SOLVED - A California DMV question - title jumping / transfer conundrum w/ uncooperative orig seller

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by MeefZah, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    To be fair, the idea of an 'open title', while not legally recognized, is pretty common.

    For reference, I don't think I ever bought or sold a vehicle in Ohio with an actual complete title at time of sale... and Ohio even required a notary. Seller found a friend who was a notary, signed the title, and give it blank to the buyer. It could be swapped to 30 different people between the time you sold it and the time it actually got filed. Pretty standard. Ohio's DMV also didn't do titles, that was the clerk of each county. You got to know your clerk, as I did, and I would walk in and out with half done paperwork regularly. No one cared. Ohio also didn't have plates tethered to the vehicle. The plate was yours and if you sold a car, you kept it. So to that end a "release of liability" wasn't a thing nor necessary. Also a bike reg was $21 a year and people complained about that, but I accept that this ain't Kansas anymore.

    Shit, I have 2 other bikes in my garage that are out of state bikes with open titles, too! I'm keeping them, though... but maybe I should register them at some point...

    See, I'm just a midwestern rube who doesn't understand the complicated way you Californicators do shit!
    #21
  2. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    DMV's B-O-S form (135 ? )requires seller signature. Thoughts if she refuses? It's kind of the same issue as if she refuses the 227 or POA.
    #22
  3. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Yah,the 1960's faded away in CA.
    It's a shame. Even In the 90's I could take a dirtbike pink to the small town DMV 30 miles from Chico and get it street regged with no inspection didnt need to bring the bike even. Little old lady would ask me "you sure this is legal sonny?"...........I'd go yup. It was easy.

    Its like they got rules and shit now.
    #23
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  4. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Only for those of us who work for a living and actually get shit done in this state. If you are a derelict piece of shit you can violate every law there is with total impunity. Mother fuckers be driving around in 20 year old Ford Festivas with donut spares on 3 corners and a ski wedged under the 4th corner, a red day trip tag in the window from 2006, no insurance, unlicensed; and no one gives a fuck. Meanwhile you possess a motorcycle for 2 months and basically pass it on to the next decent guy with absolutely no profit made and you are on the hook for $42,000 in back fees and have to get anally fisted by Kathleen Webb * herself.

    * the chief of the CA DMV

    ** unsure if she is hot or not

    I don't guess I'm really complaining, it is what it is, but the natural progression of replies in this thread kind of led me here. I have no issue paying my reg and fees for stuff I intend to keep and operate, but it's hard to swallow some of those expenses knowing that you're basically borrowing a machine for a few months with no intent to keep it or profit from it. Hence the open title issue as described in post 1. Why pay the man if you can avoid paying the man... until you gotta pay the man...
    #24
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  5. lamotovita

    lamotovita DAMN SNOWBIRD! Supporter

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    Assualt weapons:chace
    #25
  6. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    This has been hinted at a few times, been danced around but, the issue DMV has is very simple: THEY WANT THEIR SALES TAX FOR EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION.

    Are you a dealer? If not, you can't buy and then resell the bike without paying state sales tax and transfer fee. I'm not being judgemental. That's how the law is structured.

    The answer seems pretty simple: you'll have to complete the transfer to you, you pay the state your sales tax, then you can sell it to the next guy and he too can pay sales tax. If they let you off for anything less, it'll be a gift from DMV to you and they don't seem to be very accommodating. They recently hit me for a $22 late transfer fee on a PW50 I didn't transfer for a month.

    Fuck the CA DMV.
    #26
  7. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Yes, goddamn, I get it.

    The question is once you have a title already filled out erroneously and the original seller isn't cooperative with getting a replacement, what do you do? IDGAF about paying the fees, I want the title. Tucker indicated that bills of sale should work so we'll test that theory tomorrow. Beyond that, telling me that the DMV likes money isn't offering solutions to the snarled paperwork.
    #27
  8. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Sign the bills of sale your self.....it's not
    like you are cheating...it's for convenience...build your own paperwork...sign all the documents accordingly...you need to use some artistic license when doing business this way. Actually if the registered owner signed off on the front if the title that us considered a bill of sale. BUT you could manufacture one it can't hurt. Lay the paperwork down on a table and follow an unbroken chain. I don't understand why you repeat the original seller to you is not cooperating. They have done what they need to do, signed off the title and given it to you and sent in a release. They are done. Now you sold it on without including you in the chain and the data base showed you. So now you enter the picture and plug the hole. you buyer can easily keep the bike...just don't have any holes.
    #28
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  9. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    An unbroken chain of paperwork between all parties involved. PLEASE don't regale the DMV operative with the story..stick to the facts of registration process. I think I've thrown you enough bones...short of doing it for you I can't offer much more help without seeing ALL the paperwork. Yes BOS from registered owner to you. Bill of sale from you to person on back of pink. Bill of sale from him back to you. Armed with this you are ready. You could tell the story and get a statement of facts from your guy (make your own, sign it yourself) to hedge your bet. Just take out the staples and lay the paperwork in a row and look for an unbroken chain...if there are breaks in the chain fix it...just fill out and sign the appropriate forms, sign them yourself for convenience..you don't need to involve the other people.
    #29
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  10. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Understood.

    I wasn't planning on telling a drawn out story to the clerk; I get that they don't have time for / or give a shit, they just want to assemble the paperwork and get the transaction done and keep the line moving; but I do feel like I am going to have to offer some sort of explanation - I can't very well just plop down a title without my name anywhere on it, 3 bills of sale, and a statement of facts and stare at the guy. He's gonna ask. I wrote up the most condensed and factual version of the post in p 1 as a summary for when that happens.

    I completed 3 B-O-S (form 135); 1st from seller A to me, next from me to Buyer B, last from Buyer B to me. I completed section H of form 256 detailing the purchase history. For the signatures on the B-O-S, I signed my scribble in the spots reserved for Seller A and Buyer B with the notation that the signature was "fSA" etc ("for seller A"). I have the title, the bills of sale, and the 256 which cover all gaps from time bike was sold to now. Buyer B is on standby for a POA or any other signature, Seller A is ghosting me.

    We'll see how it plays out in the AM. Thanks again.
    #30
  11. MojoRooster

    MojoRooster Adventurer

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    I do understand why seller A is probably not happy. Twice I've sold something and the buyers didn't register in their name. The first was a small camp trailer. About a year later i got a letter from a tow company. Thankfully I turned in a release of liability and was not responsible.
    The second time I sold a Ktm 525 dual sport to a young guy. Two weeks later got a letter from a tow company. Turns out the kid tried running from the CHP. They told me to call CHP. Called them and confirmed my release of liability was good. Asked them if I could claim the bike if I payed the towing fee. Unfortunately the answer was no.
    Good luck getting it straightened out.
    #31
  12. lamotovita

    lamotovita DAMN SNOWBIRD! Supporter

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    Just out of curiousity, not judging, did you meet the CA insurance requirements while you were riding this bike?
    #32
  13. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    That's the point. The story they want to hear out of you is, "I bought this bike and it wasn't really for me, my goldfish died, etc. I know I probably owe sales tax on the purchase but, I'm hoping we can make all of this go away and simply transfer it to the guy who bought it from me. See? No money made or lost."

    Despite the reputation of the DMV sucking (they do), I have had great luck with the power of those people at the counter to make things right or reduce the fees. The best you can do is throw yourself at their mercy with a short but humble explanation. Otherwise, pay them their sales tax, transfer fees and late fees, get the title and move on.
    #33
  14. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    I'm not some derelict piece of shit, bro. Trying to save money at the DMV doesn't mean I'd fuck over other citizens.

    Currently still insured. You want a copy?
    #34
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  15. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Ha. I sold a 1200 Triumph Trophy to this poseur kid from the Bay Area,and LUCKILY I sent the release of ownership paper in quickly.

    See,what he liked to do was run the toll booths around the Bay Area with out paying, but they get your license plate # when you do that.
    They sent me like 6 or 7 good sized tickets to pay,all I could do was refer them to the DMV and the fact it hadnt been my bike at that time.
    Im betting the new owner of the bike thought he had a get out of jail free card. I did call him and tell him he was fucked.
    #35
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  16. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Well, thanks Tucker. Easy as pie at the DMV.

    Presented title, 3 bills of sale form 135, filled out a form 101 on site, and paid an additional $710.

    They had to get a supervisor to review and asked me a few questions but that was pretty much it.

    I expected a lot more issues with the title erroneously completed and my name nowhere on it.
    #36
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  17. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    If you have all your ducks in a row and have an appointment I am in and out with a happy face in 15 minutes. I WAS going at least once a week pre covid...you get good at it. You just need to show them what they need to see. So if you know what their screen looks like it's SO easy. It's ALL they have....YOU have many forms at your disposal to build the chain. WELL DONE! But another $710! I guess you won't be flipping vehicles for a living.
    #37
  18. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Ha! I will not.

    What's crazy is how you can "build the chain" without being in it. My name was nowhere on any documents except the ones I created myself, and I have a title now. Seems like any old asshole could take a vehicle by fraud by doing that. Even the ROL can be done with just a plate and 5 digits of the VIN, you could walk through a parking lot and start laying claim to cars just by looking at those two things
    #38
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  19. Norty01

    Norty01 Occupant

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    Waiting on "Seller A" to report the bike as stolen, now.

    OP~ Next time you decide to "ride for a few months" on invalid paperwork, remember this ordeal.

    I know, I know. What makes my paperwork "invalid?"

    Well, when a party buys a bike from a private party, they have TEN days to get the paper work to DMV. Not a "few months."

    Kinda like blowing off the IRS with their "April 15th" thingy.

    Now, you know why "blowing shit off" isn't a good strategy in life.
    #39
  20. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly Supporter

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    Thanks man, helpful info. I especially appreciate the part about life strategies. I'm rethinking my whole existence right now.
    #40