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Thread: Buying a vehicle without a title (California)

  1. #1
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    Buying a vehicle without a title (California)

    Has anyone done this and if so how much of a pain was it? I've discovered Nevada has titling services so I'm not sure if that is an option.

    I know they owner can apply for a duplicate/lost title but I have a feeling they aren't the original owner and acquired this through trades or payment for services. It is just the cab and nothing else so I don't think it's stolen. Some preliminary research says the CHP can do a VIN inspection and issues something like a temporary title and they're mostly looking to see if the vehicle was reported stolen.

    I'm not aware of registered owners information being public record in California otherwise I'd consider going to the DMV with the VIN.

    Anyone have experience with something along these lines? Lost title by the not registered current owner from out of State?
    Quote Originally Posted by bdevr View Post
    Wow, this thread is like a ping pong match with 8 players on an octagonal table. Pointless and dizzying...

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    I support Blue Ribbon Coalition!
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    I've purchased several vehicles without titles form NV and CA. They were all parted out or used for projects. After going through the nightmare of trying to get the title sorted out on a truck I had, I would never purchase something that I was going to put in my name if the seller could not provide a title. Sounds like you'll be fine if you're just using it for parts. I've never done anything when getting a no title vehicles besides talk the seller down more.

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    I support Reno4x4!
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    Been there, done that, won't do it again unless it's for parts.

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    Wheeler
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    I have bought two vehicles with out titles. I had the sheriff's office run the vin prior to any exchange of cash.

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    I piss excellence.
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    If you're trying to register the cab, I'd make sure the chassis isn't already registered. Unlikely but definitely possible.
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    How do you scrap what's left without the title? I tried picknpull, RAW, Sunwest Metals and Schnitzer with a truck I sold to a friend, he gave back then moved overseas. Nobody would touch it.

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    I support Blue Ribbon Coalition!
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrenchjunkie View Post
    How do you scrap what's left without the title? I tried picknpull, RAW, Sunwest Metals and Schnitzer with a truck I sold to a friend, he gave back then moved overseas. Nobody would touch it.
    You cut it up with a sawzall

  8. The Following 2 Users Like Cole's Post:

    Desertdog77 (September 2nd, 2015), tahoe1028 (September 2nd, 2015)

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    Ignore the machine
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    I once purchased a motorcycle for $100 (in boxes), had title but was never titled in the last owner. Cost me $250 to get the registration sorted.... I will never purchased a vehicle without a properly assigned title in the seller name.. pile of parts that will never be on the road.. maybe, however it might turn up stolen.
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    I did it for NV and it wasn't that bad.

    You have to send a registered letter to the current owner on record, if they get back and say "It's not mine", you're done.

    Without a response, you must post an article in a local paper for three consecutive weeks asking for the owner to come forward. If no body objects, the judge awards you a title.

    My issue was the DMV requiring a VIN verification by the local PD. The judge had already verified the VIN but that wasn't good enough for the DMV. So, I had to bother the local police to come out and write down the VIN for the DMV.

    I'd guess I was out $200 and some of my time.
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    I bought a complete non wrecked Sidekick with a blown engine from a wrecking yard in California. They would only give a Bill of Sale, but that didn't bother me because I planned on parting it out. Well, plans changed and I never parted it, so tried selling it whole. As stated above, wrecking yards would not touch it without a title. So, I went to DMV here in Fallon to see if I could get a title..........nope, not with a Bill of Sale. I even made an appointment with Truckee DMV to see if I could get a title. No problem, IF I bring it back there after having a brake, light and smog check on it. Not very easy to do with a blown motor. I ended up putting up on CL for sale as is and sold it to a guy in Reno that was going to put an engine in it, get it smogged and go to California DMV. He got it done, but what a pain.

  12. The Following User Likes Nevadastars's Post:

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  13. #11
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    Has anyone tried a titling service to obtain a bonded title?
    Quote Originally Posted by bdevr View Post
    Wow, this thread is like a ping pong match with 8 players on an octagonal table. Pointless and dizzying...

  14. #12
    Web Wheeler
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    Bumping this because I started a thread and THEN did a search. Apparently I think of random stuff every two years.


    So how would you register a vehicle without a title? Any way not to get screwed out of money? Any experience with bonded titles?
    Quote Originally Posted by bdevr View Post
    Wow, this thread is like a ping pong match with 8 players on an octagonal table. Pointless and dizzying...

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