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I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
07/15/2012
Posts: 96
This is my first boat purchase and not with another party such as my brother. Boat is a 1989 Alumacraft Classic 16. I purchased the boat from my uncle for $3,000. We wrote up a bill of sale which I took to the DMV. Upon trying to transfer it to my name, the DMV stated the boat isn't under my uncle's name. He never registered it and used it's current tabs (ended 2015). So i'm clueless on what to do, the DMV cannot disclose who the owner so am I out $3,000? My uncle is willing to help but forgot who the seller was and used the funds for his new boat. Any advice is appreciated. Last resort is probably small claims court?

TG

Posted on: 2016/6/3 7:33
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
05/25/2015
Posts: 61
Granted this scenario for me happened in 1998 but I was in the exact same situation.
My uncle was given a boat in exchange to eliminate a debt a customer owed him. What my uncle did was write a few simple statements to describe how he came in to possession of the boat, in fact the guy that gave him the boat passed away between the transfer to my uncle and then to me. So he wrote down how he got the boat in exchange for bad debt and that he is now transferring the ownership of the boat to me for the sum of $1000 and had that notarized. I brought that in to the DMV and they accepted it, I actually had more difficulty with the trailer registration because it had never been licensed or had any form of licensing to track back to. They finally decided to list it as a homemade trailer and licensed it as well.
In fact I did the same thing with a snowmobile. My dad bought from a guy who then moved to Az. I sold it some years later to a friend of a friend and had to do the same thing and he got it licensed as well.
So my suggestion is to try those options and maybe go to a different DMV. Maybe a different person is more willing to assist you.

Good luck

Posted on: 2016/6/3 7:56
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
01/03/2011
From Rush City
Posts: 200
Like stated above, this is what I did for a boat I got at a auction. But I am a little confused on how you paid your uncle a $1000.00 but you are going to be out $3000.00.

Posted on: 2016/6/3 8:01
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
05/25/2015
Posts: 61
My hunch is that he purchased for 1K but the boat is actually worth 3K.

I think you just ran into a DMV agent on a power trip or something. Try a different office or go back and deal with a different DMV agent.

If you can't track back to the original owner going to small claims court isn't going to do anything for you in my opinion

Posted on: 2016/6/3 8:08
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
02/09/2012
From Lake Lillian, MN
Posts: 733
All small claims court will do is give you a lien against your uncle for the money you paid for the boat. It, in essence, will undo the sale.

A notarized affidavit should suffice as Eric pointed out. Explain why it wasn't licensed previously and how long it has been in your uncle's possession. You may also want to run the previous registration through the DNR database and they may help you identify the previous owner. I've found the DNR to be more helpful than the DMV.

Posted on: 2016/6/3 8:21
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Brandon Zumwalt
Attorney, Dad and Fisherman-sometimes all at the same time.
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
03/10/2007
From Farmington MN
Posts: 274
You will have to deal with the DNR office directly to straighten out the registration or title on the boat. Have a signed bill of sale from your uncle and a letter explaining how he came into possession of the boat. It will still take some time to get clear title.
The person at the local DMV is not on a power trip like ericj thinks. All these transfers have to be run through a federal data base maintained by homeland security now and the clerk at the local DMV or Deputy Registrars office can do very little to by pass the computer programming.

Posted on: 2016/6/3 8:41
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"In my travels I've found that if a man uses the phrase "Common Sense" to defend his position, he possesses very little himself." Will Rogers
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
Staff Team
Joined:
02/19/2008
From Bloomington
Posts: 3306
I am going through the same thing with a camper trailer. The simple thing would be to look up the last registered owner. Contact them to sign some paper work. How ever to to fall out from people snooping on people they can no longer look up info as simple as the last owner due to data privacy.

Follow the steps they outlined and eventually you will get it in your name.

Posted on: 2016/6/3 9:19
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Yes, Yes that is a 39" Pike.
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
07/15/2012
Posts: 96
Quote:

orandausa wrote:
I am going through the same thing with a camper trailer. The simple thing would be to look up the last registered owner. Contact them to sign some paper work. How ever to to fall out from people snooping on people they can no longer look up info as simple as the last owner due to data privacy.

Follow the steps they outlined and eventually you will get it in your name.


How can I search up the last registered owner? Is there a public database since the DMV cannot disclose this info?

Posted on: 2016/6/3 10:24
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
07/15/2012
Posts: 96
Quote:

smokenjoe wrote:
Like stated above, this is what I did for a boat I got at a auction. But I am a little confused on how you paid your uncle a $1000.00 but you are going to be out $3000.00.


It was a typo, i fixed the error. I wish now I only paid 1,000 :(

Posted on: 2016/6/3 10:25
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Re: I hope I'm not out $3,000 boat sale, title, help!
LSF Member
Joined:
12/04/2006
From Minnetonka
Posts: 382
Quote:

topgun87 wrote:
Quote:

orandausa wrote:
I am going through the same thing with a camper trailer. The simple thing would be to look up the last registered owner. Contact them to sign some paper work. How ever to to fall out from people snooping on people they can no longer look up info as simple as the last owner due to data privacy.

Follow the steps they outlined and eventually you will get it in your name.


How can I search up the last registered owner? Is there a public database since the DMV cannot disclose this info?


Go talk to a different agent. I went through this with a motorcycle.

The agent was very helpful in telling me exactly what I needed to do. Like others have stated. You need to get an affidavit signed saying as far as you know you are the owner. History of purchase etc.

The agent issued me tabs on the spot and it goes into a 6 month hold on the title. There do that so if it is stolen, missing etc the person who rightfully owns it has time to come forward and dispute it.

You can still use it in the meantime with the current registration they give you. You just wont technically own it.

Posted on: 2016/6/3 10:30
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