Selling An RV Without A Title [Solved]

If you are an RV owner and you want to sell your RV but do not have a title, there are a few ways you can go about it. First, you need to check the state laws where the RV is located to see what needs to be done to transfer ownership without a title. 

In some states, such as California, an affidavit is needed in order for the seller to prove that he/she has full legal and beneficial ownership of the vehicle.

RVs can be sold without a title, but it is not as easy as just parking the vehicle and telling the buyer to take it off your hands. Without a title, there is no proof that you are the owner of the RV and therefore, no legal way to transfer ownership of the RV. Many states have different laws on this topic, but most require some sort of title or bill of sale in order for an RV sale to be considered legal.

Also if you want to get the best value for your RV then selling an RV without a title is not the way to go about it. You can try selling your RV in private or through classified ads, but you might find that this is not enough to get your asking price and in some cases it may even cost you more than if you sold with a title. The best way to make the most out of selling your RV without a title is to auction it off.

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. 

The RV title is a document that includes the owner’s name and contact information, and other vital information about the vehicle.

Selling an RV without the title is difficult as there is no proof that you actually own the RV that you are selling.

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 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.

Why would you sell an RV that doesn’t have a title?

As described above there are many legitimate reasons why you might not have an RV title, but that is still no reason to sell an RV without a title. You should be able to obtain a title if you follow the directions detailed below.

The only reason you would sell an RV that doesn’t have a title is if it is stolen, as it would be impossible to get a title for a stolen RV.

How to Sell a RV With No 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.

How To Get A Title For A RV Without Title?

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.

How do you write a bill of sale for an RV?

When selling your RV you will have to write a bill of sale as well as transferring the ownership via the title.

The good news is that creating a bill of sale is really easy, you can download a form online or create your own. You will need to include the following information on it:

The price the RV has sold for – this is usually the first piece of information and is at the top of the form. The wording should be similar to – In consideration for the sum of $(PRICE).

The name and address of the buyer and seller – write ‘paid by’ followed by the details of the buyer and then ‘to’ followed by the details of the seller.

Specify the RV – somewhere on the form specify that it is an RV sale and detail any information about the vehicle like a VIN, make, model, color, mileage and any other details you can think of.

Include a statement like paid in full – if you are being paid in full (which is recommended) then include a paragraph worded like:

“The Recreational Vehicle is to be sold free and clear of any liens, encumbrances, or mortgages. Seller certifies to be the legal and true owner of the Recreational Vehicle and that it is to be sold in “as-is” condition.” [1]

Include the date of sale – make sure to include the date the RV was sold. You can include a simple date or if you want to look more professional add ‘on the ___ day of [month], [year]’

Sign the bill of sale – the buyer and sell need to sign the bill of sale, for the avoidance of doubt have one or two witnesses sign the bill also. Remember to date the signatures.

Get it notarized – depending on the state laws you might need to get the bill of sale notarized, if this is the case then you will have to sign the bill in front of a notary.

Make a copy – the buyer and seller will both need a copy of the bill of sale.

Before you complete a bill of sale, speak to your local DMV office to find out exactly what needs to be included for your state.

It’s Difficult to Selling an RV Without a Title?

Yes, it will be difficult to sell an RV without a title. RVs are expensive and you have to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Would you spend that much money without receiving proof of ownership in return?

If you can use the methods above to get a title for your RV, it will be much easier to sell when you have.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason to sell an RV without a title, you can follow the instructions above to obtain a title. A title is legal proof of ownership so you should be passing that on to the new owner after the sale.

It’s pretty easy to get all the documentation you need online, you can even fill out your title application online. If you get stuck completing your application, call your local DMV office who will be able to help.

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