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Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

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Old 10-17-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
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Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Been browsing craigslist and see quite a few vehicles that are being sold without a title:

How can i be safe in buying a vehicle without a title? (meaning legally)

Ive heard it takes a long time to get a new title issued - is this true?

What do i need to get a title issued in my name (in IL preferably cuz i know thats different in every state)

Should i just stay away from any vehicle with no title?

What exactly is a bill of sale?

im gonna guess its best to have someone run the vin number to make sure it isnt stolen but what if its too old for the computer system?

I know its alot of questions but ive never bought a vehicle without a title...figured this would be a decent place to ask.
Old 10-17-2009, 01:55 AM   #2
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

a bill of sale is basically a document that has the buyer and sellers signatures on it, showing that you did business.


I _________ sold _________________ to ____________ it is an as-is sale. there is no warranty, blah blah blah



sellers signature____ buyers signature__________-
Old 10-17-2009, 01:57 AM   #3
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

ok thats what i thought thanks
Old 10-17-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

If you don't have a title, you don't have proof you really own it. If it doesn't have a title, don't buy it, or see if the owner will help get the title fixed.

It took me 6 months and help from everybody I knew to get a clean IL title for my Mustang before I bought it because the guy whose name was on the title had moved 3 times.
Old 10-17-2009, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

dont know about all states, but normally its a huge pain in the ass. Here in PA its pretty much if you dont have the person the titles name is in sign it over to you.. your not getting a new title.


Then there is the old pulling the windshield method.. which is highly illegal. So basicly long story short.. if it doesnt have a title, dont bother with it for road use. Buy it to part out.
Old 10-17-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

look online..... if ur really interested in this vehicle, there are ways of getting a legal title. There are companies that can do all the work for you for anywhere from 100-600 bucks... as said earlier tho, i wouldnt bother with it
Old 10-17-2009, 10:49 AM   #7
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

you could move to Mexico and drive it their.
Old 10-17-2009, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

I am about ready to embark on this journey soon but my truck is a 53 ford. The vin was on the frame and my truck is only the body
Old 10-17-2009, 06:17 PM   #9
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

buy it with a bill of sale. this will cover your ass.

it will state that you bought the vehicle from _____, and if it's stolen or whatever you bought it legally and anything that happened before the date of purchase is result of something the seller did.
Old 10-17-2009, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Quote: Originally Posted by dustin42069
you could move to Mexico and drive it their.
Drive Mexico's what?




And I wouldn't bother with a vehicle with no title for street use.
Old 10-17-2009, 07:15 PM   #11
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Quote: Originally Posted by Zapnoma
Drive Mexico's what?




And I wouldn't bother with a vehicle with no title for street use.
Their period, duh.
Old 10-17-2009, 07:37 PM   #12
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

If it hasn't been titled with in the last 10 years you should be able to get a title with the bill of sale just go to the BMV and they have the paper work that you need with that and a police check you can get a title alest in Indiana. I just did one last week and it was from IL.
Old 10-18-2009, 10:46 AM   #13
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

i wouldnt buy it, with no title if could have lien on it etc. just went through a bs time because my unc/gramp never handled paperwork so my 97 FS still showed up as having a lien from the bank sigh... needless to say it was bs.

bill of sale isnt ish if you dont have a title get another truck.
Old 10-18-2009, 11:16 AM   #14
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

in ct you need to do a title search which could take months, and you need like a notarized signed bill of sale from the last person the vehicle was titled to. Best bet, is to get the vin # and call the police, Make sure its not stolen before you even buy it. And if you cant locate the last person to have hte registration, its almost easier just to buy a parts car for the vin tags, and swap the tags over. But theres still room for getting your balls broken with that too.

there are a couple websites out there if you search lost titles, you basically fill out some paperwork, and give them power of attorney over the car, They in turn register the car in your name in a state that does not require a title for registration, such as maine or RI or whatever. i think you still need to show them a notarized bill of sale, But if you had to.. im sure it wouldn't be too hard to fudge that. Pay the $16, have your friend become a notary and just notarize a bogus bill of sale. But the registration they give you is all legit, so you'll get a title back so you can register it in your own state.

heres one place:
http://www.its-titles.com/

theres more too.
Old 10-18-2009, 11:22 AM   #15
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Buy it, then buy a dash and clean title from a totaled truck
Old 10-18-2009, 03:03 PM   #16
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Quote: Originally Posted by Wrkn prgs
Buy it, then buy a dash and clean title from a totaled truck

The VIN is located on the metal part of the cab, not the dash though. You can feel the rivets backside if you take out the cowl plastic and reach up in there.
Old 10-18-2009, 03:23 PM   #17
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

let it go unless your ready for a head ache.
Old 10-18-2009, 03:33 PM   #18
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Dont bother with it, in Mo i'm pretty sure its actually illegal to buy on without a title. To legalize it you need the last person who registered the vehicle to file for a new title. No random person can just file for a new one, then nothing would stop people from just stealing a car then fiiling for a new title.

I would just walk away, or buy it for parts.
Old 10-18-2009, 09:06 PM   #19
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

You can purchase with bill of sale in Illinois. I do a bit of restoration on classics and have been told from day one, "No title, no value." It isn't worth the hassle. We had a debate the other day about being able to title an untitled vehicle in Illinois, and the final answer leaned more to the not being able to do it side. As ls1s10 said, there are companies that will fix the problem for you, with costs at what he mentioned. They basically buy the vehicle off of you, register it in a state (alabama I think) that allows to title from bill of sale. Then sell it back to you with a title. That would be a few months of down time, and $1000 out of your project budget for a piece of paper. Or just do the totaled vehicle vin tag deal.


Edit: I remember talking to someone about a builder/hobby title. But, state has to come out and do an inspection and search for info on vehicle. He had a title stating that he owned two vehicles in one. He had a limo with two front ends on it, that could be driven either from the front or back, two engine FF drive train on both engines.

And someone said something about bill of sale saving you from losing the vehicle if it was stolen. BS. It was mentioned to check with cops about the vin, that would be a good idea, it would still get taken from you. Bill of sale is pretty self explanitory, just a paper saying you bought it. Evidence of purchasing stolen goods. lol

Last edited by towb3; 10-18-2009 at 09:15 PM.
Old 10-19-2009, 06:10 PM   #20
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

well it wouldnt be worth it at all to use one of those companies since the usuall price range i look at is less than 1K.

yea my suspicions were correct then: would be too much of a pain to get a new title.

now if the vehicle was originally in the buyers name and he lost it can he get a new title in his name? like have another one printed off? then do it the normal way of signing the title over to me etc...
Old 10-19-2009, 06:21 PM   #21
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Have a friendly shady garage friend file for abandoned title, long as their is no lien and its not stolen, should turn out ok in time... months though, not weeks...

But...I'd stay away from it...
Old 10-19-2009, 06:33 PM   #22
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

no title, goes to show how much the owner cared. dont mess with it man.
Old 10-19-2009, 06:34 PM   #23
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Quote: Originally Posted by comics22
now if the vehicle was originally in the buyers name and he lost it can he get a new title in his name? like have another one printed off? then do it the normal way of signing the title over to me etc...

yes. he wil need to go to his dmv, get a new title and then he can sign it over to you.
i personally wouln't do it, if there was no title.

i just went through hassle where i bought a utility trailer, guy never put the title in his name, although he signed it over to me in the "seller" spot.

long story short, after a few days of bullshit at the dmv, i went back to his house demanded my money back and he got his trailer back.
Old 10-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #24
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

yea that too idiots that dont get a title in thier name
Old 10-20-2009, 07:00 AM   #25
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

idk if this has been said yet, but if you know someone with a bodyshop business or whatever, they can put a lien on the vehicle saying they did [this amount] of work to it, and after 3 months they will issue the shop a title for the vehicle if the owner doesn't claim it and pay the shop and then they can sign it over to you. Just make sure its legit work that can be proved they done for worst case scenarios. I had no problem when I bought my 96 Jimmy, I had a friends shop do a title lien on it and had the title in my name in a couple months.
Old 10-20-2009, 07:31 AM   #26
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

In Arkansas, if it is over 25 years old, you can buy it with just a bill of sale. Now anything that is newer you can file for lost title, its not hard to do, but its lengthy in time.

I'd suggest calling your local DMV and ask them.
Old 11-11-2009, 03:00 AM   #27
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

In maine I just got an 81 trans am last month with only bill of sale. No inspection needed because its considered a classic and no title because of that as well. Its actually in the picture on the left. ( im selling it too) But if its 15 years old we dont need a title. However. I just got a 96 buick last month too with a bill of sale but never got a title.

I had to track down the guy who didnt live where he sold the car. Come to find out he is a registered sex offender. so i googled his name and then BOOM address picture and physical description haha. I had to get him to sign a paper saying he lost the title. they then printed off a new one for him. i just put my address on the paper so they sent it to me haha.


Or i suppose you could forge it... but risky business. If you had the time and didnt want to do any of that just get a decent junker of the same style. and put all the good shit on that car. Or hell, steal a kickass truck and salvage it for parts to put on a junker. haha. But that's even riskier. And a dick move.

Last edited by Forsakenmike3000; 11-11-2009 at 03:02 AM.
Old 11-11-2009, 03:15 AM   #28
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

IL is screwy, every vehicle needs a title and its a massive pain to get one if you dont have one.
Old 11-12-2009, 01:17 AM   #29
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

do a carfax on it if its not too old. if that comes back good then check your state laws for titling a vehicle. every state is different but in most its really easy on something that is older and hasnt been registered in years. here if its 25 years or older you just have to get a physical inspection done by the state police and they run the vin and make sure it isnt stolen and give you an affidavid of physical inspection to take to a title place with your notarized bill of sale. from there you just play the waiting game for a week or 2 and you get the title in the mail.
Old 11-12-2009, 01:07 PM   #30
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

yea im not sure of the laws regarding old vehicles. carfax doesnt go back that far in the vehicles im lookin at (60's-early 80's)

i really hate it when i have to get a title, they always **** somehting up. When i got the title for my 1929 model A issued in my name (origional title from 1969 in my grandpas name) the lady at the DMV clearly wrote it out correctly but when i got it back it said 1929 ford grand cherokee! damn springfield ****s up again!

hopefully the seller would be nice enough to get it reissued in his name or something. you would think if they want a vehicle sold faster they would have a duplicate title issued to them and then sell it....
Old 07-02-2010, 08:13 PM   #31
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

IL = have to have title and no exceptions


if title is lost then the last person registered as owner on the title has to pay for a replacement title and hten when they receive it in the mail in about a month they sign it over to the buyer. it cost 65 to replace a title the last i knew but it may be more now i think they just raised fees again here recently like the plates stickers that went to 99 now,

in IL the title is a state legal document and is required 100% when transferring ownership of motorized vehicles for use on the streets. there is no way around it.

no title = no sale or buy legally, in IL

bill of sale is totally completely useless in this state

and the state po-po's have been cracking down on this big time.. i know several ppl locally who have been sent to federal prison over titles not being done correctly,. and i know several more who should be and have gotten away with buying selling without titles or with messed up titles. they also will sometimes sit at shredder yards and stop and check ppl hauling in a junk vehicle to make sure they have a good title for them. if tey dont then they are in some deep doo doo


its not worth the risk man. each state has certain things they zero tolerance

and in IL motor vehicle titles is a HUGE one

ive owned a billion vehicles since i was 16 and have had tons of titles to sign as buyer and to sign over as seller i personally know a local DMV officer here at our DMV office. i learned alot from him about how this stuff works in this state, and its insane... age of vehicle has nothing to do with title requirement, it is still ALL motorized vehicles that are to be used on the roads that are required to have a current good title and in the owners name(s). a vehicle that has never been registered or that is home made will have a special custom vin number assigned to it after a safety and such inspections are performed and it passes them. a title and registration search can be performed in this state but it will only give you owners' names and not their addresses or anything else. sometimes the vehicle has not been registered for so long that there are no records any more, usuall over 7 years, sometimes a little longer.
its happened to me a few times now,..,

Last edited by fast68chevy; 07-02-2010 at 08:22 PM.
Old 07-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #32
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

edit time ran out on me, can an admin please fix this thanks!


a vehicle that has never been registered or that is home made will have a special custom vin number assigned to it after a safety and such inspections are performed and it passes them (also if it is not stolen- checked by state police)

also, a title and registration search can be performed in this state(for a fee)
it will only give you past and current owners' names but not their addresses or anything else.
sometimes the vehicle has not been registered for so long that there are no records any more, usually over 7 years, sometimes a little longer.
its happened to me a few times now,..,

hope that helps anyone in IL

find out specifics at cyberdriveillinois.com


vin/reg checker:
http://www.ilsos.gov/regstatus/

other services links
http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/se...motorists.html
good luck!

Last edited by fast68chevy; 07-02-2010 at 08:28 PM.
Old 07-02-2010, 09:56 PM   #33
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Quote: Originally Posted by 98layinframe
dont know about all states, but normally its a huge pain in the ass. Here in PA its pretty much if you dont have the person the titles name is in sign it over to you.. your not getting a new title.

Pffft...you need hook-ups.


What kinda vehicle are you looking at? I haz a title/VIN plate for a 2000 sonoma.
Old 07-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #34
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Quote: Originally Posted by fastr68
edit time ran out on me, can an admin please fix this thanks!


a vehicle that has never been registered or that is home made will have a special custom vin number assigned to it after a safety and such inspections are performed and it passes them (also if it is not stolen- checked by state police)

also, a title and registration search can be performed in this state(for a fee)
it will only give you past and current owners' names but not their addresses or anything else.
sometimes the vehicle has not been registered for so long that there are no records any more, usually over 7 years, sometimes a little longer.
its happened to me a few times now,..,

hope that helps anyone in IL

find out specifics at cyberdriveillinois.com


vin/reg checker:
http://www.ilsos.gov/regstatus/

other services links
http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/se...motorists.html
good luck!
cool thanks for all the info!
Old 07-07-2010, 11:16 PM   #35
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Re: Buying a vehicle with no title - what should i do to make it legal?

Move to mississippi. All you need is a bill of sale and you can buy a title bond. They only check vins back one year so as long as it was stolen in 2008 or before, you can get a title, no problem. Or, so I am told.
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