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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I got a GT from a guy a year and a half ago and he has never been able to produce the title. I have a police friend and he has checked the VIN and it is all clear. I have also checked with a friend at the NICB and he too says it's a clean car. The Colorado DMV can't find a record of it because it has not been registered for >18 years.

I believe the VIN number is only on the plate in the engine compartment on the passenger side upper cowl. What are the chances that someone has a vin plate with a matching title they would be willing to get rid of?
 

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Husker, there is also a VIN on the dash on the driver's side, visible froom the window. My GT is in a similar situation. I tried to get it registered with the CA DMV and they told me it didn't exist, even though I showed them the CA registration from 96. I have to take the car to them and show them all the VIN locations and the original registration again. You may be able to get a report from the local police to show the car is clean and with a Bill of Sale, be able to get the car registered at the local DMV. JMTCW.

Ron
 

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please don't swap plates

If you can't get a title with a clean record on the car and a Bill of Sale, you should then try an "abandoned vehicle" title application, which any tow tuck company should be able to explain to you.

If that doesn't work, pick up a copy of Hemmings
Motor News and send away for a title using one of the dozen or so "title services" with adds there. I had to do this for my Firetruck after my wife ran the title through the washing machine, and it was a vey easy process.

FYI: It is illeagal to even posses a VIN plate not attached to a car, so at a minimum I wouldn't publicly discuss any option involving swapping plates.
 

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Ron I have tried that in the same state that husker is in. They have a packet for doing it. Total cost if everything goes well is at least 600, and don't even think about it if the car is a non driver. You have to do temporary registration at least twice to drive it for an official vin verification and again to have it tested for roadworthyness. There is also the national title search, appraisal and bond to deal with. If in any of this it fails or is not given enough value it is all over. I myself scrapped the vehicle I looked at doing this with. That was years ago, now you can't even scrap one without that title.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Didn't realize having a VIN plate without a car is illegal... Whoops.

The DMV wants me to go through the process of posting having the car appraised then posting a bond for 2x the value... blah totaling >$500 to get a clean title. I think the abandoned vehicle route is similar... but will verify with a tow truck friend.

My DMV also told me that they do not accept the documentation from the "title services".

Any options?
 

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documentation

What the title services do is apply for a title in their state, in their name, then provide you with the title and a bill of sale selling the item to you. Your DMV has to accept it, it's exactly the same as if you bought the car from someone in another state. In fact, one of the services even gets you a Maine title and licence plate in your name for @$150, so you can drive it around for a year or so as an out of state car until you get around to registering it locally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone had good luck with a "title service"? Anyone have a name and a contact they have used and could recommend?
 

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FYI: It is illeagal (sic) to even posses a VIN plate not attached to a car.
I have read this numerous times on this site and still do not believe it. The federal government has no authority to pass such a national law with respect to private state citizens (unless there's some constitutional amendment I'm unaware of :).

Could someone please cite the appropriate United States Code section for this prohibition against individuals simply possessing a numbered strip of metal (esp. possessing with no intent to deceive)? My guess is that this is another misinterpreted regulation relating to the "interstate commerce clause" and is being uniformly misapplied to private people. Congress only has jurisdiction on a national level with respect to incorporated businesses (i.e. incorporated car dealers).

Your state laws, however, may vary.

JM2C
 

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Hey your preachin to the choir here. After dealing with it a bit they seem to get you coming and going. There are some states that didn't require or issue a title when these cars were new. Now they do, and if it has sat for any period of time the records are purged on the state's databank and the car no longer exists. Then you have an expensive mess to get everything right again. Even if you decide to give up on it now you can't. I don't know of a salvage yard that will even take a car without a title. I guess you could cut it up into little pieces and bury it. They'd probably get you for an EPA violation then. Oh and god forbid you keep anything like a vin tag. Ok I'll get down off my soap box now.
 

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why would you have one?

What possible good reason could you have to keep a VIN # plate not attached to a car? CA is slightly more liberal than most, in that having it is not necessarilly illegal but using it on a different vehicle definatly is. Here's th CA quote:

10802. Any person who knowingly alters, counterfeits, defaces, destroys, disguises, falsifies, forges, obliterates, or removes vehicle identification numbers, with the intent to misrepresent the identity or prevent the identification of motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts, for the purpose of sale, transfer, import, or export, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by up to one year in the county jail, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

So I guess in CA you can have a VIN plate, but if you put it on another car you would be subject to the above fines.

There's a good discussion here:

http://www.classictiger.com/vinopin.html

Even though the writer is specific to his model of car, the rules are the same. The general consenses is that if your car is spotted with a non-origional VIN the car is subject to impound and/or crushing.
 

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For quite a few years I had the vin plate off of my first car. It was about the only thing that survived after the fire. It was a 69 GT. I guess the big question is what do you do? As husker already said the DMV has told him no about the titleing company aproach. Thier idea is to add quite a bit of expense and time to the vehicle. You can't get rid of it. I guess the idea is to build a garage with no doors on your property. Put the car in and seal it up like a time capsule for later generations to deal with. Or I guess you could cut it up and put it in the trash over a long period of time, after you melt down the vins.
 

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I think I'd go the way Old Opel guy indicates, register the car in another state, then reregister the car in your home state. Much simpler and less expensive. I've got to take my GT to the DMV so they can see it to reregister it, and then I'm not sure I can keep the original license plates that I've got on the car. I wonder if they will accept it being on the back of a tow rig.:rolleyes:

Ron
 

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Old Opeler
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Binnin VINS

We have similar problems over here with "universal" VINs that were suposed to be attatched to each car upon initial registration.
Fortunately they were attatched with commercially available pop rivets .......

I dismantled about forty Studebakers and was suposed to surrender the vins and number plates but did not know it.
Managed to dump the plates off at a Land Transport Authority during an amnesty. Knew the VIN plates should not be removed so kept them attatched to a square of original sheet metal as momentos - but the rest of the car just rusted away officer - that and the number plate is all nature left;)
 

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here in utah i have had to deal with the same thing but it not has hard as it si in calf i just file for a lost tile and if that does not work you get a sheriff tile or abandon car
 

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Ben, that's what I initially requested, a copy of the title. That's when I found out they didn't have my car in the computer. That was kinda funny because they had my motorcycle trailer and two motorcycles that I have in a non-operational status in the computer since way before I bought the GT. Go figure.

Ron
 

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It does vary from state to state what is allowed or not. I see cars leaving Colorado all the time for this very reason. I researched it thoroughly before I got a GT. That little piece of paper is extremely important. I also looked into some of the title service companies and Colorado was not on thier list of states they dealt with. Not long ago I passed up a good deal on a GT when I found it had no title or vin. I see cars like this for sale all the time and I know in some other states it is no big deal but here it reduces the value of the car quite a bit. I was asked earlier why would you keep an old one, this is why. It is also why the state requires scrap yards to have the title and vin for every car they have. It's pretty easy to look at it with the viewpoint you would get from another states laws regarding titles. Here they are more important than the car itself. If I could call someone and request a title and the state would honor it, I probably would have gotten a different car. Here the best way to approach it is no title = no sale.
 

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well like i say if u love opels or say chevys or any car u are most likely gonna buy that car and never sell it so who cares if u get a gt with say a salvaged title i mean only u will no, this happens all the tim in cali an old car like say an 80's car gets front fender damage in an accident insurance will write it up as a total and pay u for the car and then give the car back to u, so it will have a salvaged title but if u love the car enough u wont care what the title says since u wont ever be sellin it. jus my 2 cents
 

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I didn't say you couldn't buy it, you can buy cars like that really cheap. You just can't drive it on the streets. If you do it is impounded, sold at auction and normally leaves the state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I looked at the links that oldopelguy poested (thank you). It looks like there are some loopholes in Georgia and New York that these companies are taking advantage of. It seems in those states the DMV accepts a Bill of Sale and an Affidavidt stating that the seller lost the title but he is the legal owner of the vehicle. These companies take that and apply for a legitimate title in these states and then sell the car you you.

I do know some people in New York so I may persue this option with them.

Normally I would not have suggested this as I have a 1970 Dodge Challenger TA and I am aware of numerous scams out there that rebody plain cars and make them into desirable numbers matching vehicles. There can be $50k difference in a 318 Challenger and a Hemi Challenger. Even a $15k difference in a numbers matching car vs a non numbers matching. I have even seen bondo used on engine blocks to make a car numbers matching. These cars (Opels) were non numbers matching so I didn't see the harm.

Lots to think about.
 
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