How can I get a title for a junkyard car?
June 7, 2011 8:09 PM   Subscribe

How can I get a title to a previously owned car that was sold to a junkyard?

I bought this car from a junkyard but the previous owner has the title. He crashed it but did not call it totaled or forfeit the title. He then sold it to the junkyard eight years ago. I bought this car a couple months ago and got it road ready, but now I have no recourse to get the title in my name. How can I get this title? I have no information on the original owner of the title.
posted by Elminster of Labor to Shopping (4 answers total)
Best answer: I think you can apply for what is called a Bonded Title to the vehicle. They run the VIN and if it does not come back stolen or anything you pay an extra fee top of other registration fees.
posted by blacktshirtandjeans at 8:54 PM on June 7, 2011

Best answer: In Arkansas you would apply for a Lost Title thru the DMV. My dad had to do that for the first car he bought me (and rebuilt the engine on). I don't know exactly what happened behind the scenes, but I remember having to keep a copy of that application in the car because it took longer than normal to get permanent license plates for it. That paper proved that I was trying to make it legal with the DMV in case I got pulled over. This was 20 years ago so things may be different now. Call up the DMV or go in person and ask.
posted by MultiFaceted at 8:59 PM on June 7, 2011

What state are you in? Your profile doesn't list a location and stuff like this tends to vary by state.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:52 PM on June 7, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry for not getting back to this question sooner. I let a friend use my account to ask. We are in West Virginia, in response, even though this ask is long buried.

In the interest of future searchers -

He and his friend who is rebuilding the vehicle with him have both been down to the local DMV. They have been told to find the previous owner and get him to surrender the title. They were given the previous owner's last known address. They tried the lost title and bonded title routes but were shut down. Apparently the previous owner could pop up at any time and claim the car since it was sold for parts (even though this is highly unlikely).

Thanks for the responses.
posted by Elminster of Labor at 6:40 PM on June 16, 2011

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