How To Get A Title For An RV

How To Get A Title For An RV
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RVs provide a great way to enjoy the outdoors and they come in many shapes and sizes. This post will show you how to get a title for an RV, and more. We’ll cover what is needed to make sure the RV is titled correctly, and we’ll show you how to self-title your RV.

Every RV needs a title. If you purchase an RV, you will need to get the title for it. You can get the title in one of three ways: 1) The previous owner can sign over the RV title to you, or you can apply to transfer ownership of the vehicle from your name to another person’s name  2)You can apply for a title at your local DMV office , or 3) You can buy the RV and then get a new Title for it.

What is an RV Title?

An RV Title is a unique document that proves ownership of a recreational vehicle such as a motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel. Whether you are purchasing or selling your RV, transferring it to another family member, or leasing it out, you will need to get an RV title before taking any other steps. When you purchase a new RV, the dealer will provide you with the required paperwork to complete the transaction.

An RV title is a document that includes the owner’s name and contact information, vehicle identification number, odometer reading, number of owners and the year and make of the vehicle.

You should be wary of buying an RV without the title as there is no proof that you actually own the RV that you are buying.

The rules on what you need an RV title for vary from state to state so check with the DMV for the state you are in. Some states like Ohio require you to have the RV title with you for driving in the state.

Why would an RV have No Title?

There are many reasons why an RV might not have a title, not all of them are because it’s stolen.

The RV is Old or Lost Its Paperwork

This is one of the most common reasons why an RV title may be missing. The RV could be old (in some cases vintage) and the title document has gotten lost over the years.

Also the paperwork could have been damaged or destroyed  by an accident, or even forgotten about over the years.

You bought the RV from a Private Seller

RVs bought from private sellers mean that the seller and the buyer have the responsibility of the paperwork for the RV. If you are both new to buying and selling vehicles than the important title document can be forgotten about.

On the other hand RVs bought from dealerships and direct from the manufacturer have systems in place to ensure all paperwork and legal documents are completed and filed correctly.

If you are buying an RV from a private seller then make sure that you do your research and ensure that all the paperwork is completed.

The RV was built from scratch

If the RV was built from scratch by the owner then it won’t have a title. If you have built your own RV or trailer then you can still get a title for it, these are called scrap titles.

The scrap title will prove that you are the owner of the RV that didn’t previously exist. A scrap title will also allow you get a VIN number for your RV or trailer.

The RV moved States

State laws differ to what RVs need titles, specifically trailers. In some states travel trailers under 3,000 pounds don’t legally need a title. If the trailer moves state and you buy it in a state that needs a title then there won’t be one.

Not so legal reasons an RV doesn’t have a title

Unfortunately there are some not so genuine reasons as to why an RV has no title. It could have been stolen.

If you buy a stolen RV then the police can confiscate it and will return it to the owner documented on the title. You won’t be entitled to any compensation.

Do You Need a Title for an RV?

Yes, all RVs need a title, this is the proof of ownership. If you don’t have a title for your RV then there is no proof that you own it.

You will also need an RV title to register for license plates and for your insurance.

As the title shows the proof of ownership it’s important that it is updated when sold, if you don’t update the title then the RV will still be the property of the seller. 

If you don’t have the title in your name then it could be stolen or the seller could report it as stolen, either way you have no proof that you own the RV so it can be confiscated. If the RV is confiscated because it is stolen it will be returned to the person named on the title and you will not be reimbursed.

This makes the RV title really important when you are selling an RV, most buyers will be put off if you don’t have one.

How To Get A Title For An RV

How To Get A Title For A RV Without Title?

If you have legitimately lost the title for your RV you should obtain a replacement title from the DMV. This will increase the value of your RV and help you to sell it quicker.

Follow the details below to get an RV title for an RV that doesn’t have one.

To get a title for your RV you will have to complete a title application, you will need a lot of paperwork to hand to complete the application. To make it as painless as possible it’s a good idea to gather all your paperwork together before starting the application.

Check with your local DMV for what paperwork you need to present for a title application, in most cases you will need:

  • Title Application
  • Your Driver’s license
  • Original title, bill of sale, or certificate of origin from the manufacturer
  • Certificate of Inspection from the DOT or RV dealership
  • The lien status document

The title application can be downloaded from your state’s DMV website, or you can go to the office and request a paper form. Once you have gathered all your paperwork then you will need to complete the title application.

How to complete the Title Application

Once you have the title application form from your local DMV office you will need to complete it. The form will ask for the following information:

  • The owners name, date of birth, address, email, social security number and drivers license ID
  • The type of vehicle, including brand and model
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • The vehicle’s specifications, e.g. dimensions and weight
  • A valid notary stamp (if required)
  • Transfer on death beneficiary (TOD)
  • Lien information (if applicable)
  • Mileage
  • Year of manufacture
  • The RV’s tax status
  • The RV’s license plate

If you don’t have the information then you can leave the box blank. If you are unsure of the question then a local DMV officer will be able to help over the phone or in person.

If you have to get your form notarized then it’s important to leave some fields blank as the notary can only confirm what they have witnessed. For example the mileage, if they haven’t seen the mileage then they can’t confirm it.

Another tricky section is the RVs weight, if you don’t know it then you will have to find a local garage with a CAT scale to weigh it for you. There are also highway weighing stations that are designed to weigh trucks where you can weigh your RV.

Once you have completed the form and have your paperwork including the bill of sale, certificate of inspection and the lien status document. Return it to your local DMV office either by mail or by person.

What Happens After I Submit The Title Application?

After you have filled your application with your local DMV office, they will have to verify a few things before they can issue the title.

The DMV will start by verifying that the RV isn’t stolen or been in an accident. They will also check the lien status.

They will also check that there are no other legal issues with the RV and that the RV is compliant with your state’s safety requirements. If you have built the RV yourself then they may come to inspect it themselves.

Once they have completed all their checks and are satisfied that you are the rightful owner and the RV is safe and legal they will issue the title.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to have a title for your RV, it proves that you are the rightful owner. If you have an RV without a title then follow the steps shown above to get one. If you have a legitimate reason as to why you don’t have your title then it will be straightforward to get one.

Heather

Heather is an avid camper and RV enthusiast! Her aim is to cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions, to have THE BEST RVing trip EVER.
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