Stolen in 87.. I have no title now

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by piccilo7, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. piccilo7

    piccilo7 New Member

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    Apparently my bike was made in 1986, stolen one year later, and then sat in the back of a warehouse for 15 years. The guy who bought the warehouse found the bike, sold it to a guy I work with, who then sold it to me. Obviously, the title is nowhere to be found. Now the DMV won't let me ride it or get a title rebuilt in my name. Does anyone know of anything I can do to get a title for this bike? If it means buying a frame with a title, and swapping the VIN plate, I'll do it if anyone happens to have one :wink: Other than that, is there anything I can do?

    It seems such a waste to let this beautiful machine rot because of a missing piece of paper.
     
  2. speed

    speed New Member

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    why dont you lien sale the bike for storage ? what state do you live in ?
     
  3. eddievalleytrailer

    eddievalleytrailer Member

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    The DMV can run the VIN# and find out who the bike was registered to when it was stolen. I would think they would try to return it to the owner from whom it was stolen. If that person had insurance that paid it off when it was stolen, they would have rights to it. It would be hard to get a clean title on this bike, unless you could get the registered owner or the Ins. Co. to sign off on it. If you were to get pulled over, and the cop ran the VIN, it would come up stolen. Then, you would be in possession of a stolen bike, even if you paid for it fair and square. As far as swaping ID plates, the serial # is also stamped on the frame at the steering head. It would be hard to change that. You would have to use the whole frame from a donor bike. Then, title that frame's title. Some states have a statute of limitations, and will issue a title in that state after 10 or 15 years. Since it's been so long you won't have any problem with the time frame. There are a few companies around who will do this for you. I haven't used one of these myself, but have seen adds for them in the back of same magazines. You could also try to put a lien on it for 15 years of storage, and get a clean title that way. The state could issue a "Theft Recovery" Title, according to which state you live in.
     
  4. piccilo7

    piccilo7 New Member

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    I live in New York. And New York State employees are lovely people...:pout: How exactly does this lien storage thing work? Also, where could I find one of these titling companies? I've heard about them from a guy I know but I thought he was just full of crap =P
     
  5. eddievalleytrailer

    eddievalleytrailer Member

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    You have to tell the DMV the bike was abandoned over 15 years ago, and you are are intitled to it for the storage bill. Usually only wrecker companies and repair shops are able to do this, unless you can prove why it was abandoned.
    Repair shops do this when a bike is brought in for repair and is never picked up because the owner refuses to pay the bill. You would have to say "some guy" brought it to you to have you work on it for him, and never returned to pick it up and pay you for the repairs and storing it for 15 years. It may still come up stolen if their records go back that far. Im' afraid you're playing with snakes here. Be careful and don't get bitten.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
  6. elizilla

    elizilla New Member

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    If it's stolen, then the right thing to do is to get it back to the person it was stolen from, or the insurance company who paid off when it was stolen. I hope you didn't pay too much for it. Why did you agree to buy a bike with no title, anyway? Is the guy who sold the bike to you a standup guy who might give you some/all of the money back? How about the guy who sold it to him?

    WTF was the guy who bought the warehouse thinking, to sell a bike he had no title for? At the very least he should be the one going through the contortions to retitle it, as the owner of the property where it was abandoned. He's the one with the most legal claim to allow him to do it.

    I wouldn't want to be riding this bike at all, even if I did get it retitled. It's gonna show up as stolen anytime someone in authority looks at the VIN, and you'll be having those conversations again and again, because you'll never get the VIN out of all the databases it will have propagated to. It's like getting your name on the no-fly list, you'll never completely root it out. No one needs that kind of cop trouble.
     
  7. piccilo7

    piccilo7 New Member

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    I was told that the insurance company had no interest in it because it was paid off so long ago. I bought it because I was told there was a simple process I had to go through to get it inspected and re-titled, but it's proven more difficult than he led me to believe. I'm going to plow through the paperwork and see if I can do it through the NYS salvage program, which was what was originally suggested to me. If it doesn't work, however, I'm not sure what I'll be doing with this thing..
     
  8. elizilla

    elizilla New Member

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    Get another one and make this one into a parts bike, maybe.

    I know guys whose bikes were stolen, then recovered and they got them back, and forever after that they're running into hassles because the bike's in some government database as "stolen", and they have to keep explaining that "Yes, the bike was stolen, I'm the guy it got stolen from, it was recovered and I got it back, now stop making my life difficult!"
     
  9. eddievalleytrailer

    eddievalleytrailer Member

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    I'll bet the guy telling you how easy it is to get a title, is the same guy who was selling it. If it was easy to get a title for a stolen bike, the motorcycle world would be chaos. That's why most stolen bikes are stripped for parts or shipped overseas, where there are little or no laws protecting the rightful owner. Imagine how fun it would be to give it back to the man from whom it was stolen, after all these years:biggrin: . I hope you can get this all worked out. Keep us posted.
     
  10. eddievalleytrailer

    eddievalleytrailer Member

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    Did the DMV actually run the VIN#? Did they give you a name or any other info that you could use? Did they say it was stolen, or is that what the seller told you?
     
  11. eddievalleytrailer

    eddievalleytrailer Member

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    What ever happened? Did you get a title, give up, or give it to the original owner?
     
  12. nozzle

    nozzle New Member

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    If you post the VIN number on the stolen bike, maybe LEO on the forum could run it and ta-daaa, we'd have a reunion. It'd be great!

    Or you could go to the DMV in person and let them help you. That is their job, you just need lots of time to get them to do thier job quite often.
     
  13. willi777

    willi777 New Member

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    "Or you could go to the DMV in person and let them help you. That is their job, you just need lots of time to get them to do thier job quite often"
    It is obvious you have never been to the DMV in NY... that is the exact opposite of their mission. Getting a title from a mechanics lien is difficult, you have to post ads in the paper, and must have a paper trail that is continuous... dunno if you will be able to go that route. If you can find someone to run the VIN, you might find there is no record of the bike after 20 yrs.(but no guarantee on that), then get a title from Intl Title Service. But make sure there in no record of it being stolen or they may not title it. Your best bet would be to title it Neew Hampshire, Rhode Island, North Carolina... thoise states are much more lenient than NY, where they assume you stole the bike and require proof that you didn't.
     
  14. VT Viffer

    VT Viffer New Member

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    Wow, Vermont is super linient with this sort of thing... No title required on vehicles over 15 years old, including motorcycles.

    I could take a handwritten "bill of sale" that said I "bought" it for $1,000 to my DMV office in Burlington (which is super friendly, BTW). I'd pay for a new tag ($40) registration (another $35), and the tax on the $1,000 ($60). Sometimes they'll look up the NADA value of the bike, and charge you tax on that figure - for my '96 it was less than what I had paid for it, so they charged me less tax on my transaction. How's that for DMV service???

    But in all seriousness - why should anyone care at this point? The bike has little to no value to the original owner, who forgot and stopped caring that it was stolen in 1987 in 1988 when he was riding his new VFR. Technically, the bike belongs to the insurance company who paid out for it (presumably) when it was originally stolen. I doubt they care either - they would nto recoup any money on the original payout since the bike would simply end up on the auction block and sell for next to nothing. What is it worth today? Even with low miles and excellent condition, I'd guess less than $1,500. Plus it probably needs new tires, a tuneup, and a total cleaning.
     
  15. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Because not all of us live in Vermont, where you can steal a vehicle, wait 15 years and then write up a fake bill of sale and title someone else's property as your own.......
     
  16. VT Viffer

    VT Viffer New Member

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    I was kind of getting at the parties that were previously involved (insurance, previous owner(s)), not government entities.
     
  17. masonv45

    masonv45 New Member

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  18. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    The previous owner is no longer involved, unless the machine was never insured or an insurance claim was never filed. If an insurance claim was filed and settled, you could probably negotiate to purchase the machine from the insurance company, deal with the necessary paperwork and receive a clear title. Insurance companies aren't in the habit of giving things away.
     
  19. crustyrider

    crustyrider New Member

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    I can only echo what has been said. but I do know that the DMV should help you THAT IS THIER JOB. chances are it is out of the system. your best bet would be to use it as a parts bike buy a rolling chassis and transfer parts over to it.


    good luck
     
  20. Spike

    Spike New Member

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    VT, but that sucks for whomever gets a car stolen. I So cal a couple months back you had someone get back a 60's mustang that was stolen from them in the 70's, because someone bought it, and tried to register it and it came up stolen. It was stolen while he was in college. He said it was in better condition now than when it was stolen, as it had recently been fully restored. He lost a clunker and gained a collector's item! ;-)

    Last year I saw a report of someone else getting back a motorcycle that had been stolen decades ago, and was found in a corner of a cluttered garage, virtually unused since it was stolen, when some people bought a house that needed to be cleaned up.

    As a law abiding citizen, I want the records, in every state to go back as far as possible.

    For Piccilo - this started a year and a half ago, am I to understand you still haven't registered it? I would say start at the DMV, they should at least be able to tell you what you need to do in your state and current rules.
     
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