Re: [MV] Obtaining title...

Randy Harnish (
Sat, 9 Oct 1999 01:19:10 -0500

B Kelly wrote: I would be interested in hearing other peoples experience in
obtaining a new title.

Well here goes..

I purchased my MB in Ohio and brought it home to Indiana. It came with a
good Ohio Title, but had one bothersome error. It was titled a "1959
homemade car". The previous owner related that in 1959 he purchased it
almost totaly disassembled and that he restored, reassembled, and had it
titled. When he applied for a title (it had never been titled before) he
made the mistake of saying he "put it together himself," thus the
designation "homemade car". Over the years it had undergone another
restoration and was very correct and authentic when I purchased it.
Thinking this was an unjust and undeserved label to have attached to it, I
started out to have the title rectified. Mercy, Mercy, what an experience
that was! My local Indiana liscense branch said it COULDN'T be done, that
they had to title it just as it was titled before. Rules you know, she said
my only recourse would be to get Ohio to correct it before they do the title
Sorry, but time won't allow for a detailed transcript of the dozen or so
conversations I had with Ohio DMV employees from the sellers local liscense
branch, to the State agency. (you probably wouldn't believe me anyways).
The bottom line was, technically It was titled correctly at the time,
therefore the "homemade car designation" would follow it to it's grave.
(their exact words). As a last resort I trailered it back to our local
branch and asked the manager if she would please follow me to the parking
lot, I had something to show her. Reluctantly she followed (she was a part
of the "it can't be done" decision. I must say she was in awe when she laid
eyes on the MB. For what ever reason she was so impressed with the fact
that it didn't look "cobbled up" and embarked upon telling me how she was
given a ride in an army jeep at our local National guard armory as a little
girl. She also saw the shame in a title so degrading in it's description of
a historic vehicle. Although her hands were tied she stated "a friend of
hers at the state level of the agency owed her a favor and now was as good a
time as any to try and collect". (Now were on the right track!). She called
me the following day and said ok, here's what your going to do. I won't ask
what you paid for it, but I will tell you, it was $2500 or less, got that?
Now, call the seller and have him send you a bill of sale for the vehicle at
that "magic figure" or less. Ask him to somehow mention in the bill that
the vehicle was never titled. In your phone conversation with him, get his
assurance it was NEVER titled in Indiana. When you have his bill of sale in
your hand, tear up the Ohio title, throw it away, and pretend it never
existed. Since your vehicle was "never titled", and is worth very little
money, (2500 or less, remember?) you can now apply for a new title. She
said a thief wouldn't go to all this trouble over a "cheep" vehicle, thus
the provision for not allowing this procedure on anything worth more than $
2500. (OK, I guess that makes sense.) She sent a trooper out to verify the
VIN, take pictures, and fill out a form or two. The trooper said, now take
these back to "Mary" with your bill of sale and she'll take it from here.
About a week later I received a Title in the mail for a 1942 WILLYS MDL MB.
. . . . Gosh, I wonder who sent her that nice floral arrangement the next
day? Unfortunately my visions of having this "friend at the Bureau" who
could "fix" my title woes were soon gone. In my subsequent visits, as soon
as we make eye contact she turns away pretending not to know me.... Oh
well, it was great while it lasted. A few years later I sold my MB to some
old rich guy who new absolutely nothing about military jeeps. When I
pointed out proudly he was getting a very correct title, (that most are
flawed in some way) he said "oh.... how do I get back on the interstate from
here". Something tells me he would think I was off my rocker if he had any
idea how much effort I put into obtaining that little piece of paper.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Kelly <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, October 08, 1999 10:07 AM
Subject: [MV] Obtaining title...

>Hello all,
>As I have already said, I finally brought my un - titled1942 GPW home. One
>of the first things I did was to get insurance... JC Taylor had some
>reasonable coverage and the restrictions can be lived with. The next thing
>did was call many local DMV offices to get an idea of what it would take to
>get a title and registration. I am in Ohio by the way. I called the Ohio
>State Registrar, they dont know anything of use and they forwarded me to
>State Highway Patrol. The "Statey" had a little bit of an attitude and
>immediately told me that as the vehicle was purchased out of state, they
>would have to inspect it. When I asked him for the inspect6ion "rules"
>(thinking it was a roadworthiness inspection) he said that they wanted to
>see if the vehicle was what I said it was and that I wasn't trying to "pull
>one over on them" - his words. He then proceeded to tell me that although
>they would have to inspect it, they wouldn't do it without a court order.
>When I politely asked him for more information, which was difficult as the
>guy really was pretty rude, condecending and not helpful (I practically had
>to pry information out of him), he referred me to my local county
>courthouse. At this point, I am starting to think "F**k it" and use an out
>of state title service. After I calmed down a bit, I decided it wouldn't
>hurt to find out a little more.
>So I call the county courthouse. I get bounced around four or five times,
>explaining my situation each time, until FINALLY, I connect to someone who
>not only appears to know what he's talking about, but is extremely helpful
>and forthcoming. This very professional and helpful individual actually
>faxes me some old "Petitions to Obtain Motor Vehicle Title" with the County
>Clerk as the Defendant and me as the Plaintiff. He also tells me it is
>unlikely that I will have to have an inspection as the vehicle was never
>titled or more importantly, registered in another state. He also told me
>to file my petition, gave me the examples I would need to put it in the
>correct format, and told me I wouldn't need a lawyer if i did it the way he
>told me. I had to attach a couple of notarized items, such as the bill of
>sal and a statemnent by the seller that the vehicle was never registered in
>the state onf North Carolina. The seller was very kind to have provided me
>with these items and had them notarised.
>So I prepared my very official looking petion to the court, made my
>attachements, had it notarized and walked it over to the courthouse. I paid
>my fee and await the decision of the court. I hope this works out smoothly
>and without much hassle (I might get a refund of part of the $100 deposit
>you have to make upon filing).
>I need to wait five working days for a response. I will keep this kind list
>informed as the rusty wheels of bureaucracy slowly turn.
>I would be interested in hearing other people's experience obtaining a new
>title (especially in Ohio).
>Have a nice day,
>B Kelly
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