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Boat Purchase - Problem with title on...

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Boat Purchase - Problem with title on the trailer
I'm not sure if this should an "off-topic" question or a boat question.

I've been working on buying a boat where I borrow about 20% of the value of a boat from our credit union. The "title" on the trailer isn't technically a title (it seems). It's a certificate of origin and all the slots on the back for transfer have been filled up with the last one not being the current owner's name. However, this certificate of origin indicates the weight of the trailer is 649 lbs (single axle), which is less than the 750 lbs that the DMV indicates requires title and licensing on trailers.

Because it's not required to be registered or titled, I can't see any prior owners having gone to the trouble or payed the fees for it. The credit union won't proceed unless we can sort out the title on the trailer at the DMV. My guess is that will be a hassle and take several days.

The title for the boat is fine.

Anyone run into this sort of thing with small untitled trailers before or have suggestions?
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Re: [utegrad] Boat Purchase - Problem with title on the trailer In reply to
You got this on the right board because it's boat related. You are right, you technically don't need to license it but when I licensed the last boat I bought I went ahead and licensed the trailer, to get it in my name. When you have that many previous owners, it's not a bad idea to do that, just in case you sell it, it will make it easier. After the first year went by, I took off the plate and have not licensed it since. One thing you will have to do is get the proper papers at the DMV, then call your local sheriff or police and have them come out and look at the serial number on your trailer before you can license it. After you do that, you should not have a problem getting it licensed.


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Re: [utegrad] Boat Purchase - Problem with title on the trailer In reply to
I had a somewhat similar issue back in 2005. The credit union I was trying to get a loan through wouldn't give me a loan because the trailer wasn't registered or didn't have a title. The previous owners had never registered the trailer and didn't have a title. they bought it from a dealer that had since gone out of business.
When I talked to the DMV it sounded like it wouldn't be too much trouble to get a new title. The owners would have to fill out a form or a couple of forms and have the trailer inspected. One of the forms states: Only a DMV employee, designated contractor, Utah peace officer, licensed dealer or a certified safety inspector may sign below verifying that the officer or agent has physically inspected the identification number (VIN/HIN) as it appears on the unit. Inspection by out-of-state peace officers and authorized agents of other state motor vehicle offices will be accepted.
However, the vin on the trailer I was trying to buy was printed in ink and had faded to the point that it wasn't legible. Getting a new vin seemed like a hassle so at that point I gave up and just got a different type of loan.
I'm not sure whether or not I can post links on here but you can find the info on the DMV website under trailers.
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Re: [utegrad] Boat Purchase - Problem with title on the trailer In reply to
I went through a bit of this hassle with the DMV with the pontoon I bought in November because it was last titled out of state. I didn't have to deal with any bank, though, as I was purchasing it outright.
The forms are pretty simple. You can google and download a Utah bill of sale form (get the one from the Utah.gov website address). There is also a VIN inspection form you can download and print off from the state website. I recommend a couple of these because there can't be any scratch-outs if there are errors when you fill it out. Once you have that, call your local dispatch and an officer can come by and inspect the VIN. From there, just take the forms to the DMV.
The difficulty is the seller isn't going to want to turn the boat/trailer over to you without the money, and the bank isn't going to want to give the money without the titling done. I would check with the bank and ask if the bill of sale and completed VIN inspection form would do. The only other option would be to have the seller actually get the titling corrected into their name, then sell to you. That can take a few weeks, cost the seller money, and they likely won't want to do it.
With all that said, some credit unions can negotiate a bit if there is plenty of equity in the boat without factoring the value of the trailer. Otherwise you might just want to consider an unsecured loan. The rate might be a bit higher, and harder to get approved, but then all the titling is directly in your name with no lien holder and no hassles.
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Re: [addicted2fishin] Boat Purchase - Problem with title on the trailer In reply to
Thanks for the feedback.

The seller of the boat I'm looking at is going to try and sort out the trailer title at the DMV. I can definitely see the utility in getting the trailer titled and registered for at least the first year of ownership, even though it's not technically necessary. Makes selling it later a lot more flexible.


I also need to deal with this same issue for a couple of ATVs that I got from my dad in 'Vegas. Been putting off calling the sheriff's dispatch office to ask for a visit to get the VIN inspection done. This has been good information for that as well.
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Re: [utegrad] Boat Purchase - Problem with title on the trailer In reply to
Print off the forms and get them all done in one visit! Like I said, print off extras as they won't accept it with any errors.
When I bought my pontoon the officer had to fill out 3 of them. One for the boat, one for the motor, and one for the trailer. He made an error on one so I just handed him another copy of the same one to fill out, which he seemed to really appreciate.