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Old 04-14-2020, 07:27 AM   #21
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Grace Period for Registration After Purchase?

Agree about not using old tags to bring a trailer home. It’s a liability risk for the seller, who should not only keep the tag but also report the sale to the motor vehicle department. In many states it can be done online immediately following a transaction. Once the sale is reported and the tag cancelled, using it becomes illegal, and an officer in any other state will know it.

No tags plus the sale paperwork (signed title and bill of sale) will normally get you home, as other have said. If the seller is not providing a bill of sale, many state motor vehicle websites have a template you can print before you go. In some states you can purchase a temporary transport permit.

However, these are not normal times. Motor vehicle offices are closed with limited online services. Some states along your route are enforcing stay-at-home orders pretty strictly, and your paperwork will clearly reveal your business, which doesn’t fall under essential activities. The lack of tag is far more likely to catch an officer’s attention than usual.

But perhaps you are preparing now to make the trip after restrictions are lifted?

In answer to your original question, yes, states have a grace period within which a vehicle purchase must be properly registered to avoid penalties. In the current situation I expect they’ll reset the clock once the office opens and normal business resumes. Meantime you can typically find a lot of information online about grace periods, transport permits, etc. You may be able to call or e-mail a motor vehicle agent to get more information specific to your state and situation.
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:04 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Except you were using them illegally to get home.
Probably not if you haven't transferred the title, but its really not necessary.
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:20 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jann Todd View Post
I know you asked about registration, etc and got answers. I would like to address the long distance of towing the trailer. Are the tires good and not outdated. They may have tread but be bad. Do you have the brake controller for the trailer in your vehicle if the trailer has brakes. Have you seen the trailer and know its condition? Do the lights work? In some states the cops are looking to get people and in others they are very nice. Hope it all goes well. Is the trailer currently licensed. If so then will the owner let you tow it with his plates on it until you get home. We did that one time with a car so we wouldn't have to get license out of state then at home also. Picked it up on a holiday. Then we sent him his plates so he would know we weren't using them illegally.

I carry a retrieval kit when I travel to buy a trailer.
It includes such things as a 4 plug tow light set, grease, bearings, and such tools as needed.
I also carry gear to stay warm and or cool and to sleep in the trailer on the trip home.
I usually check the tire pressure and bearing temperature at the first fuel stop.
I have never had a bearing failure on a retrieval and so I usually service the bearings at home.


I am not advocating the following, only showing a case which would be considered extreme. The pictures below are of a trailer I bought which had been used on Kentucky backroads for years without dust caps or inner seals.Also it had no tail lights. After towing 600miles to home The restoration began.
( Notice the nitrogen fill Schrader cap)
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Shelly#8 004.jpg   Shelly#8 006.jpg  

Shelly#8 007.jpg   Shelly#8 003.jpg  

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Old 04-14-2020, 09:24 AM   #24
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Interesting for sure but my reading is exactly the opposite of yours?
I imagine that now there is no interest at all in stopping vehicles and trailers with bad or no plates due to this hardly being an essential stop.
I have read and heard all over the media about Police only making stops where life safety is involved while almost completely ignoring all but the most glaring issues of traffic on the roads. Add to that the likelihood of a stop leading to a way too close interaction and I just can not imagine being stopped right now for this.

I actually bought a Truck a few weeks ago and have been driving it during this mess with no plates at all and have been worried about this myself but for no reason at all so far,I am sure that if stopped a quick explanation to the officer will see me back on my way in no time.

I have travelled with no plates many times though and still never been stopped for it.

The Laws about the registering and plating do for sure vary from state to state and as long as you seem to be just driving one home that you have some paperwork for this will just not be a problem at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Agree about not using old tags to bring a trailer home. It’s a liability risk for the seller, who should not only keep the tag but also report the sale to the motor vehicle department. In many states it can be done online immediately following a transaction. Once the sale is reported and the tag cancelled, using it becomes illegal, and an officer in any other state will know it.

No tags plus the sale paperwork (signed title and bill of sale) will normally get you home, as other have said. If the seller is not providing a bill of sale, many state motor vehicle websites have a template you can print before you go. In some states you can purchase a temporary transport permit.

However, these are not normal times. Motor vehicle offices are closed with limited online services. Some states along your route are enforcing stay-at-home orders pretty strictly, and your paperwork will clearly reveal your business, which doesn’t fall under essential activities. The lack of tag is far more likely to catch an officer’s attention than usual.

But perhaps you are preparing now to make the trip after restrictions are lifted?

In answer to your original question, yes, states have a grace period within which a vehicle purchase must be properly registered to avoid penalties. In the current situation I expect they’ll reset the clock once the office opens and normal business resumes. Meantime you can typically find a lot of information online about grace periods, transport permits, etc. You may be able to call or e-mail a motor vehicle agent to get more information specific to your state and situation.
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:33 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
Interesting for sure but my reading is exactly the opposite of yours?
I imagine that now there is no interest at all in stopping vehicles and trailers with bad or no plates due to this hardly being an essential stop...
You could well be right. I haven't been any further than the nearest Walmart (30 miles) in three weeks, and we don't have TV news at home. In our area there are fairly strict state and tribal directives and threats of fines, but very little actual enforcement that I can see. But that's typical in a rural area. I thought it might be different in East Coast metro areas.

Guess there's one way to find out...
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:45 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Except you were using them illegally to get home.
Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Probably not if you haven't transferred the title, but its really not necessary.
It's not about the title but the registration. Using the tags becomes illegal the moment the seller reports the sale to the motor vehicle department, which results in cancellation of the registration and tags. States generally require you to do that promptly after a sale, often immediately and online.

If you allow someone to drive home on your tags, you should postdate the sale and delay reporting it. Basically you are loaning the vehicle, with all the risk that entails. For an immediate family member, or perhaps a close friend, sure. For a stranger, I would not.
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:07 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
If you allow someone to drive home on your tags, you should postdate the sale and delay reporting it. Basically you are loaning the vehicle, with all the risk that entails. For an immediate family member, or perhaps a close friend, sure. For a stranger, I would not.

You should also consider that if the trailer is totalled in an accident on the way to the buyer's home that the seller may incur liability. If insured, I'm sure the insurance company will also want to discuss, probably in court.
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:35 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
It's not about the title but the registration. Using the tags becomes illegal the moment the seller reports the sale to the motor vehicle department, which results in cancellation of the registration and tags. States generally require you to do that promptly after a sale, often immediately and online.

If you allow someone to drive home on your tags, you should postdate the sale and delay reporting it. Basically you are loaning the vehicle, with all the risk that entails. For an immediate family member, or perhaps a close friend, sure. For a stranger, I would not.
I tried to imply that borrowing someone else's plate was not necessary or needed. I don't lend my plates, and there is no requirement to report the plate, it just expires.


We do now have an attachment on our title which the seller is supposed to detach and send in upon a change of ownership. This can be a problem when buying a car for someone else.
In some states, a person can register a vehicle which they do not own
(titled to one party and registered to another)
Point is pretty much moot if you don't lend or borrow a plate.


At any rate, "no valid registration" is not a moving violation, and the odds of a ticket are low enough that the risk is pennies for a trailer and maybe nickels for a car or truck. Illinois law allows at least 30 days for title transfer, and no requirement for registration until you subsequently want to tow it on public roads.

I once had a cop approach me at a fuel stop, cause he wanted to see the older Scamp13 I was towing home, I showed it to him inside and out and gave him sales literature from Backus. He waved as we drove off.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:09 AM   #29
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[QUOTE=Jon in AZ;774538]It's not about the title but the registration. Using the tags becomes illegal the moment the seller reports the sale to the motor vehicle department, which results in cancellation of the registration and tags.

Seller is in NY, as am I. Like I said in post 14, I took my plate into Motor Vehicle office and they did not want it or care that I had sold the trailer. I did not have to report the sale. I know the lady clerk, she has been there a long time, so I have to assume her statement is correct. I signed the trailer title, gave it to the buyer, and had him sign a "sold as is" bill of sale, which I'm sure he didn't read. He brought a plate from one of his trailers, put it on with wire ties, and left. I have a couple trailers that I owned for a year or more before registering them, so at least here in NY there is no hurry on that. We would certainly think the sale would have to be reported to cancel the registration, but apparently not here with trailers. Trailer registrations expire end of December every year, so I just did not renew it, and discarded the form as she said to do. On the other hand, if I sell a car that is registered I have to turn in the plates, get a receipt, and give that receipt to my insurance agent before they will cancel the insurance.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:41 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
...
Seller is in NY, as am I. Like I said in post 14, I took my plate into Motor Vehicle office and they did not want it or care that I had sold the trailer. I did not have to report the sale. I know the lady clerk, she has been there a long time, so I have to assume her statement is correct.
Larry.. take note:

NY DMV Website says:
Even though some trailers are not required to have liability insurance, you must surrender the plate if the trailer does not have a valid registration. Normally a trailer does not need liability insurance. The DMV will not suspend your driver license or registration if you fail to surrender the plate. The DMV recommends that you surrender any type of vehicle plate when the plate is not used to make sure that the plate is destroyed.
So they do want you to turn in in trailer plates, but wont penalize you if you don't.

And you may get a pro-rated refund of your trailer's registration fee.

But that would have made a bit more work for the lady at DMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
...
... He [buyer] brought a plate from one of his trailers, put it on with wire ties, and left. ..
Now that is almost surly illegal, and one of those "trying to hide things" that I was talking about as getting one in trouble.
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Old 04-14-2020, 01:07 PM   #31
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We bought our used Scamp 16 last October here in MN. MN tells buyers to register within 10 days, but registering last fall, just before putting it into storage would have cost me a full year's rate. In MN, all annual trailer registrations are due for renewal in February. I sent the seller a note telling him I was going to hold off and to ignore any notices he received from the state. I took my transfer paperwork in this February and the state hit me with a massive $2.00 late registration charge.

And in MN, the plates stay with the trailer (and with the vehicle, for that matter), so I still have the former owner's plates on this spring.
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Old 04-14-2020, 04:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post


And [U][URL="https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/registration-refunds-and-transfer-credits-surrendered-plates"]you may get a pro-rated refund of your trailer's registration fee

But that would have made a bit more work for the lady at DMV.


Now that is almost surly illegal, and one of those "trying to hide things" that I was talking about as getting one in trouble.
Gordon; I had less than one month left on the annual registration that was $21.50 for the whole year so I didn't miss out on much of a refund. The buyer using a plate off another trailer; definitely illegal, but not my problem. I took the cash, told him I was done with that trailer and never wanted to see or hear about it ever again, turned and walked into my house. Done deal. What I have learned over the many years dealing with my local DMV office is: depending on the day or who you talk to will determine what the answer will be. Don't like what someone tells you today, go back another day and talk to someone else and maybe the answer will be one you like.
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Old 04-18-2020, 12:49 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
.......What I have learned over the many years dealing with my local DMV office is: depending on the day or who you talk to will determine what the answer will be. Don't like what someone tells you today, go back another day and talk to someone else and maybe the answer will be one you like.
True, and I've found that it makes a ton of difference in how you approach them. A pleasant attitude is like money in the bank.

I bought a car in 2001 and drove it over 2,000 miles with no plates. I had the correct paperwork, and I did get stopped, I think it was in Iowa or Nebraska. I came over a rise and saw the cop in the median, took my foot off the gas and moved into the right lane. I always ask: "How fast was I going?" We had a nice conversation about the car (A 1968 Jaguar XKE) and he did give me a ticket. Changing lanes without a signal (cost me $45.00) an a warning on speed: 80 in a 65.

In California there's a release-of-liability tear-off form on the title that the seller sends into DMV, which protects the seller. Sending one in saved me over $6,000 one time. Also, the plates stay with the vehicle or trailer.

--Harold
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Old 04-18-2020, 01:32 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ridetechy View Post
I will be buying my first camper, a 16ft Scamp, next weekend. I will be traveling out of state to pick it up (private sale), and the plan is to tow it back home. The trip home should take 2 days and our first overnight with it will be in some Walmart lot (thanks C19).

Obviously since I am purchasing out-of-state where I will then obtain the title necessary for registration...I have to get it home first before I can register for a trailer plate. Not to mention, our DMVs are all shut down until April 23 (thanks C19)

So my question...what do I need to do to legally get this puppy home? Is there typically a grace period after a sale for these issues or something I need to do/get locally (Virginia) before heading up to pick it up? Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Call an auto or RV dealer in city of purchase if purchasing thru a private seller, and seek info on obtaining a temporary drive-out TAG? Temp tags is the ONLY way to do it legally thru multi-states.
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Old 04-18-2020, 03:14 PM   #35
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Last June, we purchased & took possession of a an out-of-state Bigfoot, then towed it to a third state for the summer before returning home in the fall.

In California, where we live, you have 10 days to register the trailer with the DMV after returning to the state.

This is my recommendation:
  1. Verify when the trailer’s current registration will expire.
  2. If you belong to AAA, contact them for advice on purchasing out of state
  3. Contact DMV offices of state where trailer’s located
  4. Ask about official DMV forms seller & you need to record sell
  5. Download said forms from other State’s website
  6. If trailer tags have expired, find out what you’ll need from other State’s DMV for temporary travel license. These are pasted on the the trailer & are good for 3-10 days, depending on the State.
  7. Register the trailer when you return home, within timeline required by your state

Obviously, everything depends upon Covid-19 mitigation. You should be able to contact AAA and DMV offices via the internet or phone. You’ll need to be patient until you can speak with someone.

If you belong to AAA and they are deputized to register a trailer, bring it to them. You’ll save time & headache of dealing with a DMV office. In California, the trailer needs to be inspected to verify it’s VIN number and that it can be safely towed.

The tags on the trailer we purchased was good through the end of the year. Our AAA office informed us that CA will require a completed Bill of Sale “form” provided by the other State’s DMV. This was filled out & signed by the sellers.

We had 10 days to register that trailer from the time we returned to California. They really didn’t care that we spent 3 months out-of-State following our purchase.

I took the trailer to our local AAA. I was out of there with new tags, plates, & registration papers within 40 minutes.

Again, Covid 19 changes everything. But you should be vigilant regarding DMV documents you will need to present to your State’s DMV.

Best of luck!
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Old 04-18-2020, 03:58 PM   #36
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Check with your insurance company too.
Yup, Call Agent before you drive off, you do not want issues w/ insurance should something happen 1-mile down the road?
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:08 PM   #37
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The big thing here is something that you might have already caught. Every state is like different. And with two states involved it get a bit more complicated. CONVID-19 has made it a whole lot more complicated. Might even be legal to do the trip some places. If you can contact the states you should be able to make sure you are doing it right.

More important is to contact your insurance agent. He can tell you what is and what is not covered. He can get you a binder for coverage that you don't have and need. AND some policies are a bit weird on a new trailer. He can tell you if there is a trap anywhere in the process.
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