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Old 05-25-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
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current tags/registration

I have seen several people mention that they have "current tags/registration" when they sre selling their travel trailer.
It seems to be only Canada or left coast U.S. Is this something a buyer should care about? If so...why? Is the seller required to have current registration in order to sell a travel trailer, and if not... does any of that liability fall on the shoulders of the buyer?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:11 PM   #2
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Floyd, I can't answer your question for any state other than Oregon (US), but the registration here is different than the license plate... which are for two years and are part of the trailer not the owner. If I pay 'x' (based on length) and it doesn't expire for two years even if the registration changes. I'm betting other states are different. It could be (in Oregon, and Multnomah County) $159.50 which add to the cost of buying...
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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In most states, when a vehicle changes hands, it gets a new "original" title, and the new registration is tied to the plate, which can't be tranferred to subsequent owners.
So...If I were to buy a trailer from an Oregon owner which had expired tags or registration, and I take it to Illinois would Oregon want something from me?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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Just their tags.....
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #5
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It is possible that you may be able to drive across some states with tags that have not been registered yet in your name? Are not California tags kept on the vehicle when sold and the new owner transfers them to his name. But out of state you would need your home state but getting it home without a current tag may be problematic. I will be picking up a new Escape and will not have Pennsylvania tags until I get it home. Will someone stop me, do not know. I'll be insured but tag less.
When I sell a vehicle, I remove the tags because they are registered to me. There is no set of uniform rules here.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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So...If I were to buy a trailer from an Oregon owner which had expired tags or registration, and I take it to Illinois would Oregon want something from me?
No.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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I did find out that I can obtain a 3 day temporary transit tag from Washington STate that I can put on my trailer upon import from Canada to drive in Washington State. That will at least get me 1/2 way home with a tag on the vehicle.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
It is possible that you may be able to drive across some states with tags that have not been registered yet in your name? Are not California tags kept on the vehicle when sold and the new owner transfers them to his name. But out of state you would need your home state but getting it home without a current tag may be problematic. I will be picking up a new Escape and will not have Pennsylvania tags until I get it home. Will someone stop me, do not know. I'll be insured but tag less.
When I sell a vehicle, I remove the tags because they are registered to me. There is no set of uniform rules here.
In Illinois, you have a number of days from the date of sale to order a title and registration. A receipt, Bill of Sale, or Open Title is adequate proof of sale to tow/drive the vehicle home if it is bought from a private party.
Trailers are insured for liability simply by means of being towed by an insured vehicle.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:09 PM   #9
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In Illinois, you have a number of days from the date of sale to order a title and registration. A receipt, Bill of Sale, or Open Title is adequate proof of sale to tow/drive the vehicle home if it is bought from a private party.
Trailers are insured for liability simply by means of being towed by an insured vehicle.
In Oregon the License plates stay with the vehicle, with a few exceptions. The registration fees apply to the vehicle. If I sell a vehicle (trailers are considered vehicles) that has just had it's registration renewed that renewal is still good even with a change ownership and expires at the same time it would have if there was no change ownership. The new owner has a few days to transfer title and registration. If you're buying through a dealership they'll process the transfer for you.

If you're selling it's a good idea to make sure the transfer happens.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:23 PM   #10
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Floyd in Canada the trailer needs to have its own registration papers and plates and yearly insurance tags on it - all separate from the tow vehicle(its own insurance as well) - the plates & insurance tags when you sell the trailer stay with seller but the registration papers which have a transfer of ownership section on them which the seller must sign, are needed by the buyer in order for the buyer to transfer ownership and to register it in their name and obtain their own plates & insurance. We do not have what you in the US refer to as Clear title forms. All we have is the Registration form with the transfer of ownership part to it. If you want to know if the trailer has any chattel mortgage on it our government has a separate data base that you pay a small fee to have the serial number of the trailer searched to make sure it is clear of chattel mortgages.

As far as why someone in Canada would say a trailer has current tags/registration I am not sure because once the trailer is registered to an owner it stays registered to them until such time as the transfer of ownership papers are signed over. So when we sell a trailer it does not matter if the insurance tags are current or if it has plates on it, you use what ever the last registration form you had for it as the buyer doesn't get to keep your insurance tags or plates regardless. Perhaps all they are really trying to say is that they actual have registration papers.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Floyd in Canada the trailer needs to have its own registration papers and plates and yearly insurance tags on it - all separate from the tow vehicle(its own insurance as well) - the plates & insurance tags when you sell the trailer stay with seller but the registration papers which have a transfer of ownership section on them which the seller must sign, are need by the buyer in order for the buyer to transfer ownership and to register it in their name and obtain their own plates & insurance. We do not have what you in the US refer to as Clear title forms. All we have is the Registration form with the transfer of ownership part to it. If you want to know if the trailer has any chattel mortgage on it our government has a separate data base that you pay a small fee to have the serial number of the trailer searched to make sure it is clear of chattel mortgages.

As far as why someone in Canada would say a trailer has current tags/registration I am not sure because once the trailer is registered to an owner it stays registered to them until such time as the transfer of ownership papers are signed over. So when we sell a trailer it does not matter if the insurance tags are current or if it has plates on it, you use what ever the last registration form you had for it as the buyer doesn't get to keep your insurance tags or plates regardless. Perhaps all they are really trying to say is that they actual have registration papers.
A Clear Title here is merely a title on which there is no lien (chattel mortgage) the lein would be on the face of the title along with a line on which the leinholder can sign to release the lein. An Open Title is one in which the seller has signed open to sell ,but on which no signature has yet been placed by the buyer for the purpose of ordering a new title.
Years ago it was common practice to sign open the clear title of a derelict car and leave it with the car, abandoned to whoever might tow it away.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:26 PM   #12
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Years ago it was common practice to sign open the clear title of a derelict car and leave it with the car, abandoned to whoever might tow it away.

Yes, I do recall every purchaser of a new Ford being advised to do that......
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:02 AM   #13
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A Clear Title here is merely a title on which there is no lien (chattel mortgage) the lein would be on the face of the title along with a line on which the leinholder can sign to release the lein. .
Yup and thats what causes a bit of confusion when someone from the US purchases a car or trailer in Canada - we do not have what you call title documents - we have registration documents - which to us is a title document but it does not show on it if there are any chattels. As the Canadian system is not fully understood people sometimes think they are taking a risk buying a trailer in Canada - which is not true. You can check to see if there is a chattel mortgage on a trailer in Canada for I think about $20 and you can ask the party selling the trailer to do it and provide you with the print out results. Trust me when you trade a car in the first thing the dealer will do is run a check to see if it has any chattels registered against it.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:09 AM   #14
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Cool States without plates

Wisconsin didn't require plates on trailers (below 3000#, I think). When we moved out to Washington, we drove through five states, including Washington, without plates on both trailers, a boat and a utility. I don't know if we were eyeballed by any local authorities, but maybe because the tow vehicles had Wisconsin plates we were given a pass.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:15 AM   #15
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Floyd in Canada the trailer needs to have its own registration papers and plates and yearly insurance tags on it - all separate from the tow vehicle(its own insurance as well) - .
Ok need to clarify the above - just received a pm from BP and he says that in Alberta everything I said about how the system works is the same but in Alberta trailers do not need seperate insurance - sorry I should have clarified that each province is different in regrads to whether or not it requires its own insurance policy.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I did find out that I can obtain a 3 day temporary transit tag from Washington STate that I can put on my trailer upon import from Canada to drive in Washington State. That will at least get me 1/2 way home with a tag on the vehicle.

On another forum, a PA resident had so much trouble trying to register an old camper that he registered it in Maine, either online or by mail, and said it was very easy. A few others have done so too. You'll see many big freight trailers with Maine tags.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:43 AM   #17
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I did find out that I can obtain a 3 day temporary transit tag from Washington STate that I can put on my trailer upon import from Canada to drive in Washington State. That will at least get me 1/2 way home with a tag on the vehicle.
Jim,
Will your state DMV provide you with a "temp tag" prior to your leaving to go pick up the trailer ?
Here in Missouri, if you can provide MSO and bill of sale documents, you can pay a small fee and get a 30 day paper tag. Perhaps you can get copies of those documents faxed to you from Escape a few days prior to heading out, and pay a visit to your local DMV ?

In a general sense regarding driving without trailer tags, I have only been pulled over one time in my life for that. When I explained to the policeman that I had just bought the trailer, and showed him the title, and dated ( and notorized ) bill of sale, he was satisfied that it was all legit, and let me go on my way.

I would assume you are going to have proof of insurance too. It's been my experience that when you are demonstrating that you are in fact a responsible person with lots of paperwork, then 'officials' are a whole lot more accommodating !

However, as we all know, the world changed after 9-11, so of course crossing from Canada to the US is probably a different story. A person better have all of his/her ducks in a row, or you could have issues.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:11 AM   #18
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I am from
PA and bought my trailer in OR. Having it registered was a road block only because there wasnt a vin # on the trailer or frame anywhere. The answer was to have the privipus owner and myself in person at the DMV on PA- which obviously wasnt an optipn. You can get a stamp set and stamp the Vin # yourself, trace it, and take that to the DMV for registration.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I did find out that I can obtain a 3 day temporary transit tag from Washington STate that I can put on my trailer upon import from Canada to drive in Washington State. That will at least get me 1/2 way home with a tag on the vehicle.
Jim, I also had to get temp permits for the states I traveled through when I purchased my car & trailer in the US to get them home to Canada. Its a no no to show up at the border with plates from another car or trailer on them prior to there being formally imported - applies going both directions.

Out of curiosity where you ever able to find out through the Escape forum if anyone from the US had actually been able to get at temp permit from ICBC (the Insurance Corp. of BC)?
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post

I would assume you are going to have proof of insurance too. It's been my experience that when you are demonstrating that you are in fact a responsible person with lots of paperwork, then 'officials' are a whole lot more accommodating !

However, as we all know, the world changed after 9-11, so of course crossing from Canada to the US is probably a different story. A person better have all of his/her ducks in a row, or you could have issues.
My experience has been that the border folks dont actually ask to see your insurance papers when you go through -they only ask to see the paper work required for the import process and insurance isnt on the list of paper work they need to see for that, going in either direction. That's not to say it couldn't happen though ;-)) I do know though that Canada & the US do not like to see plates from another car or trailer on anything that has not yet gone through the import process.
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