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Discussion Starter #1
Any fellow Washingtonians here that can share any "old car title" wisdom with me?

I have no idea where to ask this, so i'm throwing it here. Good buddy passed away in January. We've been helping his widow sort out his HUGE pile of stuff and his collection of cars. So much stuff. One of the things on the property is a '46 truck. I'm going to take it home but I'm stuck. The title was cut in 1971 and is the name of a guy that's been dead for 5 years. And when he died he had no family. His second-cousins-former-roomates-livein-butler-exwife or something came down from Canada as the appointed executor of the estate. She cleaned everything up, sold the house, and vanished. We don't know who she was or how to get ahold of her. Folks around at the time said she didnt even talk to anyone or return calls so I highly doubt I will ever hear from her again.
So am I boned here? Is 1946 old enough to play title games with? I'm loathe to try to forge signatures and make it go away. Anyone have any ideas what I can do?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I looked into the lien option. It requires a lot of footwork to contact the legal registered owner and/or there estate with brings me back to the first problem. No one knows who that is or how to get a hold of them.
 

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court records.

If some one was the executor of the estate there should be some court records. also you could do a real estate title search thru a title company, find some names. and search the family of the Dmv name on the title. We bought couple trucks from a widow that shed did not have titles for, and got the DMV forms for no title and had a sherif deputy inspect vin number, the widow signed them and we got clear titles
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If some one was the executor of the estate there should be some court records. also you could do a real estate title search thru a title company, find some names. and search the family of the Dmv name on the title. We bought couple trucks from a widow that shed did not have titles for, and got the DMV forms for no title and had a sherif deputy inspect vin number, the widow signed them and we got clear titles
Yeah that would be really easy to do here as well if we had anyone attached to the estate that could sign something. As it is, we have no one.
 

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Capt Mike
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I read Washington DMV re your dilemma.

Have you called the DMV and told them that you have this truck that was gifted or sold to you and the executor has not responded to you and the same for others ?? Might be worth a conversation. IE made the deal and left no where to be found..

Many times there's other rules, laws etc that aren't provided on a web page.

I've seen this before. But In Oregon it's different rules and laws..

good luck.

Michael.
 

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I will endevour to persevere
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I have played the Worshington DMV game and won a few and lost a few. To be simple there are a lot hoops to go through and several ways to accomplish that.

I bought a truck years ago from an asphalt paving company that was being liquidated. I had to put up a ownership bond and hold the vehicle for 2 years without selling it. In the end DMV found a lost lienholder on the truck and it was a bank in Oregon. That voided the bond and I was not allowed to sell or license the rig so I tore it apart and sold it piecemeal. The bonded title I was trying to get a mechanics lien through was a lot of legwork and forms and registered letters and waiting a lot all was for naught! I swore I would never touch a vehicle again without a clear title and to this day I have walked away from many "Deals" due to paperwork problems.

There are several ways to clear the title but all of them require you the buyer to do a lot of legwork. DMV will not take anyone's word about anything unless you have signed and notarized paper trail. So if your serious better put the walking shoes on and make sure there is ink in the pen. good luck..:cool:
 

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Semper Gumby
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There are several states where establishing title is a LOT easier. Might be worthwhile to look into getting a title from, for example, South Dakota, and thus be able to transfer it to yourself in Washington?

No idea how feasible this is, but there are several non-title states where you can establish legal ownership.
 

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lein sale company.

When I was in California I had a friend that worked for a used car dealer. there were companies that did the lein sale for a bout $ 100 in the 1990's. I bought a Mustang 5.0 and the. The second party back decided that he sold the car too cheap to one person back and demanded another $ 800 to sign the paperwork . the process was to pay $ 5 and get the name and address of the last legal owner. send them a registered receipt requested letter and state the facts why you need the clear title. INSERT one extra step since we are dealing with a scumbag.. per the friendly law officer. he had out standing warrants, First send a registered receipt requested letter and state that you are trying to find any relatives of joe blow with the scum bag's last name to see if they are entitled to any inheritance money. Scumbag normally does not update his driver;'s lic or registration info. The registered letter asking about relation ship normally comes back unopened. Then send the DMV forms in the letter to the address and it will come back unopened. DO NOT OPEN THE RETURNED LETTER.you can then take that to the
DMV and start the lein process. scum bag is no where to be found per dmv records. then you can have your lein sale.
 

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non title states

There are several states where establishing title is a LOT easier. Might be worthwhile to look into getting a title from, for example, South Dakota, and thus be able to transfer it to yourself in Washington?

No idea how feasible this is, but there are several non-title states where you can establish legal ownership.
u have an exc point.. don't quote me but I think Pa and NY don't have titles for that yr.. if u know someone there see what they can do.. maybe...
 

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True Hotrodder
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Just buy a title and be done with it. A one time thing is no big issue and title sellers are everywhere. Coddington used to do it all the time but he bought a lot of them and got caught.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just buy a title and be done with it. A one time thing is no big issue and title sellers are everywhere. Coddington used to do it all the time but he bought a lot of them and got caught.
I was wondering about this option. How do you go about doing that? I know that selling titles is banned on Ebay. Are there places to go online to buy ones?
 

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I have delt with this once in michigan, on a motorcycle. I got a form from DMV, that allowed a cop to come check the vin numbers, he then ran it thru data base, if it comes up clean he signs off and DMV will issue new title.
One of the things the cop will ask is the history and how you got truck and if you knew who last owner was, big thing is cop will be asking questions more or less to size you up and the story.
In fact cop asked me why, I was asking cops to fill out form etc, my direct statement was, "because if comes back stolen, I was going help them load it on the truck to haul it away" and wanted to make sure it was clean before I worked on it.

A quick thought go to cop shop and talk to person at window. Play them straight and they might know a way to help.
 

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True Hotrodder
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I was wondering about this option. How do you go about doing that? I know that selling titles is banned on Ebay. Are there places to go online to buy ones?

Used to be sellers in Hemmings, haven't looked at a copy in a while but you may need to read between the lines a bit too when looking for ads.
 

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True Hotrodder
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I happened to talk to a buddy of mine this afternoon. He has a '37 Ford and I remembered he had title issues - it was just a body and frame when he bought it. He said he used this outfit: https://broadwaytitle.com/
 

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register in vermont, it's completly legal as long as you have a valid serial number. It works because their system is lenient AND they allow out of state residents to use their services.. Keep in mind they go by NADA value for their 6% sales tax. But registration as an antique is only $23 IIRC.. This will be valid for you to get title in your state, essentially using their tax/ registration as a fee for a title service. Takes about 4 weeks to get the Vermont paperwork back and a set of Vermont plates

They just need a bill of sale sent in with their VD 119 form and odometer disclosure statement, mailed to their office in Montpelier.. Mark it as a new registration ( not title ), and leave vermont license number blank
 

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buying a title

I have heard that some states have list of "title sellers" and will not register a car from those companies.
 

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information from the hotrodders wiki

ashington
To start with one needs to visit the DOL website:
Vehicle Registration website
Vehicle Dealer and Manufacturer Manual
When building a hotrod or replica car I have found it vital to keep a file with all of the receipts for materials and parts as well as any titles of parts cars that may have been purchased. When substantially complete the car must be taken to a State Patrol inspection station and if the paperwork is in order then a new title can be issued. Note in Washington State ownership (having title) does not mean the car can be driven as the State has a provision for title purposes only. Emissions is a separate agency and has its own set of rules.
When a person starts collecting parts for a project that will need to be titled start a book on it. A three ring binder with page savers works well. Save each receipt no matter how insignificant you feel it is. documentation of major parts is especially important. If the engine, trans and rear axle came from a donor car, include paperwork that shows you purchased or owned the donor. The bill of sale for the donor or a photo copy of the title. A written and photo log of the build in the book is a good idea too.
It should also be noted that Washington will not issue you a title for a fabricated vehicle (car, motorcycle, vintage travel trailer, etc) for three years. You will receive a "registration only". After the three years have passed, provided that no one has laid claim to the VIN of your vehicle, you may apply for the title.
 

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Capt Mike
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Interesting.

Oregon is different.

A Bill of sale, worthless now. Liens still allowed.

Oregon title no matter how old, title transfers no vehicle inspection required. All they want is $$$. Proof of insurance not required for title transfer.

DEQ testing only in a few counties, but 1973 and older are exempt state wide

Titles from out of state, other than Oregon, require a Vehicle inspection. If the Vehicle can not be driven, then the Vehicle must be brought to the
DMV, trailer etc.. Body is preferred to be on the frame and mostly complete, IE. main body on the frame and does not necessary need to be oem bolted to frame. DMV accepts if sheet metal parts etc are separated, like fenders, doors, wheels, dashboard, etc. But the person inspecting must be able to view the VIN without stepping on a trailer, step stool etc.

DMV staff have no idea where the VIN are located, and no knowledge that older models used the engine serial number.

When I took my '37 Chevy Coupe into DMV a few years ago the body was clamped to the frame and the doors where held on with ratchet straps, old suspension but no wheels and tires, many parts in the pickup bed.. All He wanted to see was a vision of most of the car was present and the VIN. The DVM employee was able to stand next to the car trailer and view the VIN.

When I drove my '56 Chevy nearly two decades ago the DMV person didn't know where the VIN was located. He even said "obviously you could point to anywhere on this car". One of the few times that I ever met a cheerful DMV employee.

Michael
 
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