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How to title a car with no VIN??????????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lucky77, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487


    Maybe that's how I should've titled my current thread regarding my tudor titling woes. Here's the story: Last July a local guy has a rusted out hulk of a 30-31 tudor shell in the back of his pickup with a price and phone number spray painted on it. I buy it, no title, no bill of sale, he drops it off. I build a frame, rip the rear axle out of a fiend's truck and stick the engine/tranny from my racecar in it. There is no VIN, it was just a body with no identification whatsoever. The tags on the firewall were missing/ corroded beyond recognition. I bought a title from a junked car so now I have a serial number from a junk tudor and my new tudor with no VIN. What do you do when you buy an old body from a farmer that's been sitting in his field for 60 years and has no VIN? I'm in serious panic mode here thinking I put so much work into this thing and I might not be able to register it.
  2. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 802

    from kansas

    Check with some of the restorers. I've heard tales of new brass vin tags.
  3. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821


    Um, someone answered your VIN question in the other thread.....and you just answered your own question. The paperwork has the VIN since the frame needed major reconstruction to make it safely operable.......right? That's gonna be my story anyway, if anyone asks.

    Tim D.
  4. RClark
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 147


    The main thing you should keep in mind is your actions and/or demeanor at the tag office. If you go in with what you believe to be correct paperwork then you need to act like there is no problems and you should be very surprised if they give you grief. If you go in asking if the paperwork you have is correct you've given them more of a reason to question it. I'm not saying that you won't have to jump through a few hoops to get it done. Just try to have everything in order when you go.
    If all else fails, I've been known to go to the next state over to get title work done.(in my case Alabama) Just rent a post office box so you have a mailing address in that state. Sometimes it can be a lot easier in rural towns too.
    Oh, as far as your original question, you can't title a vehicle without a vin #. Get a new one with the year on it if yours doesn't cut it.
    Good luck.

  5. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,333


    ditto...i think early ford has them .....i did a 40 chev coupe back in the had a trophy shop brass tag with engraved vin number...what ever you do ...make sure to use your best poker face......:D brandon
  6. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,333


    i thought the vin number was stamped on the frame on a model a ...? brandon:D
  7. loudpedal
    Joined: Mar 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,185

    from SLC Utah

    The numbers used for vehicle id are only in 2 places:
    On the engine.
    On the frame. (top of driver's frame rail under the cowl)

    NO ID NUMBERS WERE PUT ON THE BODY.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  8. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487


    Okay so lets forget about any of the frames, titles, or body tags I have. Since there is no I.D. on a model A body what's the best way to title it if all you have is an original body and all new aftermarket stuff? Sorry, I'm not trying to be a jackass but something's not clicking in my brain as to the best course of action.
  9. RClark
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 147


    1.Get a Vin #. Hint: its on the paperwork that your gonna purchase.
    2.Stamp it on the frame. Or put it on a brass tag and mount it. If you put it on the brass tag and you get a knowledgeable title clerk it may be questioned.
    3.Go to tag office and use your best poker face.
    4.Enjoy your legally titled and taged Model A.
  10. monzadood
    Joined: Sep 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,033


    try getting a title from the state of michigan. that will save you alot of headaches.
  11. erock805
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,243


    does your state offer a 3rd party tag agency...if so go there not the state one..
  12. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,080


    Lucky there is a statute dealing with assembled vehicles in Michigan. go to Yahoo and look up assembled vehicle Michigan and it should take you to the the site. If not go to and type in assembled vehicles-they do not take kindly to playing with tags,just so you know. It will walk you thru the way the statute requires. They issue you a new tag -should not be too difficult-you are not the first with this problem. -Jim
  13. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,487


    Just checked it out and there's only one problem. I have a fabbed up chassis that I built from pieces of tubing bought at my local Alro. There is no VIN stamped on my frame. The website said "Engines, transmissions, and frames all have VIN numbers......" I'm starting to feel like an idiot for wasting everybody's time but I'm not getting it. Where does this VIN magically come from?

    DamnedReverend said "Hint: it's in the paperwork you're going to purchase." What is this paperwork? Is getting a VIN the first step, and if so how the hell do I do it?:eek:
  14. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    i went and checked out the site jimdillon pointed out and it didnt say about the frame vin # but if i were you i`d go down to the cop shop and ask them who issues vin #'s, you would think the same place that issues vin #'s for home built trailers would issue home built car #'s to.
    ok so i think this is what you have to do

    4. All assembled vehicles require a state-assigned vehicle identification number (VIN). There is a $10 fee for this.

    looks like a vin will cost you $10
  15. Swifster
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,449


    Having the vehicle inspected will require a form TR-54 to be completed. This lists what is required to be a driveable vehicle in Michigan. And yes, that includes wipers, turn signals, etc. I went through this process about 15 years ago trying to get a VIN tag made to replace a damaged one. This was on a '69 Valiant and I had to prove everything required worked, including the signals, all lights and the wipers. This was completed by the Michigan State Police who were kind enough to stop by where I worked (thanks to a friend who was a Detroit cop).

    The way this car was built, you are correct about not being able to drive it. It's important to find out what you need before you begin. A junk title will not work, because you'd still need to have the 'repaired' car inspected before the state would issue a 'salvage' title on it. It also pays to know what the vehicle requirements are before building the car. Some states require fenders and will not sign off without the fenders being on the car. That car will look great with the bumpers just below the rear window and on top of the radiator :eek: .

    I'm not trying to bust your chops, but you need to work within the system. Most states have figuired out that out of state title companies equal fraud. The reason the state wants to know where the parts came from and a bill of sale are to make sure that the car parts are, A) not stolen, and B) so that you can pay your sales tax. If it cost you $5000 to build that car, the state wants it's $300 (6&#37;) in sales tax (just like buying a regular car). It's far better to have a car with title transfered before doing all this, because then the sales tax on $100 is just $6.

    I've seen guys who invested large dollars into a hot rod to find out later that the car had been stolen and stripped. It's not fun to blow money on a nice car and then have to give the car to the cops when you transfer everything at the end and find out you don't own it :( . I wish I had an answer for you, but I wish you good luck!
  16. When I titled my roadster ,I bought A valid title and stamped the number in the frame rail my self. Their is not one ford part on the car! 18 years ago I paid for a title from a guy named CharlesWalcutt, He had a add in Street Rodder for ! $150. I do belive the titles are good for ever on the older car's, as back then you did not need to turn in the titles when scrapes, As they were left in the corn field rot away.
  17. unklgriz
    Joined: Sep 12, 2005
    Posts: 286


    When I was looking at doing this for my '35 Chev. I went down to the Sherrifs office and asked what to do. Here in Montana all you do is call the Sherrif up and make an appointment with the VIN person,(yes we have a person that does only VIN checks) and they come out with they're stamping kit and issue you a new VIN. That is mainly for the older cars that don't have the VIN stamped on the body.

  18. Does the title that you walked into the DMV with have any VIN numbers on it? If yes then stamp that number in your frame rail and then apply for lost title with the same numbers you just stamped into the frame.

    I have bought a title from the scrapper before that had scrap written on it before. I tore the corner off the document and I ran through the washer and worked the paper until it was ragged and worn out. I took the document to the DMV and presented them with it and a reciept that I had a friend make out for me. I walked up to the counter presented my paperwork, she asked what is this I said it was the title for the car I just bought and my wife ran it through the wash. I asked the woman if their was anything that could be done to title this vehicle she replied shure " ALL I NEED IS A BILL OF SALE AND A VALID VIN NUMBER". She read off the VIN from the ragged title and comfirmed it to the bill of sale and I was in buisness. Paid the tax and walked out with title 40 minutes later.

    It all in the approach and not trying to get away with to much.
  19. I'm in KC Ks & just went through the same thing. Total runnaround. But I had outta state title which signed / notorized clean. Thus inspection needed. DMV said 2 of 3 main components not original. Aftermarket frame & 350 small block. Thus, hired attorney to file "Quiet Title" which is me suing DMV. I proved I purchased the car, had the paperwork, the judge gave me a court order thus ordering the state of ks to re-number my car as 2007 assembled vehicle.

    It was either that, or show every damned receipt for everything. Or take the car back.

    I possibly could've loop holed the system by getting a KS tag & then no inspection would be needed. But, if I ever sold the car to someone outta state, then the mess would fall in their lap.

    Carl Hagan
  20. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,297


    I'm not from Michigan, but it seems pretty straightforward to me.

    Instructions from the Michigan DMV on assembled vehicles.

    The TR-54 form.

    From the DMV Website:

  21. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,725


    Another option, at least here in KY.

    Apply for a new title, stating that the old one is lost.

    This is how I did it.....

    I purchased a Briggs body number tag from Mac's for $1.40.

    I had a local trophy shop engrave the VIN into this tag, and then riveted it to my firewall. The VIN number starts with an A and then coincidentally contains my daughters birthdates. (I first verified with the clerk that this number was not in their records)

    I filled out and affidavit stating that I have owned the car for 12 years, have since lost all paperwork, and provided the new VIN.

    I filled out an application for a new title.

    I paid $15 dollars for a deputy to come out and inspect the VIN.

    I took the paperwork to the clerk's office, and got my tags, the new title came in the mail later that week.

  22. fuel pump
    Joined: Nov 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,620

    fuel pump
    from Caro,MI

    Buy a registration from an out of state junkyard. Use the VIN on it and get a title with that. Street Rodder has ads in the back where you buy them. Mine came from a car junked in New York in 1955.
    You use to be able to send what you have to a company in I think Oklahoma where they can get titles with very little paperwork. They get a title then they transfer that Oklahoma title to you. For a small fee of course.
  23. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,080


    Lucky, you can fab a chassis and they should assign you a number. If you had a chassis or frame with a VIN they would want you to declare it-they want all the numbers that you have stamped on your pieces etc so they "know" you are not playing any games. Years ago I took a trailer in with no frame number-told them I built it and they attached their own tag to the frame. I had to show them the bills I had for parts like axles and steel and they said fine. A lot of guys fab their own chassis. Call them and ask to speak to someone about how to do it properly so you have all your paperwork in order for them. I spoke to Lansing a couple of years ago on a title issue and they were pretty helpful-Good luck-JIm
  24. Swifster
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,449


    Another issue about VIN's. The state isn't the only ones who need to see an actual VIN on the vehicle. The insurance company will want to see it too. They will not just look at the 'title' and say, 'no problem'. Old cars in many cases will need to be appraised. Guess what the first step is in doing an evaluation? Yep, VIN verification! If the vehicle is involved in an accident, the adjuster's first step in checking the damage is....are you ready....A VIN CHECK! A lack of a VIN can be a reason to deny a claim. This step verifies that the car insured and the car that is damaged is one and the same.

    As an adjuster, I had to advise an insurance company about this on a '46 Chevy pick up in New Baltimore with an engine fire when the vehicle had no VIN. It took the owner 8 months to get this sorted out with the vehicle having $4000 in damage.
  25. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,964

    from Minnesota

    I had a 56 Chevy 2 dr ht. The car came from the junkyard, the vin was gone. I called the state I was told I was up the creek, but if the frame # was readable that would work.

    This might work for You if your state will go for it. Buy a junk frame that You can read the #'s on clearly, use it to title the car. Here you have to use reconstruction form with a new frame. The state issues You a Minnesota ID tag, thats Your new vin #. You put on the frame. Then Your done.

    All states have there horror stories. I always ask first before I give to much info to them. That way they don't know to much, and deny me a title. Tell them this is what I want to do, if I do the following, will I have any problems etc. Get the answer from the horses mouth. I know it can drive You nuts, it did me.

    The person You work with makes all the difference, try some one else at a different location, that worked well for me in the past. Check out all the help offered here, something should work. Good Luck
  26. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    well this may not help anyone outside of British Columbia but i`m going to check out what i need to title my 28 pontiac. the frame is still there but i cant find any #s on it but i did find a # on the engine block, and a body # on the firewall, so with this and a smile i`m off to check things out. heres the beauity as she sits today.

    Attached Files:

  27. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    Swifster, good point about the insurance aspect. I think thats been overlooked in the whole thread.
  28. rixrex
    Joined: Jun 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,433


    send off to International Title Services/Las Vegas for their paperwork..fill it out with all the info that you know and dream up a VIN number..get one of the red and silver blank VIN tags from a vendor in the back of one of the mags, stamp in your VIN number, do an out-of-state title transfer with your ITS paperwork and bingo, a for me.....If it makes you feel better you can have your local DPS/DMV check it all out...
  29. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 2,039


    Ideally, youll have both the vehicle, and the Title with the VIN.

    However, I have had to but a title seperatly from the car before also, and Ive done the exact same thing everyone else said.

    Buy a title off the internet, the HAMB, an old Farmer............wherever you find one (it doesnt matter as long as that vehicle no longer exists). Buy a Stamp kit (like a metal punch), just make sure to get them in the correct size. You can also borrow one from just about any machine shop and some lock smiths will have numerous sizes also. You will need a bill of sale with this. A generic reciept or a hand written one is also fine.

    Basically, all your doing is registering whatever you made, as a now-no-longer existant vehicle of the same make and model (since that vehicle is probably melted down to a chair, or a rail road tie or something now).

    Stamp the number on the drivers side rail in the original location. On a 1935 Ford PU, and a 1934 Sedan, its on the drivers Frame Rail, top side, about 6 inches in front of the cowl. Has a 5 point open star before and after the number, easily made with a smaller sized letter "V". If you made the frame yourself, you can stamp the number on a thin aluminum tag and rivit it to the frame. But they might want to title it as a year 2007 vehicle since its not the original.

    Get insurance on that VIN before you go to the tag agency.

    Take the ass load of reciepts you have (the ones you have been keeping to document how much your in the hole on what you made, since its re-sale value is nowhere near what you put into it) along with the Insurance and a couple of picts of the vehicle to the Tag Agency. Bring the bill of sale where you originally bought it too. The lower you paid for it, the lower your Tax will be to put the vehicle in your name, so get a bill of sale from somewhere with the persons name that matches the title.

    DO NOT DRIVE YOUR NEW CREATION TO THE TAG AGENCY, YOU DONT HAVE IT REGISTERED, ITS ILLEGAl TO DRIVE IT ON PUBLIC ROADS. You can trailer it, but why bother? They will issue you a new regristration, but no title yet. Now you have to take the vehicle and your new regristration to the Tag Agency to actually get the VIN inspected and they will issue you a new title after that. It will come in the mail in about a week.

    Drive the hell out of it!

    For those of you that have the car with a number on it, but no title, be prepared to change that number to whatever number of VIN you buy when you get a title. The last thing you want to do is to show up at the Tag Agency trying to title a vehicle and find out the original ower sold the title to someone else, and they titled their vhecile to your VIN number.

    Oh yeah, I go to one of the neighbor small towns and there is never any wait or any problems.
  30. I still say we need a tech type post that just covers the specifics of registering and titling for each state. Because no two are alike - NY, rediculously easy, NC, I'm told damn near impossible.

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