Mayor Rudy Guiliani, are you behind this? Go back to your Mayor's Marinara Sauce.
September 11, 2006 11:47 AM   Subscribe

I just received a bill for taxes on a car I sold in 2001. The taxes are for 2001, 2002, 2003. I have the VIN - but I've moved about 8 times since then, and am not hopeful that I can find a copy of the bill of sale or transfer of title. How can I prove that I didn't own the car during that time?

How can I prove that I sold this car? I'll gladly pay the taxes for the first half of 2001 -- I sold the car in the summer. And I can afford to pay the taxes/interest for the remainder of the bill (1/2 of 2001, all of 2002, all of 2003). But I don't particularly want to be on record as 'owning' or having registered the car during that time -- what if it was involved in an accident, or some other situation where having my name attached to the car wouldn't be particularly appealing.

Given the VIN and the plates but little else (I don't have my insurance from that time, nor are any kind of bank records in my immediate location), what can I do? Will a Carfax check prove it was sold during this time? Any other kind of registration search?

The taxes are for RI Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, I suppose for the actual tags on the car. I called the tax collector's office and they will waive the taxes if I can provide proof of sale. Any suggestions?
posted by barnone to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
I don't know about RI specifically, but aren't you normally supposed to turn the tags back in to the DMV when you sell a car? That's when they deregister the car for you.
posted by reverendX at 11:57 AM on September 11, 2006

As I expected, here is the Rhode Island procedure for cancelling a vehicle registration. This doesn't really help you now though :-(
posted by reverendX at 12:01 PM on September 11, 2006

Response by poster: I am about 99% sure I did; they disagree. Hence the proof that those plates/tags weren't on that car during that time. This is all very odd to me. I'm sure the car was registered under a different name but they're telling me I have to have proof to cancel that particular registration. I loved RI and I hated it in terms of stuff like this; totally unhelpful on the phone.
posted by barnone at 12:05 PM on September 11, 2006

Something similar happened to me in CA, and they told to me just write "car sold on xx/xx/xx" or whatever on the bill and send it back. It seems to have worked, since that was about 4 years ago and I haven't heard anything since.

The CA DMV also has a little written testimony form, where you write your story, sign and date it, and they accept that as "proof" for a lot of things. Does RI have something similar?
posted by trevyn at 12:14 PM on September 11, 2006

Would your insurance records help at all?
posted by boo_radley at 12:35 PM on September 11, 2006

Would the sale show up in the Carfax report for your VIN?
posted by mbrubeck at 2:22 PM on September 11, 2006

If your insurance records don't help, how about using one of the services that traces the history of a car through its VIN? I can't recommend one from my own experience, but a google search for "VIN trace" turned up plenty of options.

By the way, as a Rhode Islander I can remind you that if you call the Registry, you might be better off referring to the "vin numba."
posted by wryly at 2:22 PM on September 11, 2006

Response by poster: wryly writes "By the way, as a Rhode Islander I can remind you that if you call the Registry, you might be better off referring to the 'vin numba.'"

Gawd, you're so right. I totally sounded like a Canuck when I called. So didn't help matters, I'm sure.

I'm not sure if Carfax shows sales with dates - I can pony up the $20 and check, but does anyone know if it shows dates of transfer?
posted by barnone at 3:26 PM on September 11, 2006

My carfax report shows the month and year of all transfers, as well as the date of the engine rebuild.
posted by damnjezebel at 3:35 PM on September 11, 2006

here is a link to my car fax report I pulled recently. It does not show that I bought it, but it does show that I am the current owner (and I assume it will tell you who the current owner of your car is) and the last time it was registered to a new owner and the mileage... Hope this helps!


Carfax report
posted by crewshell at 3:40 PM on September 11, 2006

« Older Boot Camp, the iMac, and system quietness   |   Is this investment recoverable? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.