When we first started looking at both campers, we were told that one had a title and one did not. We decided we needed to do some research and see just what this might involve when trying to license one of them.
After a day or two, we were told the existing title had been lost. He also could not remember the name of the person he had gotten it from several years prior to this.
Thinking that perhaps the other seller could maybe come up with a title, we gave him another phone called asked if he might be able to contact the owner before him.
In the meantime, my husband called our local (Iowa) county courthouse. It’s important to know that policies on replacing titles will vary from one state to the next and to find out exactly what your state requires, you need want to call your department of transportation. Titles are more accessible in some states than others.
In Iowa if we could not track down the title, we would need to apply for a bonded title. For this your camper must be approved by the state to be titled for licensing. After that you have to contact your insurance company to determine a value of the camper. The only complication with a bonded title is if anyone that owned the camper in the past produces a title, they can take possession of the camper at any time, even after you spend hours of work on it and countless dollars.
If you can find the manufacturer’s plate that has the VIN number, you can possibly alleviate some of the titling problems. Another good bit of advice would be to search through ever single piece of paperwork pamphlets, and old books found in the trailer. This is where we lucked out. While digging through the books and papers in the above picture, we found an old registration dated 2000. It had some woman’s name on it that was from a small town we had never even heard of. Once again, I turned to the computer, googled the town and name. The “White Pages” came up with an old address that matched the registration as well as a new address that wasn’t even in the same town. We took our chances, dialed the number
and left a message. It took a couple of days to hear back from the old owners.
In the meantime, my husband contacted the courthouse again and gave them the information we had found on the old registration. They were able to contact the courthouse the old registration had listed on it. JACKPOT!!
After a couple of days the person that owned the Shasta in 2000 called us back. We explained our dilemma to her and she was very helpful. She was amazed that the camper hadn’t already been taken to the scrapyard and was eager to help us get.
As for our 2nd Shasta, the gentleman was able to contact the person he had bought the camper from. It turns out the title had been ruined in a flood. He was able to get a request form for a duplicate title. He then took it to the person he had purchased it from, they filled out paperwork for a duplicate title application. It will be sent into the county courthouse where it was last titled or licensed. After that, the duplicate title will be sent to us from that courthouse.
We were very fortunate to be able to get not only one, but both titles. Just remember to use all of your resources available. Google it, make phone calls, offer to pay an extra $25 dollars if they can help you get the records. Kill them with kindness and tell them how much you appreciate what they are doing. In the end, it will make the registration and licensing so much easier and faster so you can get your tin can out on the road, which is where you want to be.