So this isn't a step to worry about.

 

I have never bought a car without a title;  but when buying

a car with a title, I use the local AAA office (American Automobile

Ass'n).  They handle the paperwork for a small fee and make it easy.

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2 hours ago, Joe Cocuzza said:

...to verify the VIN # or you will need a pencil trace of the VIN if the car is not present. 

Joe, that may not be the current practice.

Newer cars, such as those from the 1970's up,

can't get a pencil tracing, because the serial #

is behind the windshield glass.  Now they ask

for a form to be filled out, which a mechanic

or policeman signs to indicate he has seen

the number.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, classic_cruiser said:

PA will also make their own independent determination of the value of the car, and if it your stated value is only marginally lower they will make you justify it.  They want every tax cent they can get.


we have the same setup here and basically it’s because the honour system was trashed by people claiming they only paid 100 bucks for a car, there are legitimate no fee transfers for the normal types of scenarios but was abused by people trying to avoid tax.

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Here in Maryland, I transferred a title from an estate to my name last summer. There was no dollar value on the vehicle as it was given to me in return for services ( I hauled it off the lot and did not charge them). I was concerned about be taxed and how to determine value of a basket case. The DMV clerk told me that on an antique car there was no tax added. Just the normal fees. Car was a 1966 model.

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