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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 02-08-2010, 07:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How Can I Get a Title For a Old Bike?

Hey Guys, I live in VA. I've got a '68 Triumph TR6C. I bought the frame with a notarized bill of sale, with the assumption that I could get a title fairly easy. Now I'm trying to get the title, and with the bike 99% done and a ton of money dumped into it, I'm having troubles. I filled out the paperwork with Broadway Title Co. out of Alabama, and they sent it back because apparently there rules have changed. They now require a state inspection sticker for the bike, with the motorcycle being insured, plus a bunch of other requirements, including photos, a payment of $350 (almost as much as I paid for the frame) and others. The problem I have most is the State inspection. I've built a cool looking Ratty Chopper but the bike has no turn signals, horn, and many of the other requirements for a state inspection. I planed on running vintage tags so I would not need a state inspection. Has anybody else had any luck with other title company's? The frame is clean and has never had a number job. I do have a bill of sale. Thanks
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In Texas, we don't need turn signals on bikes older than '75, and the inspection required for titling is mainly to inspect the VIN, so the registration office can run it for theft, etc..
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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do you know any one in georgia?
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We're not required to have titles in Alabama for anything built before 1975, just a bill of sale. No inspections either.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know anybody in Gorgia, However I do have family in Alabama. If the requirements are not much there I could put the bike in there name and have them transfer it to me. What would I have to do? would they need the bike or Just a bill of sale to show the DMV?
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Small towns can be pretty easy on eyeballing the goods but if they live in an urban area most likely the issuing officer will have to see the bike to double check the numbers. In my little town you have to offer proof of insurance as well. Then, they'll charge a state sales tax based on the bill of sale (usually 2%) and issue a license plate and registration. Transfer of ownership after that becomes a signature on the back of the registration and a bill of sale. It's pretty easy, that's why we're the "chop shop" capital of the southeast.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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do you know any one in georgia?
Wouldn't make any difference. You simply can't get a title on an old vehicle in Georgia that doesn't already have a title from somewhere else. On the other hand, no title is required to own and tag one of that age, either; but you have to show a valid address where the vehicle is based in the state, and there may have to be a VIN inspection too. Many states have similar provisions in their law.

Georgia cracked down on title fraud mills decades ago, and I'm glad to see Alabama is serious about it now, too.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Georgia cracked down on title fraud mills decades ago, and I'm glad to see Alabama is serious about it now, too.
I agree we're doing better but my state is still far from serious when it comes to title fraud. Hot items still come across the borders of Tennessee and Georgia here to be titled.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wouldn't make any difference. You can't get a title on an old vehicle in Georgia that doesn't already have a title from somewhere else. On the other hand, no title is required to own and tag one of that age, either; but you have to show a valid address where the vehicle is based in the state and there may have to be a VIN inspection too. Many states have similar provisions in their law.

Georgia cracked down on title fraud mills decades ago, and I'm glad to see Alabama is serious about it now, too.
Less than a year ago, my buddy sold me his bike with BOS, I sold it to my Sister in Georgia, She sold it to my buddy with BOS from Georgia and THEN he went to Ohio BMV and got title 'pronto! The bike never left his garage! The craziest thing about this is, he had a title, but never transferred it to his name and time ran out! Ohio wouldn't take their own 'old title' but accepted Georgias BOS. He had the bike inspected,everything was cool!
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ah, I see what you mean, Red. That is pretty wild indeed. There was nothing magical about the transaction going through Georgia, though. Our bills of sale are no more honest-looking than anyone else's.

While Ohio may be reluctant to honor one of their own lapsed titles, they are evidently much less worried about vehicles coming in from out of state, probably in the name of the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution. Any state that does not require a title to register an older vehicle would have done just as well as Georgia, in other words.

This, sadly, also means out-of-staters may be able to employ Ohio's BMV as a title mill to a certain extent, as long as the vehicle is capable of being brought into the state long enough to be inspected and tagged by someone showing an Ohio address. I didn't know that two years ago, and got scammed rather badly on a classic car purchase as a result. Turns out the so-called "second owner" from whom I bought it actually lived in Tennessee, the odometer reading on the title was at least 100,000 miles short, and there was not a continuous record of title with which to find any earlier owners for information. Unfortunately, not knowing about Ohio titles at the time, I took it at face value and paid way too much for a pretty shell with worn-out innards. This is one downside of easy titles. They don't mean any more than the most recent bill of sale they are based upon.
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