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olsurfer

Missing Title

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Before you tell me to look for another boat, I want to buy an out of state boat that has no current paperwork. The state of origin will issue new registration for that state, but will not issue title for 3 years under the clause of not knowing who the previous owner was. With this boat, we do know who the previous owner was and it is included in the trust of the previous owner who passed. My state will not accept registering a boat without the title.

I've already looked at getting the boat documented by the USCG but I'm not sure it will qualify under the 5 net tonnage rule. 

 

I'm open to all ideas to make this trans-action happen. Thanks

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I'm no lawyer, but if the boat was included in the trust of the former owner, that should be a publicly-available doc and should provide enough evidence of past title to satisfy the state.

What I don't know is the mechanics of how a trust "signs over" title in a scenario like that.

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I had the same thing. I believe Alabama or Texas or one of the southern states will issue you a title if you pay them money. I bought a boat in North Carolina and I live in Michigan. I paid and sent $100 and a copy of the bill of sale and hull # and 2 weeks later I got a title that I could then exchange for a title in Michigan.

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In NJ, you would contact the Marine Police who would then inspect the boat and the hull identification numbers and if the boat isn’t stolen or leined, would issue paperwork stating the vessel can be titled by the Motor Vehicle Agency.

Good luck and if the state will issue  you registration without a title you can insure it. If your not going to sell it within 3 years, there may be no problem. 

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26 minutes ago, dyslexic dog said:

I had the same thing. I believe Alabama or Texas or one of the southern states will issue you a title if you pay them money. I bought a boat in North Carolina and I live in Michigan. I paid and sent $100 and a copy of the bill of sale and hull # and 2 weeks later I got a title that I could then exchange for a title in Michigan.

Thanks, very interested in this. Can you PM me?

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25 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

Good luck and if the state will issue  you registration without a title you can insure it. If your not going to sell it within 3 years, there may be no problem. 

Except that the state of origin is not the state I want to register it in and my state wont touch it without a title.

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Wow - I thought your States were United? The solutions seem to range across: 

1. The Germanic 1942 approach: Papers bitte! And hope you don’t get caught without the right papers;

2. The Indian Kafka approach: try to apply at your local state office.

3. The Catherine Zeta-Jones Entrapment approach: try to pick though uscg red tape (lasers?) which mightn’t work if you’re a few pounds over a limit (that was probably set in the 1960s when private craft were smaller).

4. The lawyer’s Porsche approach: help a lawyer upgrade their sports car whilst they bill you to dig into an old trust with a couple of degrees of separation to murk the trail of ownership.

5. The chinese antique Certificate of Authenticity: Mail a random state who’s pragmatic enough to issue whatever paper you need for a fee, and then use their paper to get local paper. (Maybe this should be the Gordian Knot Slicing approach?)

6. The Greek philosopher’s approach: if the boat doesn’t have papers then does it actually exist?

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2 hours ago, olsurfer said:

Except that the state of origin is not the state I want to register it in and my state wont touch it without a title.

Have you tried entering the State box with "unresponsive"?

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Sound like you should forget the boat, which is probably impossible!

We don’t know what 2 states or their laws or why there is no paperwork.

The 3strike rule seems to be in effect here.

What kind of boat is it anyway?

Laser? Alden? We’re interested

 

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Is there anything else in the estate that is also in the trust or is it just the boat? I would think that the beneficiaries of the trust would wants the assets sold and the proceeds distributed among the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the trust. If so, then the Trustee has a responsibility to see to it that the assets are sold or otherwise distributed to the beneficiaries.  If the boat has any serious market value you should get the Trustee to work with you and do some of the heavy lifting and get a title issued.

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Get the trustee and a public notary or justice of the peace in the same room and get the notary to sign off on the last agreed origin of ownership in the family. The signed document by the notary should be enough to get you started with certifying title in the state of origin and not pay much out of pocket. It's legwork and time more than money. 

It can get interesting with property of no known title. My brother-in-law spent a couple of years wrangling through red-tape to finally effect the purchase of an untitled property that had been passed through generations. Took some time but doable.

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Are you sure the boat was ever titled with the trust listed as owner? If the seller wants to sell the damn thing, it would seem to me they should be able to produce, or should produce the paperwork showing the chain of ownership. I may well be they are just being dicks, don't want the hassle of doing the legal work to show provenance.

Another question you should be asking, the state the boat is in, do they even issue titles? If not, what does your state do under such circumstances?

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23 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I don't WANT states titling boats with a "bill of sale". If someone steals one of my boats, I want the bastards to choke on it.

As in storage fee accumulation?

I agree about that!

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Thanks for all the suggestions! The sellers are working at this as hard as I am. The state of Washington should register it free and clear with the trail of ownership documentation we have but they insist on the 3 year waiting period. Calif requires the previous state's title to register it in Calif. Thanks to feedback from this thread I have a couple new possibilities. Don't want to jinx the deal so I'll wait to disclose the type of boat Mr. Beer!

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Are you crazy? You already have one of the most incredible trimarans ever built, GO SAILING, if you don`t i am going to steal it and sail her myself ( and get a title from some state that only requires a bill of sale). 

It's time, for you, the boat and me to go sail.

Ps, i will even race you!

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You might look at Colorado for titling.  They seemed pretty casual.  Then transfer it to Washington.

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