Another option is a "Mechanics Lien".
In Tennessee there are 2 ways to register and old vehicle/trailer without a title/registration and just a bill of sale from the previous owner.
Method #1 is exclusive to 30+ year old vehicles/trailers/motorcycles or later model vehicles/trailers/motorcycles worth less than $3K. This "Tennessee Code Annotated" was instituted into law to help solve the issues of registration
of old vehicles/trailers/motorcycles where paperwork was lost or never existed depending upon the registration
requirements in the past.
Method #2 is an option for any year vehicle/trailer/motorcycle.
Both of these options are for none stolen vehicles/trailers. Method #2 also deals with the situation of a lien on the vehicle/trailer.
Certificate of Ownership (Go online to the State of Tennessee Department of Revenue website/vehicle registration/forms) and look at the the Certificate of Ownership form for requirements and exclusions.
Call your local "Title Guy" who can file a Mechanics Lien on the vehicle or trailer. The vehicle/trailer will go through the LEGAL lien process (assuming not stolen) and ultimately you can receive legal lien sale paperwork that will allow you to register and title
the vehicle/title in your name.
In method 1 YOU the person applying for the Certification of Ownership are providing the "Guaranty" on the title
and could have to defend the title if there are currently lien holders or previous owners with a legal ownership claim.
With option 2 you have none of those responsibilities to defend the title however you could lose the vehicle/trailer to previous owner who chooses to pay of the mechanics lien and reclaim their property as the previous owner has that right to reclaim their property by paying the lien. Just remember this previous owner could have legally sold the vehicle/trailer to someone who did not registrer/title the vehicles and NOW realizes they have chance to reclaim the vehicle/trailer for very little money that might be owed to satisfy the lien and might choose to "Double Dip" and reclaim their property as they are still the legal registered owner of the asset.
Just remember the SINGLE BIGGEST REASON you will see vehicles in particular and trailer's in some instances advertised with "No Title" is that the seller does not have a title at all because the title for that vehicle/trailer has been "Pawned" at the local title loan shark for money at which point the seller is now committing FRAUD by selling "Mortgaged Property". Of course another reasons for trailer's in particular not have a title is that some states do not require a title for a trailer.
Many times the lowlifes that do the "Title Pawn" scam will pawn the same vehicle title that is in their name multiple times. Each time they go to the local title office and get a "Duplicate" title and once again go and pawn that duplicate title. Do this 6-7 times in a week and you can quite a bit of money as the lowlifes know that the title pawn loan shark will not register their lien quickly allowing them to continue the scam. And all this is on top of already selling the vehicle/trailer to some unsuspecting sap on Craigslist!
On top of that you have to deal with all the "Curbstoner's" who are illegally selling vehicles/trailer "Open Title" which means that are not the legal owner of the vehicle/trailer. They have legally "purchased" the vehicle/trailer however they are not the legal owner as they have not registered the vehicle/trailer in their name and they are NOW reselling the item stepping their local state's registration
and taxation process. Basically playing "Car Dealer" without a license!
Pretty sad how low many of our fellow citizens have become in the chase for the almighty Dollar!