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Discussion Starter #21
did you know he didn't have a title when you bought it? i'd call him and make him get the title, if he's the nice, honest guy you say he is, he shouldn't have a problem with it.

I did not know he didnt have any title

when I talked to him before I bought it on the phone - he told me it was an out of state title, but then he confused it with one of his other mustangs (he has like 9 of them he's fixing up) - for him to get the title he said would need to bring the car to the DMV as well and do what I need to do, but now i have it 300 miles away.... doesnt quite make sense to me - so im assuming he never registered it (based on my call with the DMV and no record of the VIN its more than an assumption)

... its not a lost title, its a NO title.
 

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... its not a lost title, its a NO title.

Does that mean the DMV has no record of it? Is it out of the system? If it's still in the system and fees are owed on it, you'll be responsible for them.
 

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When I purchased my car in 97 it had a TX title. Had the car repainted and it was sitting up on jack stands for about 10 yrs. I never had the car titled in my name that whole time. AZ DMV required an inspection of VIN in order to transfer the title into my name. Since the car was not driveable, I had a local MCSO officer come to my house to fill out the paperwork for VIN inspection. He was into classics so he was more than happy to do the inspection for me. He even stopped by the local DMV and picked up the paperwork....great guy, since retired. I was able to re-title the car without issue.
Now, I don't believe I could have registered it and gotten plates without the car actually running, but a title was not an issue.
Looks like OP has got it figured out.
 

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I did not know he didnt have any title

when I talked to him before I bought it on the phone - he told me it was an out of state title, but then he confused it with one of his other mustangs (he has like 9 of them he's fixing up)
... its not a lost title, its a NO title.
ah, ok. I would have walked, not worth all the hassle to mess with that, at least for me.

good luck, hope you get it sorted out without too much trouble.
 

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Do you have AAA? If you do you can go there and ask what you need. You can also just call the DMV and tell then you bought a car with a lost title. I have never had to put an engine in a car to have them look at it if they did require it. I bought a El Lobo dune buggy they wanted to see, I just put it on a trailer and hauled it there, no engine, that was a long while ago.
 

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Just talked to the DMV

i will need to bring my

Form REG-5057 (bond form, since sale price was OVER $5000)
REG-343 (application for title)
REG-135 (bill of sale)
REG-256 (statement of fact)

DMV will inspect it and it needs to be "complete" (needing a motor) but does not need to run. If the DMV inspector doesnt think it passes, I will then need to schedule CHP
Do you have a timeframe that this has to be done? If not, take your time and get an engine, perhaps a working engine out of a Ford Explorer in the Junkyard.

Now let's see some pictures!
 

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Clarifying some of the issues raised in this thread.

Any out of state car coming into California to be registered here needs the VIN verified by visual inspection. Historically, DMV employees authorized to do so, law enforcement officers, and people licensed as VIN verifiers are typically the ones who do it;

The "it must be a running car" to be verified is not a criteria I remember. The last time I had a verification done, I was told to bring the car around to the Vehicle Verification lane at the side of the building and ring the doorbell. At no time was the car checked for running condition nor was i asked if it was a running car. If that has changed, it is news to me;

The absence of an Arizona title in this situation might be an issue. The Statement of Facts provided by the seller (owner?) will often dictate the rest of the process. Several possible outcomes come to mind.
  • If Arizona still has a record of that car on file, I would expect that a duplicate title in the name of the last Arizona owner properly endorsed to "buyer 1" with bills of sale from the "Buyer 1" to "Buyer 2" and so on until it gets to you. If that last owner of record cannot be found, proof of the efforts to locate that person needs to be submitted as part of the Application for title in California
  • If Arizona has no record of that car, the bonding around the title process will be necessary and be an additional cost.
  • If a check of the VIN turns up "DOJ STOP" or a similar notation, the car will likely be impounded until ownership can be sorted out. In such event don't be surprised if you are considered as being in possession of stolen property.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Clarifying some of the issues raised in this thread.

Any out of state car coming into California to be registered here needs the VIN verified by visual inspection. Historically, DMV employees authorized to do so, law enforcement officers, and people licensed as VIN verifiers are typically the ones who do it;

The "it must be a running car" to be verified is not a criteria I remember. The last time I had a verification done, I was told to bring the car around to the Vehicle Verification lane at the side of the building and ring the doorbell. At no time was the car checked for running condition nor was i asked if it was a running car. If that has changed, it is news to me;

The absence of an Arizona title in this situation might be an issue. The Statement of Facts provided by the seller (owner?) will often dictate the rest of the process. Several possible outcomes come to mind.
  • If Arizona still has a record of that car on file, I would expect that a duplicate title in the name of the last Arizona owner properly endorsed to "buyer 1" with bills of sale from the "Buyer 1" to "Buyer 2" and so on until it gets to you. If that last owner of record cannot be found, proof of the efforts to locate that person needs to be submitted as part of the Application for title in California
  • If Arizona has no record of that car, the bonding around the title process will be necessary and be an additional cost.
  • If a check of the VIN turns up "DOJ STOP" or a similar notation, the car will likely be impounded until ownership can be sorted out. In such event don't be surprised if you are considered as being in possession of stolen property.

everything you said lines up with what the DMV hotline told me - so the only extra step I need to do now is get a bond for the car - costs $100

then I need to put a motor in it and tow it to the DMV and get a new title. The cost of that is ambiguous, seller tells me it shouldn't be much,"less than 1 year of fees" since its a new title, and the SOF claims it was never no the road in California.
 

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My situation was similar to yours except my car was from Cali but off the road since 85.
I got the title bond and those other same forms as you noted. Had a verifier Come to the house and check out the vin. My driver door had been replaced so it didn't match the dash and I had no motor or tranny in the car. Filed everything and got the title in my name no problem.
 

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Sounds like you are already in contact with the CA DMV which is what you want to do. Obviously you have to follow their instructions as they are the authority on procedure. It is definitely a good idea to get the car in your name, into the DMV system as soon as possible, and prior to investing more money/time into the vehicle. I purchased a 65 T code convertible not too long ago, which was really a disassembled OEM roller shell without a drivetrain or title. I had a bill of sale and statement of facts (REG 256) from the seller. The CA DMV instructed me to go to VIN verification (REG 31). It is my understanding that only vehicles that are running and assembled can be verified by the CA DMV or via a notarized third party. So I scheduled and appointment and trailered my disassembled car to the local California Highway Patrol office. The officer performed a visual inspection, and verified the VIN "via confidential means." It was a painless and simple process. I wouldn't hassle with installing an engine or attach parts to a car you yet do not legally have with a "clear title". Schedule an appointment with the CHP. Piece of cake. Also, trying to acquire a title from the original state will more than likely involve back fees and possibly unleash issues with an unknown history. It can sometimes be a pain to schedule a timely appointment with the CHP VIN officer, but you can reach out to more than one office. Best of luck.
 

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Analogous to the line in Forrest Gump, buying a car without a title is "...like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get". If the reason the out of state seller doesn't have a title is because the title still belongs to the bank, and there is an outstanding loan balance, at some point you will need to deal with the bank and the outcome might be less than optimal.

Even if you are a good judge of character, remember that con men and grifters are experts at the con.

Caveat emptor.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
My situation was similar to yours except my car was from Cali but off the road since 85.
I got the title bond and those other same forms as you noted. Had a verifier Come to the house and check out the vin. My driver door had been replaced so it didn't match the dash and I had no motor or tranny in the car. Filed everything and got the title in my name no problem.
It is my understanding that only vehicles that are running and assembled can be verified by the CA DMV or via a notarized third party. So I scheduled and appointment and trailered my disassembled car to the local California Highway Patrol office. The officer performed a visual inspection, and verified the VIN "via confidential means." It was a painless and simple process. I wouldn't hassle with installing an engine or attach parts to a car you yet do not legally have with a "clear title". Schedule an appointment with the CHP. Piece of cake. Also, trying to acquire a title from the original state will more than likely involve back fees and possibly unleash issues with an unknown history. It can sometimes be a pain to schedule a timely appointment with the CHP VIN officer, but you can reach out to more than one office. Best of luck.

Interesting- i didn't know that I could have a VIN verifier person come to my house - thats gotta be easier and cheaper then renting another uhaul trailer -- so end result with having it verified by 3rd party OR CHP - is a sort of document that would be all I need in terms of verifying the VIN for registration purposes?
 

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It's super convenient. Cost is $40-100 depending on how close they are to you. Go on DMV website or look on Craigslist for a Mobile Vin Verifier. It all was pretty painless. Do you at least have an old registration? You can use that also.
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
It's super convenient. Cost is $40-100 depending on how close they are to you. Go on DMV website or look on Craigslist for a Mobile Vin Verifier. It all was pretty painless. Do you at least have an old registration? You can use that also.

unfortunately there's no record of the VIN in CA, hence the need for a new title - the only reason I knew it used to have an Arizona Reg is because I paid some website $3 and it was able to pull that as the only info on it.



I found this list -

and this site has a good summary below https://www.californiacartags.com/vin-verification
 

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I realize that. I'm saying If You have an old registration from Arizona with the sellers name on it, the " chain of custody" proof that dmv might ask for becomes easier.
The title bond is easy to get also so dont stress out on that.
 

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I recently registered my '69 in San Jose, CA. I brought the car into DMV so the can do a VIN verification.

The DMV clerk just asked me to fill out a form saying I'm not aware that this car is registered to any other state.

I bought my car through a consignment so maybe that's why its easier?
 
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