NYS Car Registration: VA title, time & distance issues
July 24, 2017 9:14 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy a hard to find sports car from a Navy serviceman who is currently in NY but who has to report for duty in LA in about a week. He purchased it in VA two years ago and the Navy Fed Credit Union there has a lien on it. He won’t receive a title he can sign over to me until about two weeks after my bank pays the lien on the car and he’ll be in Gulf Coast LA then.

I need some solid advice how we can make this deal happen without either one of us getting ripped off.

The car will either be in storage in NY or in my driveway while we try to work this out.
posted by 14580 to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
Could a lawyer hold your payment in escrow, and not release it to the serviceman until the title is released?
posted by COD at 9:41 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone with a car registered in NYS that was bought in another state and just paid off the loan... it will take SIGNIFICANTLY longer to get a title from NY he can sign over to you.

We paid the loan off in mid-May, received the out-of-state title with the lien release in early June, went to DMV to get the title only to be told that we needed to mail the out-of-state title and lien release to Albany and they'd mail the title... well, we mailed them off to Albany on 6/13, and I called last Friday 7/21 to ask where our title was. I was told that they are 7.5 weeks behind in their mail and were currently opening mail from 5/30 so it would be another 2 weeks before they got to ours, and then another week or two to receive the title after they processed it. So we expect to receive the title late Aug or early Sept for a lien we paid off in late May -- so 3 to 3.5 months from start to finish.

So... take that into account when making decisions about how to proceed.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:45 AM on July 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

I thought about having a lawyer hold the payment in escrow. But a large portion of the money will go to his credit union right away to pay off the lien and then it will take 2 to 4 weeks for them to send him a title he can sign over to me.

I spoke with his credit union and they told me they are not going to return the money if he doesn't follow through. They did suggest getting a notarized bill of sale but I'm worried that won't be enough for the NYS DMV.
posted by 14580 at 10:13 AM on July 24, 2017

Get the name & number of his commanding officer and call for a reference. Get as much info about his new commanding officer as possible. In the US military, someone's sergeant or supervisor can wield pressure(but no guarantees). Talk to your DMV and the DMV in the state where the car is registered. Get the payoff amount as of a specific date from the credit union. You can pay the credit union separately and escrow the funds that he will get. I would ask him to sign a contract giving you a lien on the car or something. You may need a lawyer.

I bought a truck in Colorado that was registered in another state and the title held by a company. It was a pain, but the Colorado Springs DMV were very helpful.
posted by theora55 at 10:40 AM on July 24, 2017

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