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Customs How do I get a title for a junkyard buy missing the VIN plate?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flynn's_57, May 15, 2021.

  1. cornfield county
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 147

    cornfield county
    from Indiana

    I have straightened out many with no paperwork, It's a pain, but not a deal breaker. I will not offer any opinion to this case because my knowledge is Indiana and a couple nearby states specific. This guy needs California advice ONLY. If he got a deal on the car great, maybe he can straighten out the issue. Advice from any other state that CA is really no help.
  2. There are 2 "title stores" in my town. What I mean by that is...... I happen to live in the county seat where the tax office is. They partner with my state, Texas, for license plates, titles, etc. Also in town is the DMV (DPS in Texas) where you go for testing reasons mostly. The county tax office does 10x as many titles as the state store does. They are laser-focused on solving your problem, taking your money, and helping you out the door..... "NEXT?" They are not looking for reasons you can't do something. And they are free to actually make a real-world decision to solve a real-world problem. Every title certificate starts out blank waiting to be filled in for the future. Lost titles are from the dead past so they're not a dead-end for the future and a fresh title. They haven't studied the law so they aren't sticklers about it. But they have the power to issue a title for you....... just like the guy or gal with the uniform and the *sucking lemons expression* at the DMV.
    Try the tax office first. Skip the intimidation from the state bully boys. You only pay when they hand you a new, good title. And if the plan goes sideways for some reason, they won't put your name and information in some "watch list" or database or send you to a gulag somewhere.
    If California doesn't have a tax office where you can try this, then I don't know what to tell you. o_O
    Thor1 likes this.
  3. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,925

    from New York

    There is a similar situation being discussed on another site and the bottom line is never invest a dime into a project unless you have the paperwork. The issue is about someone investing a fair amount of money in a restoration and lost the car because he did not have the title. The car was stolen from another state and when the new owner went to his DMV they actually arrested him.
  4. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 363


    Touche @williebill . I agree totally. Nothing wrong with asking here to get an idea of the direction to follow.
    Always seems that some just don't play well with others..................:rolleyes:

    Waiting for @gimpyshotrods . He will be a very good bet for guidance.
    5window and Flynn's_57 like this.
  5. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,093


    Around here you can't even junk a car without a title. Yard's won't touch it.
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
  6. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,894

    from Nicasio Ca

    Well now that that's all flushed out..

    I bought a trailer chassis for $200, with about $400 of brand new tires, wheels and brakes. Came with title and current reg.. It's now in my name, the seller was adamant about it. Problem is, it was a house trailer, 20' (perfect car trailer material). House trailers are not eligible for permanent trailer registration (cost something like $10) like utility trailers. So the yearly reg came due, $130. Can it be converted to utility trailer reg? Maybe, but the VIN tag went with the now demolished house part, and so far I don't see one stamped on the frame.

    Other option is to just drag it to the CHP and hope to get a new VIN tag, and forget about the title that goes to it. I'm going to call the DMV as Evintho suggested, just thought I'd bounce it off you guys.
  7. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 946


    Actually, a junkyard can remove the VIN (unless they know the vehicle is stolen) [see United States Code: Title 18,511. Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers]. Selling it afterward is a different question. Removing it could also be a state crime.
    Pushing it into the street and calling it abandoned is what is "not all that bright." That's fraud. Anyone who sees you do it, or has even seen the car on your property can bust you. Once the police get involved with that your problems will increase exponentially.
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  8. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,009


    Regarding you trailer issue, I faced the same thing years ago making a box trailer, I went to the CHP - after being told so by the DMV- and they write it up as a “special construction “. It’s somewhat abbreviated on the title.
    This was a good 29 years ago, so not sure if it’s still the same or not.
    blowby likes this.
  9. How is that fraud?
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,826


    I'm beginning to believe that If I was the OP I'd be looking for a solid Edsel body with a title that was missing most of the parts that came with the wrecking yard car and call it good.
    Irish Mike and Flynn's_57 like this.
  11. Flynn's_57
    Joined: May 10, 2002
    Posts: 931

    from Nor*Cal

    Well, this has gone off the rails.

    So I will tell you, IF I had a time machine, the last thing I'd be worried about would be old cars.

    I'd spend more time with all my dead loved ones.
    My Grandpa that gave me my '57 Ford and got me into all this old stuff.
    Only reason I got the Edsel was because I lost Grandpa/Auntie's '57 Fairlane in the 2018 CAMP fire.
    Saved the full custom Desoto front-end I had built for it, it didn't get torched because I had it parked outside. It's going on the Edsel (Edsel/Ford parts bolt together,).
    So you want to make fun of me for wanting to celebrate the only hero I've ever got to meet and making an emotional purchase on his behalf, yeah, that's stupid, but I think at least some of you would make that same mistake.

    Have fun guys, thanks.
    (My first car was bought by Grandpa's best friend Harry used but still from the lot in 1962. Edith (wife) & Harry drove it for a few years before selling it to my Auntie Loree, who gave it to my Mom for her 1st car and my Uncle Lou for his first car. Then it was parked in the "hog barn" until I was old enough to begin working on it and learning to drive it.)
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
    vtx1800 likes this.
  12. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 363


    Hang in there @Flynn's_57 . It always gets a little more rowdy around here on the weekends. Alcohol ???...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
    I'm sure @gimpyshotrods will get here and have some relevant info to get you going in the right direction.
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  13. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,051

    from Berry, AL

    X2 on Gimpy, he's your man. He knows his stuff on CA laws....
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  14. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,666

    from NKy

    Stainless plate , number punches and two pop rivets , same number as the frame and “I’d call it done .” Up to you I’m just suggesting what I’d do .
    Flynn's_57 likes this.
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,525


    Nope. Everyone who is eligible to verify that number is trained to know what they look like, where they are, and how they are attached, including me. Fake a tag, and you might be walked off in handcuffs, and that is not a California thing. That is a 50-state thing, as this is a matter of Federal law.
  16. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,486

    abe lugo

    For most 50-60's FORDS the data plate on the door is not the actual VIN, however it does contain the VIN info, the real VIN is on the frame in 2-3 spots along the passengers side, the DATA plate can fall out get remove for whatever reason. On some 60's it on the inner fender panel.
    I registered an out of state Fairlane with no data plate on the door using the VIN on the inner fender panel like most all 60's compact Ford have. Once I had my paperwork I ordered a replacement one from Marti Auto.

    How about the rest of the peanut gallery ....o_O
  17. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,830

    from Alabama

    Ford factory literature from the period states that the "data plate" is not the VIN. This is not to be confused with the VIN plate on the dash found on later...much later models.
    Heck, Ford trucks had the data plate on the door.:rolleyes: How easy is it to change a door?o_O
    Flynn's_57 and G-son like this.
  18. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 327


    Just to add my 2 cents,spent way too much to get my truck road worthy only to find that the vin was not found in the system, girl at the dmv was sympathetic and searched, found a working number which cost me an out of province inspection, leagal and on the road but just saying make sure first. I’ll not do that again, way too much pucker factor!
  19. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 946


    Call it filing a false police report if you wish, but pushing your car into the street and calling it abandoned is fraudulent.
  20. From The Merriam Webster Dictionary:

    Definition of fraud

    1a: DECEIT, TRICKERY specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right i.e., "was accused of credit card fraud"

    b: an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : TRICK automobile insurance frauds

    2a: a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : IMPOSTORHe claimed to be a licensed psychologist, but he turned out to be a fraud. also : one who defrauds : CHEAT

    b: one that is not what it seems or is represented to be, i.e. The UFO picture was proved to be a fraud.
  21. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,925

    from New York

    You might give this guy a try, They might be able to help.
  22. MCjim
    Joined: Jun 4, 2006
    Posts: 294

    from soCal

    So the you still have the paperwork for the destroyed '57? Your '58 Edsel just became a customized '57 Ford!
  23. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,224


    The only definition of fraud that counts is what is written in the Federal and State statutes.
  24. You are correct but the offense of possession of the vehicle sans ID plate has already occurred. It does not matter where it came from or that the seller sold it to The OP does need to get rid of the vehicle in an expeditious manner. How would you get rid of an item that cannot be legally sold or legally scrapped?
  25. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 1,105


    You got your answer in the third post. The rest was the usual Hamb banter and worry farming. :DResearch your state's DMV hoops, and then jump through them. I've done it several times, as have several friends; it's relatively straightforward in my state, hopefully yours as well.

    Titleless cars are part of the old car game. Clean strong runners and/or too-good-to-be-true prices are suspicious. A hulk legally purchased out of commercial wrecking yard does not strike me as suspicious.

    Me, I'd like to see pictures of your car. And when you're ready, a build thread.
  26. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,895

    from Napa

    And what a difference a different office can make with DMV. I had to do a couple of my Indians a few years ago- the 1947 Chief was pretty simple, clean title and matching #s, just been sitting and out of the system, so needed a verification. The 1928 Model 401 four cylinder was different- it had been an export bike when new, went to Venezuela so never had a U.S. title (it was found hanging from the ceiling of a bar) and had an export only front wheel stand, all kosher. Got it from my buddy who owned an Indian/Victory/Polaris dealership, and we did up all the Statements of Facts etc. and he would go with me to "his" DMV where he did all the dealership transactions, so just need a VIN verification. A friend who had recently retired as a CHP Captain but was working for the Sheriff's Dept part time and was still qualified to do inspections offered to come over to do then and another car, cool. So I drive up there and we head for DMV. Everything started well, the gal we got had a model of a 47 Chief on her counter, and got all excited, yeah, my husband has a 47 like yours yadayada. Bill of sale, check. Statements of Facts, check. Application for Title, check. VIN check by a hot dog verifier, check. Got my checkbook out, In like Flint! Then the smile left her face, and she says, our manager insists on personally reviewing all transactions like this- I'll have to get him. Uh- yeah. Hair on neck stands up... So out struts all 5' nothing of him (I later found out he was known as Napoleon), scowl on his face and the gal is silent. He looks over everything for about 10 minutes, finally says OK, but you need to get a VIN verification- which was on the counter, with my friend's CHP and Sheriff's business cards stapled to it. I say I did, it right there. He puts on his triumphant smile and announces no, you can't just go get a verification on your own, you have to come here and have me direct to to get one. Uh, well, it's done, and by a CHP Captain. But I didn't direct you to get it. Your tax dollars at work right there :rolleyes:. He struts off, and the gal apologizes profusely- not her fault. So I head back home, and swing by our local CHP office, where my buddy used to be top dog, and actually trained the verifier who works there now. The whole office had great fun laughing that Napoleon wouldn't accept their former boss's verification. He agreed that everything was in order, just need to bring it down. Well, it's all in pieces. Well, we like to verify pretty complete vehicles. OK, and make an appointment later in the week. So I have one of those big flatbed landscape wagons, put that in the back of the duallie, and strap the frame to it and start in. Shortblock in, add the cylinders. Fenders on, and hang the (empty) clincher rims on it. Bars, tank and seat.. So I get there, he has been telling everyone about the 1928 Indian Four coming in, so there's a crowd ready. Did you get it rolling? Kinda.. We walk out, with four others following- he looks in he back, starts laughing and says close enough! So the guys are crowded around taking pictures of it, shazam, done. Head to "our" DMV, no problem- I even showed them the other verification, yep, nothing wrong with it, we would have taken it.
    alchemy, deathrowdave and egads like this.
  27. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,981

    from Oregon

    As did Ford cars during the 60's. A friend of mine bought a Mustang that had been turned into a drag car and had fiberglass doors, and front clip. He wanted to make it street legal, but realized the missing VIN tag was on the old doors. He took the car to our DMV and they told him it wasn't uncommon for Fords of this era to have missing VIN tags, or mismatched VIN tags if doors were replaced. They inspected it and did a check on numbers they found on the inner fender, and it came up clean. So they issued an "assigned VIN tag" to put in the A pillar location and gave him a title.
  28. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,778


    I have no idea how they do it in Cally, But i will suggest whom ever you deal with , get their name, And do your best to use that same person every time you can.And best of luck!!
  29. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,895

    from Napa

    I had a similar problem with my 65 Falcon drag car- the PO had gutted it and installed the body over a 7.50 Alston tube chassis. It had a clean pink, but he had never transferred it into his name, and it fell out of the system, so would need a verification. Compounding it was that he had cut every piece off the body that had the VIN stamping, fender supports etc. Got a little easier, found another Falcon on craigs that had been in a minor accident, and was being parted out, and currently registered. Got there in time before much was gone, and it is on a non-op now, and the other body has everything to replace the damage. On those cars, one can leave the front fender supports and some of the cowl where VIN stamps are, with a little trimming, and still install over a tube frame. Will take a little work, but much better than dealing with the other body if one wants to put plates on it- in fact it still has its black plates
  30. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 5,141

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    Man, from what I've learned about California, from a couple of friends that live there, and reading threads here, it sounds like a fun place. I'll take the Kentucky weather anyday lol. I can get a title for a potato here. Just more tax revenue for the state the way they see it.

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