Originally Posted by Centerline
I have to disagree on this issue.
These so called "title services" companies are NOT the way to go in most cases. All they do is circumvent the law and most states have caught on to this scheme and won't accept a title obtained in this manor.
The ONLY legitimate way to obtain a title when the car has none is to contact your state's DMV and follow their guidelines. Every state has procedures for titling vehicles that have only a bill of sale and although it may take a little time and paperwork at least the title will be obtained correctly. Many states are no longer accepting titles obtained through title companies so if you choose to use one of these places to obtain one you may have wasted a couple hundred bucks in the process.
Using a title company is tantamount to skirting the law. Use one if you want but don't come complaining back here when your state says they won't accept it.
There are many title service companies performing legitimate services. You do not have to go it alone and this is not skirting the law . I used a similar service to complete title transfer of a Model T that I purchased from out of state. Original Model Ts didn't have VIN numbers, only serial numbers on the engine. These can be difficult to verify if the original engine cannot be documented. Obviously this was not the original engine. I wasn't sure what I would need to complete the transfer (I didn't know what I needed to do and didn't want to get off into left field with the DMV), so I used a title service company in my local area. This company primarily handles title work for automobile dealers but they will also do individual transfers. They told me exactly what I would need from the seller before I completed the sale. They then took the paperwork, processed it at the DMV, got me a title, and the plates to boot. All completed in 24 hours. All as per DMV regulations. The fee was only $10. These people have been in our area ever since I can remember - when I was 16, I worked over the summer for a car dealer who took all their titlework to this company. I will use them again when the opportunity arises.
As hotrod says, using a professional service may be the way to go. Stay away from the title washers and other who get the paperwork via illegitimate methods.
My shop partner bought a Stanley Steamer from England while it was on tour here in the states. Now that was a challenge because the car had no paperwork at all other than a bill of sale that was typed up by the seller. It took about a month but he finally got the attention of a DMV worker who knew how the state's system worked and got it done. The point is there are legal ways to get what you want, but you have to get someone who knows how to work the exceptions that are invariably present and allowed for within the system. If you're lucky and get the right civil servant the first time, by all means play the lottery that day, too. Otherwise use a legitimate professional service.