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Arazito 04-11-2015 06:22 PM

Buying a Car without a title
Hi everyone,

So I need your help on this one. I have my eye on a car (1968 model year) that was recently imported from UK into the US (California) LEGALLY. The car has the UK bill of sale and it is also registered in California, has CA license plates and can be on road, the VIN and engine number are tagged and in place, BUT the car does not have a California Title. I am really interested in this car. So, I wanted to ask you, should I forget about this car because it does not have a CA title? or do you know what it takes to get a classic car titled in California?
I'd appreciate any help on this matter.

Amy 03-22-2016 09:10 AM

There's loads of guides online for this I've found one on Wikihow but can't post the link sorry, but honestly just put this into google and you'll get your answer right there :)

Alfajay 03-22-2016 09:24 AM


Originally Posted by Arazito (Post 6178577) is also registered in California, has CA license plates ... BUT the car does not have a California Title.

I'm no lawyer or expert on the California DMV. But somehow, the statement above doesn't seem right to me. How can the car be registered in California but not be titled? I really don't think the DMV would allow that.

Is it possible that the seller has dealer plates on it, or has the plates from some other vehicle? I don't know what your relationship is with the seller, but why wouldn't you just assign him the responsibility for obtaining a title? After all, if he can't provide you with a title, he can't guarantee that he is the legal owner of the car.

As Amy wrote, it is possible to obtain a title for a vehicle through the DMV. But before doing it yourself, you had better be sure the car is legally yours.

Jim G 03-27-2016 06:56 AM

I can't answer for California. But here in Georgia for many years cars over 15 years old could be sold on a bill of sale. The tag receipt even had a bill of sale you could fill out on the back. They did away with that in 1986.

So 1985 and older cars still do not have to have a title to be registered in Georgia. Other states would have to have a provision for this. Once the chain in the title has been broken there is no way to get a title. At least here.

Alfar7 03-27-2016 07:17 AM

The solution is Vermont. Regardless of where you live, you can get a title from Vermont with a notarized bill of sale.

Research their system...:surprise:

goats 03-27-2016 11:18 AM

I bought my 71 spider with no title, but it was registered in CA 12 years ago. To get a title, the car has to be inspected by a third party (certified with the state I believe) who looks over the serial numbers in the door jamb, the engine bay, and the tab that sticks up the windscreen, and certifies that these are original and not altered. He signs a form to this effect. He then goes into some database and checks to see if the car was either stolen or salvaged. If neither of those, you are good to go to DMV with his signed form, and fill out a 'missing title' form, pay the 25 bucks or whatever, and they mail a title. At least that's how it just worked for me last month in San Diego.

Del 03-27-2016 04:29 PM

We owned two Alfas which ended up with totaled/salvage titles, and had no problems with those being retitled in WA after being repaired.

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