Paper Victory at Last!!!

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FloridaMike
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Paper Victory at Last!!!

Post by FloridaMike » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:22 pm

About 20 years after physically acquiring my Hercules, today, in the mail, I received a Florida title!

As we say out here in the colonies, "Yee Hah!!"

Florida had been giving me a hard time for years. They told me I had to write a certified letter to the last owner, but they wouldn't tell me who it was citing confidentiality. I even had the old title number, but they couldn't tell me anything about it, same reason.

Next try was get a court order, have the judge order the DMV to issue a title (having satisfied all the preliminary paperwork).

Dear Bride the Lawyer did up the order, the court clerk said it looks good, that'll be $400 please for filing a new case. All I need is the judges' autograph, there's no lawsuit. Sorry, $400. Fuhgeddaboutit. I'd still have to add the $90 Florida DMV title fee to that, so I'd be in for about $500.

Some snooping around on the internet revealed something called "the Vermont loophole".

Vermont will issue a registration and license plate to non-residents (I'm a non-resident, it is cold up there) based on a bill of sale (which doesn't need to be notarized!), their form (online) and a check. Vermont doesn't issue titles for vehicles over 20 or 25 years old (check!) or on motorcycles of under 300ccs (check again!).

Florida - and I think most other states - can then take that Vermont registration and turn it into a full-blown, legitimate Florida (or other state) title.

So I sent Vermont what they wanted plus $59 (fee plus minimum sales tax), two weeks later I had the Vermont registration and a Vermont "antique vehicle" license plate MAILED to me here in Florida with my Florida address on it. Next stop, Florida DMV, gave them the Vermont registration and $93, did the VIN check (a notary looks at the VIN, fills in a form and says, yes, that's the VIN) and crossed my fingers.

Two weeks later, the Florida title is in my hands!

So I have demonstrated that this works in Florida, for vehicles old enough and under 300ccs (the Hercules is 297ccs). It sounds to me that if you are in a different state, you might want to ask your local DMV if they'll accept a Vermont registration and turn it into a title. This also might work if you are not in the USA, your local DMV will have procedures to take foreign titles as well.

Note - write neatly when you fill in the form, that is what you get back as your registration (!) with a red receipt number printed on it.

Best Regards, and happy paperwork!

Mike

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kanonkopdrinker
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Location: Essex, UK

Re: Paper Victory at Last!!!

Post by kanonkopdrinker » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:21 pm

Congratulations Mike!

Now let's hope it starts!!!

David

FloridaMike
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Re: Paper Victory at Last!!!

Post by FloridaMike » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:19 pm

I expect that it will. The engine was overhauled by me a few years after I got it. All the seals and gaskets were replaced, it is clean inside, slobbered up with oil, and ready to go. The parts came from RotaryRecycle, which is unfortunately now gone. I got everything I needed plus the workshop manual, and with 20/20 hindsight, I probably should have bought everything for another complete rebuild.

In any event, it hasn't been started since the overhaul so I anticipate no problems.

The bike will be done as an updated version of what the Hercules would look like in say 2020. I've been collecting parts including a pair of Ducati wheels - three spoke wheels, and so forth. What I'd really like to find is a Vetter fiberglass body similar to the one used on the Rocket 3 BSA. I actually had one of those bodies about 40 years ago, but it is long gone (now that I need it, of course).

Now that I have a title, I can put time and effort into this bike and know there won't be any more paperwork problems when I go for a license plate.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida

Charles Wilson
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Re: Paper Victory at Last!!!

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:36 pm

Congratulations --

The irony here is great. In olden days, southern states such as Alabama (and Florida) were held up to great ridicule for uhhh...lax Title standards:

"A'course we can git'cha a title. jes' answr a few questions.
First, do you have all of your teeth?..."

Gales of laughter. Now, it's Vermont - VERMONT! - that has the Title Clerk look in both directions before the Title gets printed.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..."

There was a Classic that made it to Clearwater, Fl a coupla' decades ago. Slight wipe-out. Repaired at a well known Ducati shop. Properly tagged and titled. "Where's the EPA and DOT paperwork?" Didn't matter. Street legal, baby.

I love Federalism...

CW

FloridaMike
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Re: Paper Victory at Last!!!

Post by FloridaMike » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:24 am

I do have to admit I am not terribly impressed with the Florida DMV rules. They are terribly byzantine, and especially difficult to negotiate when there is anything the least bit unusual. They mostly understand new or newish cars bought from dealers. I do have a fairly good working relationship with the people at the local DMV, I think I actually had one almost smile at me once (but I'm not sure). Seriously, we've established a detante', if I don't give them a hard time, they won't give me a hard time. Lord knows they see me enough . . .

I was there for some minor thing or other, and the guy at the next window was somewhat sobriety challenged (basically he was drunk as a skunk) and his personal hygiene was a bit questionable as well (he stank). Anyway, he'd decided he wanted a personalized license plate with his amateur radio call sign on it. Florida will do that ("Vanity plate") and it isn't even very expensive.

DMV ran the requested letters and numbers and said no can do, that is already in use. He went nuts. Out comes his ham radio ticket (and it was real, I know what they look like because I also have one) and he starts hollering that the Yewnited States Gubmint gave him these letters and numbers and by gawd they were his and his alone and just who in the hell do you think you are giving them to someone else and refusing to give them to me? And yew need to gittem back raht now, too!!!

By that time, I was done, and I make it a personal policy never to hang around in a war zone. I'm gone, thank you for your help, have a nice day (and good luck). Fortunately for them, the Sheriff's office is right across the hall, and as I am leaving, several big, burly guys wearing green uniforms, bulletproof vests and packing guns are entering. I held the door for them and did a fast fade . . .

Two days later I'm back again (for something else), and nobody remembered a thing. Go figure.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida

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