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Discussion Starter #1
I posted a few pictures of an '82 900ss for sale out in California for $25,000. I ended up buying it, after he re-listed it for $27,000. Anyway, dude said he had the title, and HE did. He had a title that he never turned in when he bought the bike.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I can do with a title he never turned in, with a classic motorcycle, in Michigan? Thanks
 

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Bon Vivant
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The exact same thing happened to me. I had a title that had been signed by the previous owner more that 12 years ago, Legally what you need to do is tell the seller he has to put the title in his name and provide you with a current title in his name. That is his legal obligation.

Or if the title is signed by the prior owner you could put your name on it and turn it in and see what happens - but then you might end up being responsible for a bunch of back taxes.
 

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Penalties vary from state to state but basically you make a declaration it has been off the road during that time and here in Arizona it's only about $60 for a lapsed registration - specifically for the seller but it is also $60 for the inspection fee to be sure the title matches the bike for the buyer if the seller didn't pay the lapsed fee.

On a $27k antique bike there will be some kind of tax, especially if purchased out of state but strangely in my area I would have to pay a city tax on that purchase! And the State DMV is not authorized to collect that fee so years later the city sends you a tax bill!
 

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There was a Hailwood replica for sale recently from California; the new owner bought the bike only to find that he was unable to register it in California; something to do with homologation and where the bike was brought from. This is probably why the seller never transfered ownership and registered this bike.
 

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In Michigan you can get a form at the dmv and apply for a new title. They will run the VIN to make sure it’s not stolen first. Last time I did it was 3-4 years ago with a Sportster with bill of sale only and Yamaha from estate sale , no title. I think there was a $15 fee, plus sales taxes and title transfer fees.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, so essentially what I have is a title with the owner, who sold it to Mecum auction (im assuming to sell on his behalf). So, the first available spot to sign the bike over on the title was to mecum. They can use their dealer license to then re-assign the title to someone, which they did. They re-assigned the title to the person I purchased the bike from. He did not turn in the registration in California, and by law, when he turns that title in, because he's the person the title was re-assigned to, the DMV in california MUST physically verify the bike's vin, like in person. The problem, I now have the bike and I am not shipping it all the way back to California to the previous owner, with the title, and all my money that he currently has. I have the bike, I have the title that was sold to one person, and re-assigned to another. I'm not sure what to do in Michigan, but it looks like I'll have to do 2 things: Get a surety bond (which could cost thousands), AND fill out the form for the lost title. I think. What a pain. My fault for not asking for a picture of the title with my name on it before I released all the funds to him.
 

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Why should Michigan care about the California DMV?
There must be a loophole for you somewhere.
I guess you want to make it street legal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why should Michigan care about the California DMV?
There must be a loophole for you somewhere.
I guess you want to make it street legal.
I'm not sure, but generally they need to see the title signed over to me in my name, or else how do they know I didn't steal it? There MAY be a loophole, like I lost the title and can't contact the original owner. That IS a possibility, but that's lying. SO I don't know :/ Yes, I would like it street legal.
 

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Not a loophole, just the law. In Michigan all they did was check at the dmv to see if the VIN came up as stolen. When it did not , I paid the title transfer fee and sales tax for a new title and a few bucks late fee or something. They did it right there in 2 minutes while I waited. That was it. That was all. No More. The End. Case Closed.
 

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Did you get this sorted out or not? I have some info that might be very helpful if you are still trying to work through getting the bike legal without having to jump through hoops and/or pay exhorbitant past due registration fees.

I had to do the same with my Norton back in 2011.

Please post and advise.

Thanks,
 
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