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#470360 06/01/22 06:45 PM
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oldie62 Offline OP
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I bought a 1949 chevy from Colorado & I am seeking a title for it. oldie62- Greg Member #57900. Thanks
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Every state seems to have a different series of “hoops” you have to jump through to get a title for a car. In fact there are some states that cars over a certain age are only sold and transferred via a bill of sale.

The unfortunate answer is that you need to start the process by contacting the local agency that handles licenses and titles in your area. Then be patient and listen carefully. Make sure you have documented requirements from each person so when they start contradicting themselves you can politely interject that into the discussion. One tip to minimize this problem is to try and always work with the same person even if it means you need to step back in the work queue.

And as Charlie will advise, bring lots of donuts!


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oldie62 Offline OP
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Can I use a Texas title or others?? Oldie62

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At this point I am confused. Based on your forum information you are in California. You posted about a Colorado car. Now you are asking about a Texas title.

I’m not sure I am able to offer any guidance in this situation.

You need to contact whatever local government agency handles vehicle registrations, licenses, and titles. They can answer your questions.


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oldie62 Offline OP
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I am sorry I bought the car in Colorado, and it’s down my friends in New Mexico. I have a bill of sale only. What’s the process to obtain a title for it in California. I heard the Vin # has to be the same. Greg- oldie62

Last edited by oldie62; 06/02/22 12:19 AM. Reason: Missed words
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Thanks for the additional details about the car.

I do not know the process In CA to get a title based on a bill of sale. I again suggest that you contact the local government agency in CA that handles these transactions. I am sure they can give you guidance.

You can possibly find details if you do some research on the California DMV website.


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When I registered my '28 Canopy Express here in CA (12 years ago), all I had was a bill of sale from the previous owners. Note that this truck was not registered anywhere since 1949 and the license plates were gone. Another thing was that the Car Number ID plate was missing.

The process that I used to get it registered was to first go to the Highway Patrol. They were (are?) the official inspectors for the VIN number. They inspected it and issued a new VIN number since I had none. They riveted one plate with the number to the door jam and also another plate to the chassis.

Then, with the Highway Patrol's paperwork, I was able to go to the DMV and register the truck in my name.

Another story is that two years ago, I went to a state-sanctioned Smog/Registration place near me (not the DMV) to get a 1953 Cushman scooter registered for the road. I didn't have a bill of sale because I bought it at at garage sale many years ago. The frame, however, had a serial number stamped into it. The guy at the place accepted my statement that I paid $250 for the scooter (true) and since the frame serial number was not in the DMV system, he was able to issue me a pink slip with the frame number as the VIN. This was a very easy process to follow.

Hope this helps. Dean

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oldie62 Offline OP
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Thank you for the info. I never thought about the HWY patrol office. Thanks again , oldie62- Greg

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When I first registered my 31 in California it was not in running condition so the Highway Patrol officer came to the house. Not sure if they still do that, may depend on the officer. He was not going to approve the metal serial number tag nailed to the hinge pillar. The same number was also on a plate riveted under the hood and he accepted it.

He did think I was crazy to take on the project.

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You need to contact the licensing authority in your state about their process for titling a vehicle sold by bill of sale. Anything we say here is supposition.


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They used to come out and check if the vehicle didn't run here in S.C.
In 2005 when I bought my panel from Florida they did come out and check.
Later, in 2014 I bought a 50 coupe in Md and when I brought it home I decided to just go to the DMV before unloading it off the trailer here at home. Thats when they informed me they did not do that anymore that as long as I had my paper work that was all they needed......that was then, no telling what it is now as it seems some states are constantly changing.

Tiny gives good advice. Check with the local DMV....and ALWAYS do it before you spend money on our projects.


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To the OP. Rereading your post it looks like you're looking for a title to buy. Using a title on a vehicle that it wasn't issued to, while done by some, is illegal and considered fraud. There are a lot of lawyers who make a very good living going after people who commit title fraud.


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sounds like the info he got from the CA MEMBERS ,
gave him enough ideas to send him down the right path, even contacting the CA Hwy patrol, this will connect him to gaining the title he seeks
I dont think any lawyers will get involved

Last edited by 36RAGTOP; 07/31/22 04:38 PM.

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oldie62 Offline OP
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Thanks for the info. oldie62


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