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Title question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by freeflynstl, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 258


    My high school teachers told me the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. In the interest of finding this out I'm gonna step out on a limb here risking ridicule from you guys. Please don't bust my balls too bad cause I've never had to do this before.

    I think I've found a title for my 37 pickup. I haven't seen said title yet but it's suppose to be on the way...only time will tell. With that said, I spoke to the guy last night and he says to me, "Oh, btw...when I checked the tag to the title the numbers don't match."

    WTF? I don't have a lot of money tied up in this thing but can anybody shed any light on this for me? It's a 1 1/2 ton truck title for a 37 Chevy Pickup, the tag is from the firewall I'm told and another tag with no infomation on it is coming as well. I suppose it's my own fault for buying this without seeing it but given the availability of these things I thought I couldn't go wrong.

    Any help out there?


  2. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,585


    Prior to '54 (here in WI) the engine # was used as the vehicle ID... since engines were swapped all the time it was no big deal. Don't know how your state will handle it.
  3. Buzzard II
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 354

    Buzzard II

    Save yourself a hassle later on and buy a repro tag, stamp it with your numbers/letters and attach it to your firewall. Don't give someone an excuse to hassle you.:)
  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,562

    from Quincy, IL

    Title issues are becoming much more difficult everywhere. I live in Illinois, close to Missouri, and have friends in MO. As I understand it, there is a strong likelihood that you must have a physical inspection by the Missouri Highway Patrol to verify numbers.
    You can inquire about this beforehand by visiting one of the local License Fee Offices, or calling the Department of Motor Vehicles in Jeff City and/or by contacting the Troop "C" headquarters out on Hiway 40.

    You might be better off getting a title in another state, such as Illinois, then transfer the valid IL title to a MO title, IF you have a friend or relative in that state whose address you can use. BUT, BE AWARE, in Illinois, there is a seperate issue raging about the value of old vehicles and the sales tax due. In Illinois, a sale between individuals, vs from a dealer, is taxed as "Use Tax" and is only $25 up to $14,999. $15,000 and up is $750 "Use Tax". The Department of Revenue, not the Secretary of State who actually issues Titles, often sends an assessment letter based on an arbitrary valuation, usually an extremely high valuation, and demands more "Use Tax" and penalties. The way to fight this is either use a higher evaluation, but less than $15,000, or wait and see if you get "THE LETTER" and obtain an appraisal for the true current value, and protest the tax assessment. As onerous as this sounds, it is better than a MO SHP inspection of a vehicle that DOES NOT match the title or the the truck size (pickup vs 1 1/2 ton).
    Good luck.
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  5. skidsteer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,251


    I don't agree with the Buzzzard II, fabricating your own tag could get you in more hot water than you need.
    Unless you live in a state where the police have to come out and verify numbers before it is licensed, you should be okay. As stated above, the numbers back then were often on the engine.
    I'm glad to see there are some high school guys on the HAMB, keeps us old farts on our toes!
  6. freeflynstl
    Joined: Jul 16, 2009
    Posts: 258


    I know for a fact that a cop will have to come out and "verify" the numbers. My dad had to go through this with his Stude. Apparently it goes something like this...

    Here in Misery, if you buy a car from out of state and go to register it in Misery a cop must verify that the VIN matches the title. I don't suppose it has to be a Highway Patrol officer because the form only gives a place for the cop to write his "Badge No.". I suppose it can be a Sheriff's deputy that parks cars a high school football game. If it's true that these old trucks used the case number as it's VIN and the title will not match, then that would be the case for most people I suppose.

    Beats the hell outta me. I'll keep asking around and maybe have to find a title with tag that match.

    As for the High School kid comment...I wish. I'm about 15 years post high school graduation but thanks.

    Thanks for all the help,

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  7. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    from Yakima WA.

    In your state, what do you have to do to get a title, if you don't have one? They must have some procedure. It would seem to me to be a lot easier, than risking an illegal activity.
  8. cvstl
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    from StL MO
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Check out the Dept of Revenue section on Salvage Titles. I'm pretty sure you can get one.... it takes a lot of hoops, but I think they will assign it a new VIN and you have to get inspected as a rebuilt once its done. The bummer is that it is titled as Salvage forever, though.

    Thought I was going to have to go that route, but then came up w/ a good title and frame that I can use instead.
  9. poolmike
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 71


    I used Broadway Title Co. in the past. Always worked for me.
  10. tudorkeith
    Joined: May 10, 2009
    Posts: 454


    we are luck, no title needed after 15 years and you can get a vin verified by a cop or an inspection station. good luck
  11. olskoolspeed
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 474


    First off; I would research the truck so you don't have to rely on possible bullshit information. Log on to They have all the info you'll need on serial numbers (location, decoding, etc.). Who knows - they might be able to help you with your title "problem". Whatever you do; don't go the "I'll make my own vin tag" route.
  12. ocool25
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 151

    from Illinois

    I don't know about MO. but Illinois has black Balled all Broadway titles! and don't stamp a VIN tag in most places it is a Federal offence and must be done by a State official. IMO
  13. domepiece
    Joined: Nov 7, 2007
    Posts: 154


    In KS you only have to have it inspected for VIN numbers if it's newer then 1950 and bought from out of state. That's with or without a title i think. 1949 and older all you have to have is a bill of sale. no clue about missouri.

    You'd be better off just calling your local tag department and telling them you are looking at buying a 1937 1 1/2 ton chevy truck and see if it has to be inspected for VIN numbers. Let them know there's no title for the truck and all you'd get is a bill of sale and see what they say. being that old i think you'll be fine.
  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,373


    I don't know about any other state for sure, but in California, making up a VIN or a VIN tag, or stamping one in is a felony.

    No car is worth fines, jail or losing your right to own a firearm, or vote, or have a real job, etc.
  15. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290


    A cop with the Texas stolen car task force told me that buying a title from these places was illegal. Makes me nervous. I'd hate to get a lot of money tied up in a car only to loose it.....
  16. If your vehicle has a number on it, that's what you need to use to register it, none of this swapping tags or buying titles bullshit.

    My book that tells where the numbers are is out in the car, or I'd look it up, but if anyone else has a Standard Catalog of Chevrolet Trucks they can post the info too.
  17. austinsailor
    Joined: Nov 27, 2008
    Posts: 74


    That is correct, Kansas needs only a bill of sale for 1949 or older. I've been talking to a Mo. legislator to try to make it easier, but no luck so far.

    I'm curious if the pre 1950 Kansas title requires a safety inspection as well, or can you get title only? If they do a title only, it might work to sell a vehicle to a kansas resident, he can get a title, then sell it back to you. Anyone been through that?

    Calling the local office in Mo. is not going to get you anything reliable, as they know very little. Even calling Jeff City will get you different answers each time. A bill of sale is not going to cut it, unless the bill of sale is from a state that does not title vehicles that age. I was shocked recently when they decided they'd take a bill of sale and the customs papers when I bring it in for an old truck I bought in Canada. Took them a week to decide, I hope they don't forget before it thaws enough to get it here.

    Missouri does have "bonded salvage titles" and "abandonment titles", both not well known, but they both give you salvage titles, leaving you yet another hoop to go through to get on the road.
  18. HealeyRick
    Joined: May 5, 2009
    Posts: 558

    from Mass.

    I think the days of buying an old car and worrying about title issues later are gone. With computerized databases that talk to each other in different jurisdictions, straightening out a wonky title can be a real problem, and worst of all an insurmountable one. Here in Mass, you used to be able to buy a car, spend several years fixing it up and pay the sales tax when you went to register the car. Try that now and you'll get hit with penalties and interest from the day you bought the car. Best thing is to make sure you get a good title when you buy the car and not spend a penny on it until you're sure you can register it.. I've even gone so far as to plate a project first to make sure I'm not going to have any problems down the road. Cheap insurance.
  19. mink
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,303

    from CT

    If any one has had experience with registering a car in CT can they im me I have a ny reg/title ?
  20. panic
    Joined: Jan 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,450


    making up a VIN or a VIN tag, or stamping one in is a felony

    Every state.

    A cop with the Texas stolen car task force told me that buying a title from these places was illegal.

    Aren't cops great? He's completely wrong.

    Does the '37 have a VIN plate or stamped number now?
    If yes, a title service can help you.
    If not, the state is the only legal method - and they may simply say "You can't title it, because you don't own it".
  21. Fifty States, fifty different procedures and means to legally acquire a title on an otherwise no-title or "lost" title car or truck.

    Familiarize yourself with YOUR State's rules and statutes! Ultimately, the State doesn't give a shit about you or your vehicle, but they DO want their fees, and YOU need to do things legally (speaking to all here!)

    Here is a link to EVERY US STATE REGISTERING AUTHORITY!!! Bookmark this! Please put this as a sticky! There is no excuse NOT to do stuff legally! So what if it costs a few bucks to do things by the book, boo-fuckin' hoo!


    Yes, it's to the California DMV, but it provides links directly to ALL US STATES DMV or equivalent authority! USE IT!
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  22. domepiece
    Joined: Nov 7, 2007
    Posts: 154


    I'd be willing to do that for anyone on here. the only thing is it would have to match the vin number on the truck. Another thing you might want to look into or call about is how many VINs they want to check. Here they want two of the three major VINs for it to pass. Engine and frame. Engine and motor. Motor and body. or, well you get the point. Not sure how many VINs are on a 37 Chevy.
  23. domepiece
    Joined: Nov 7, 2007
    Posts: 154


    I looked through your link and don't really see anyway to title it in missouri without a title. here's Kansas' Regulations.

    1949 and older need a bill of sale and that's it. no inspection. PM me if you need some help with this.
  24. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    Do not listen to this person he knows not of what he speaks.

    Anyone can make a metal plate with a bunch of numbers on it for many purposes.

    BUT and it's a big BUT the person or agency that affixes said plate to a vehicle and attempts to offer the information on said metal plate as a vin number and attempts to register a motor vehicle using this wholly incorrect, fraudulent information is and always will be committing a felonious act at both the state AND FEDERAL level.

    The ONLY group of people that can make and affix a new or different Vin are designated DMV officials and in some states certain trained police officers can be the designators.

    The same for attempting to or offering a title from one vehicle to register another vehicle that is not the vehicle on the title.

    That is how title brokers and Vin plate manufactures can do what they want with supposed immunity they do not commit the felonious act YOU do when you offer the false information for official purposes. If someone wanted to prosecute the brokers and title supplies it can and has been done using other state statutes and federal titles.

    Once again it is and always has been a felony both at the state and federal level don't do it.

    This doesn't mean it hasn't been done by some people BUT it is and always will be false information just like a ticking bomb waiting to explode in their face with the consequences of a car impounded for this felonious act with NO RECOURSE to get said vehicle back.

    That being said engine numbers are not the same thing as a Vin and engines can be swapped as long as the proper information is supplied to the proper DMV officials.

    BUT again engine numbers on the engine itself can NOT be modified to reflect different information than was originally on said engine.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  25. Rooney00
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 312


    Just an idea. Why not use this vin plate you're buying for the number and tell them you don't have a title. You'll have a legal vin plate for the inspector to see and most states reissue lost titles. Probably need a bill of sale.
  26. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    Then what you going to do when they check the OTHER (non-public) vin numbers and they don't match the ones on the plate? OOOPPPSS
  27. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    from Yakima WA.

    Usually when you have a salvaged vehicle or a car with a branded title, all it means is that it was assembled from parts; sort of describes a hot rod doesn't it? I wouldn't think that it would affect the value of an old car at all; but it would a new one.
  28. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,918

    Alliance Vendor

    It is entirely possible to have MO DMV issue you a new VIN number and title if your vehicle is missing the original or is built from scratch new.

    Go here and read everything:

    There are links there to all the documents you need to fill out, and instructions on how to do it.

    It's a convoluted process, but hoop jumping is far better than watching a car you love get hauled off by "The Man" to be cut up for scrap because you flagrantly broke the law.

    Damn the man. Save the Empire! :D
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  29. '37 doesn't have that stuff, they didn't start putting extra hidden serial numbers on until the '50s. At best it might have a body tag and a frame stamp. Lotta shit happens in 70+ years. And even the ones that do have hidden stamps, half the time they're either near impossible to get to, or in a spot that rots out on most of them.

    Of course, forgetting to date your reciept and filling that in later is an option.

    You can register almost anything in New York and some of the other non-title states for old cars. Some states, if you have just the tags and are willing to spend the bread, you can generate paper to go with them - they don't inspect the vehicle to see if the tag in question is even attached to one. Only if the serial number comes up as hot in their records, or in use for the same year/make car, is there going to be a problem.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  30. oldpaint
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 357


    Excellent information! Every state is different. I have titled a couple of cars that did not have titles when I bought them. In MN we have deputy registrars who handle the license plates and titles. Some are very helpful and knowledgeable at using the correct procedure to title a vehicle. Some are not! Keep asking the questions, and find that offical that will help. Bad advice from someone who doesn't know how your state handles titles can get you in alot of trouble.

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