Title tips when buying or brokering titled vehicles, machines, etc


When buying titled pieces (vehicles, machinery, trailers, whatever) you should always request a copy of the front and back of the title prior to purchasing. Many states now use electronic titles, not paper. The seller should still be able to get a copy for you.

Having the front and back allows you to :
1. Know it was turned to the current owner and appropriate taxes were paid. If it was not, that is kiting a title and is not legal.
2. Verify ownership. Know you are paying the legal owner. It is fraud to sell under a different name.
3. Be sure there are no liens attached. Once you have a copy of the title you can call the Department of Motor Vehicles in the county the title was issued and ask if there are any fees, fines, or liens attached.

Every state is different and not all states record the liens on the actual title. You don’t want to find out when you or your customer goes to turn the title that they owe because they adopted the problems from the previous owner.
The lien follows the machine. So do any fines and fees attached to the registration.

Another problem with vehicles is when the title is cleaned. This is a damaged or salvaged title taken to a different state and renewed to a clean title. Some states do not require any documentation to show the title as salvaged.