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Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

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Old 07-17-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
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Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

Hey guys does anybody have any experience on this?

on 4th of July weekend, i purchased a Suzuki enduro dirtbike that was EXTREMELY cheap, I rode down to Front Royal and checked it out, took it for a drive, and decided I was going to buy it. Bike is in 100% immaculate condition, no cracked plastic or scratches. Low miles on the motor, mechanically sound, etc..

Seller disclosed to me at that time that it had no title. The bike came from New Hampshire, where they don't title motorcycles that are older than 15 years old. (The bike is a 1994).

Not wanting to let this ruin the deal, as the bike was cheap, and I had driven a long way, I paid the man his bills and went home to figure out the task of how to get a title for this thing.

Google searches yielded several companies, International Title Service, and Broadway Title, that promised they could issue you a title, but the fees started at $200 dollars and went higher depending on what they had to do. The premise there was that they work with states like New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Georgia, etc... that don't require titles for motorcycles so they issue you a registration and valid license plate in your name, that you can then take to your local DMV and obtain a title for your state.

I decided I was going to take my chances with the local DMV here to see if it could be done for less money than i would have to pay to International Title Service... on July 6th, armed with my bill of sale and all New Hampshire documents from the previous owner, i set forth to DMV to hopefully get license plates and a title, or at least find out what hurdles had to be done.

After waiting over an hour, i finally get up to the window, tell the customer service woman my story. She gets out a book as huge as two bibles, reads some rules for 5 minutes, and then says "I don't have a problem with this, let me check with the manager". 10 minutes pass and the manager comes back and gives the approval!! Just before the lady can hand me my plates, her face turns stumped looking and she reveals to me that the title is "branded" in Massachusetts as "salvage", and she can't issue it there, but encouraged me to send the paperwork off to Richmond VA.

I mailed out everything they gave me on July the 7th. I heard nothing, and didn't really know if it was gonna go or not. Until today, when I received a phone call from the commissioner/person in charge of title services from Richmond DMV! They asked me to fill out a form that was called "affadavit in lieu of a title", basically stating that the motorcycle was not obtained through fradulent methods and that i had exhausted all ways of trying to obtain a legal title (which i had, as Richmond was the last stop/ last chance).

Finally after waiting all day lon, not knowing what was going on, I received a call from one of the workers who wanted my payment information! Success! It turns out that the motorcycle was at one point reported Stolen in Massachusetts, insurance had written it off, but the property was later recovered, so the "stolen" part was taken out of the National VIN Number database and was instead just listed as a non-titled motor vehicle. Throughout the day they had been calling people in Massachusetts, New Hampshire Police, etc.., just to verify there were no calls about the bike or any funny business.

My story checked out and everything was okay, and I was issued a title number, and free to get plates at any point. The original title is coming through the mail.

My point here is that I would never again buy a vehicle with no title and not much information on the original owner, unless it was another situation where it was very very cheap, and even then it would have to be something very special. Around here street legal dirt-bikes go for about one thousand to 2 thousand used, and as much as 6 or 7 thousand new.

Has anyone ever had a situation like this with a car they were restoring or an old motorcycle or something? This deal took up alot of time on my part, numerous phonecalls to different people trying to find out what I should do (State Police, DMV Customer Service, etc...), and required lots of paperwork and follow up calls, but the end result is worth it. Like I said i would probably never do this again unless it was a rare vehicle or something strictly Off-Road.... What about all of you?
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

Dirtbikes are dangerous. Don't Casey Rabach yourself.

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Old 07-17-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

Lol. This is a small 125cc bike that I bought primarily to take camping and ride the trails at the George Washington National Forest, with the occasional trip in to town to go to the gas station, and ride back roads, etc... just for leisure. I don't do anything crazy like jumping them or doing wheelies, etc...
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Dirtbikes are dangerous. Don't Casey Rabach yourself.

Was that not a lawnmower accident?
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

Two weeks to get a title for a bike that previously didn't have one is pretty good, I'd say.

Check out Adventure Rider Motorcycle Forum

There are a couple of tag games in the area...
Northwestern VA Tag! - ADVrider
NW Virginia Tag-to-Eat Tag-o-Rama - ADVrider

Enjoy the DR, and ATGATT!
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:41 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

Quote:
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Was that not a lawnmower accident?
Four wheeler.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidSnake84 View Post
Lol. This is a small 125cc bike that I bought primarily to take camping and ride the trails at the George Washington National Forest, with the occasional trip in to town to go to the gas station, and ride back roads, etc... just for leisure. I don't do anything crazy like jumping them or doing wheelies, etc...
SURE.....that's how it starts.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:25 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

It sounds like everything went fine until it came up as salvage which required more paper work. I'm surprised it was as esy as you stated.

Now for you comment about just riding the trails an no jumping or wheelies. Well that's how it starts out then you push yourself a little more and a little more until your getting dumped trying to out do your buddy. I've crashed so many times on a dirt bike it not even funny. I finally one day gave them up on my own before I really got hurt.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

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It sounds like everything went fine until it came up as salvage which required more paper work. I'm surprised it was as esy as you stated.

Now for you comment about just riding the trails an no jumping or wheelies. Well that's how it starts out then you push yourself a little more and a little more until your getting dumped trying to out do your buddy. I've crashed so many times on a dirt bike it not even funny. I finally one day gave them up on my own before I really got hurt.
The brand on the title actually ended up stating "recovered theft", and not "salvage" as the Winchester DMV told me initially. I thought i put that in there. At some point it got stolen and the original owner got it back.

And thanks people for the links. I guess 2 weeks all in all is pretty good, I have heard some horror stories in some other threads about people trying to get titles, and I guess i got lucky. Probably still wouldn't tempt fate and buy a title-less motorcycle again, though...this one was just too nice to pass up.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:56 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)



Haven't took any pics with my phone or camera yet, but this bike here is the exact same year and color as mine. Only thing different is mine has brand new knobby tires. Condition is the same, like new...
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:02 AM   #11
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

well, at least it wasn't stolen. otherwise you could be out the money and the bike. normally an untitled vehicle for cash (cheap) is a bad omen, but i'm glad it worked out.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

I wasn't aware dirtbikes were street legal and required a license plate. I never see them on the road in PA, just in back yards and fields. Crotch rockets are too numerous around here. Maybe it's just another way for VA to take your cash.

Glad it worked out without you without handcuffs being involved.
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:07 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone ever bought a vehicle with no title (My experience inside)

Lights can be added to dirt bikes to make them street legal in most states. Most manufacturers sell sell dual sports which can be registered for street use right off the sales floor (the come from the factory with the equipment that makes them street legal). SolidSnake's DR is one such bike. It's a dual sport.
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