Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas & Oklahoma

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Postby ogeer3 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:25 am

Thanks for the great info. I will be going through this in the future and this tells me just what I need to do. Thanks again for the information.
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Postby Coca Cola Teardrop » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:44 pm

We like to help in any way we can. Welcome again to the forum.

Hope to mee you and your teardrop soon.

Linda and Charles
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Postby LGwin » Wed May 11, 2011 5:36 pm

The no-title or box-trailer solution will work ... until you file a claim on your insurance - They will take your premium $$ for years - then take any excuse to deny coverage. They will refund that year's premium when they stand you up.

The deciding factor for us was that MyPlates.com has the coolest custom plates, but only for titled trailers.

LG
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Postby Coca Cola Teardrop » Wed May 11, 2011 9:38 pm

we don't insure any of our trailers, as long as they are hooked up to our vehicle they are covered by auto insurance. Once unhooked from vehicle then any loss falls into our homeowners insurance.
I do know that one has to have a title and vin# to insure.
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Postby 2bits » Sun May 15, 2011 5:41 pm

I just went through a similar experience with getting a bonded title for my 74 Monte Carlo which I bought the body as a project car. All the forms are just paperwork, that's no big deal but the worst part was the long lines. There's no going on your lunch break here... it's always packed. Extra frustrating when you have to go back multiple times. At least I got it done,

My Teardrop is not titled and I have no desire to do so.
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Postby Nobody » Mon May 16, 2011 11:53 am

I'd expect that different states have different requirements for registering/titling trailers. In Arkansas ALL trailers (even utility) must be registered and 'tagged', & that requires a title. If homebuilt you hafta obtain a VIN from the local revenue office which requires documentation of materials cost, & inspection/certification by a local law enforcement officer.

If you build a trailer chassis & there's any chance it may later be sold, especially to a buyer from another state, a valid title will certainly aid that buyer when he goes to register it in his home state.

Obtaining a 'new' title for an older 'commercial' built trailer with only a Bill of Sale is another bucket of worms entirely! :shock: In January '11 I bought a neat little 1984 13' Scamp molded fiberglass travel trailer from a fellow in Mississippi. The only 'paperwork' he had was the B.O.S. he made out to me, the B.O.S. he'd gotten from another previous owner, and an old Arkansas registration slip (2001-2002) from an Arkansas couple who'd owned the trailer a couple of owners back. The old Arkansas registration slip had an Arkansas Title number but that didn't help in trying to obtain a replacement title. We ended up having to obtain a 'Bonded' title. The procedure is pretty straightforward but tedious & time consuming :thumbdown: . First you gotta obtain (download is best) an Application for Bonded Title (proper title of form is - STATE OF ARKANSAS STATEMENT OF FACTS FOR ISSUANCE OF BONDED TITLE -) which you must complete. You hafta get a certificate of verification of the VIN (from a local law enforcement officer), & at least two value estimates (preferably from RV dealers). Then ya gotta forward the application, VIN cert, value est's, & all supporting paperwork (B.O.S. etc.) to the appropriate office & wait 2-6wks for them to do title search (that you've already done :R ) & verify that it isn't stolen or wrecked/salvaged (at least no official record of such). They'll then send ya back a form that you take to an Insurance Broker where you purchase a surety bond (in amount designated by the State) which usually costs in the neighborhood of $100 or more :x . You take the surety bond & the authorization for bonded title to the local revenue office where they'll issue you a permanent registration cert & license tag, & within a couple of weeks the State will mail you a valid, completely negotiable Certificate of Title. We're pleased with our little Scamp & the deal we got but, it's gonna take a lotta work to make it like we want. If I'd known for sure of all the hassle & aggravation not having a title wuz gonna cause, I might have held out for a little nicer trailer with valid title, for more money?? :thinking:

I have parked in my son's backyard right now, a nice old 1965(?) Apache Silver Eagle tent trailer that I got for nearly nuthin' back in '06. Guy I got it from said he thought it came from either Oklahoma, Texas, or Missouri & all he had was a bill of sale (& I've even lost that now). It's nearly all complete except has no canvas nor the top (road?) cover. Body & tent frame are all there & in good shape as well as the slide-out bed boards, & a nice articulated, fold-up/down, aluminum cabinet/cupboard inside. After finding out what it'd take to title/register it, I've done nothing with it. Would probably let it go pretty cheap to someone that'd be willing to make the effort to restore it. I just don't want to go thru the hassle/expense again.

I'd sincerely advise anyone contemplating purchase of an untitled vehicle to thoroughly research your state's requirements, not only for trailer registration/title, but procedures for obtaining a title/registration in event the trailer you're thinking of buying doesn't have such. Dunno if my experience is typical but you may be letting yourself in for more'n what you're expecting ;)
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Postby 2bits » Sat May 21, 2011 12:27 pm

FYI, You would never need a Bonded title on a home built teardrop since you built it, and you are actually creating a VIN# not buying a bond to cover an existing VIN#. Just a point of clarification in case there was any confusion.

PS: I got my title to my car in the mail yesterday!
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Postby Nobody » Sat May 21, 2011 5:02 pm

2bits wrote:FYI, You would never need a Bonded title on a home built teardrop since you built it, and you are actually creating a VIN# not buying a bond to cover an existing VIN#. Just a point of clarification in case there was any confusion.

PS: I got my title to my car in the mail yesterday!


Yep :thumbsup: ;)
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Postby 2bits » Fri May 27, 2011 9:39 pm

In my experience if someone bought a trailer WITH a VIN# but no title, go the Mechanic's Lien route. A little simpler and you get your title right away, free and clear. My title will be a bonded title for 3 years, only then will I get a clean unencumbered title.
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Postby kennethj » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:38 pm

tonyj wrote:Did the trailer have to be titled to sell to someone out of state, or have you qualified yourself as a manufacturer?

I am questioning your need for the trailer to be titled (of course, that answer could be that you wanted it to have a title).

Per my reading of the Texas Transportation Code, and the answer most of us have gotten when we asked at either the DPS or county tax office, a homemade trailer under 4000 pounds does not require a title, just registration. If the trailer is a bunkhouse, travel or house trailer, the trailer has to be for human habitation and have "electrical, air-conditioning and heating, and plumbing systems." I would image including our trailers under travel trailer category could be in a gray area, but I would argue that a water tank leading to a faucet for a sink that doesn't lead into a drain or greywater tank doesn't really qualify as a "system," and since the systems requirement include an "and" and not an "or", the trailer would fail the requirements to be legally classified as travel or house trailer (my interpretation only).

All I am trying to point out is that most of us have been told we can register as a homemade utility trailer. I didn't get a weight certificate or have to produce any receipts. I walked into the tax office on my lunch hour and asked to register a home made utility trailer that weighed 1400 pounds and walked out 10 minutes later with a license plate.

Anyone else?
i did the same thing with my homebuilt teardrop, registerd as a homemade trailer, got plates in a few minutes
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Re: Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

Postby lonerider » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:04 pm

I'm having a big mess trying to get plates for my Cargo trailer! I bought it last year from an individual, got a bill of sale but the plates were up to date and I never transferred it because I took it to a friend who was going to do all the electric work to convert it into a camper. Well, that was 15 months ago, he never has worked on it! I need it now to move with and the plates are expired. I LOST the damn bill of sale and don't know how to contact the guy I bought it from! I've gotten different stories from different offices at county level! Finally found someone at the county courthouse who knew what to do today. Filled out a form and since I knew the plate number they punched it into the computer and came up with the former owners name and address! Had to mail a certified letter to him, hopefully it'll come back not accepted so then I can get it in my name!!
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Re: Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

Postby 2bits » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:26 am

lonerider wrote:I'm having a big mess trying to get plates for my Cargo trailer! I bought it last year from an individual, got a bill of sale but the plates were up to date and I never transferred it because I took it to a friend who was going to do all the electric work to convert it into a camper. Well, that was 15 months ago, he never has worked on it! I need it now to move with and the plates are expired. I LOST the damn bill of sale and don't know how to contact the guy I bought it from! I've gotten different stories from different offices at county level! Finally found someone at the county courthouse who knew what to do today. Filled out a form and since I knew the plate number they punched it into the computer and came up with the former owners name and address! Had to mail a certified letter to him, hopefully it'll come back not accepted so then I can get it in my name!!


Gosh... I am sorry you are stressing so bad just trying to do the right thing and the system is working against you, we can help. They are sending you down a path for a freaking car title! This is what you should do:

1. FORGET that you bought it, forget that you sent that letter, and hang the plates on the wall in your garage as a decoration.
2. Go to the tag office and say you just built a utility trailer under 1500lbs and need to tag it. Do not say "Cargo" or "travel" trailer. Your trailer is an open flatbed utility trailer. You are NOT lying, you are just keeping it simple for those behind the counter.
3. They give you plates and registration. No paperwork or visual inspection needed.

That is what I have done and many many many others have done for our teardrops.

Take care!
Thomas
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Re: Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

Postby Fishingtomatoseed » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:32 pm

Just some information that I thought I would put here. This is the answer that VTR gave me about registering the trailer. You can see the question's I asked on the bottom.





Dear Mr. Sutherland,

Thank you for your email.  If the trailer weighs 4,000 pounds gross weight or less, it will not require a title, but it will require registration.  The trailer will not require a vehicle identification number (VIN) in this instance; however, we highly recommend obtaining one.

Information about registering and/or obtaining a VIN for a new homemade trailer is available on our website at http://www.txdmv.gov/vehicles/drivers/trailers.htm.

You will need to submit the following to your county tax office:

-Attached Application for Texas Certificate of Title, Form 130-U (also attached the instructions page)
-Attached Prescribed Form for Statement of Fact for Ownership of Homemade/Shopmade Trailer, Semitrailer, or Travel Trailer, Form VTR-305-A
-Current photo Id (such as driver license)
-Weight certificate (if county requires)
-Photo of the trailer (if county requires)
-Applicable fees

For all filing/fee information, you may contact your county tax office.  A listing of all county tax offices is available online at http://www.txdmv.gov/wheretogo/tax_offices.htm.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
N
Thank you,
Lindsy Frank

Consumer Relations Division
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

We are always trying to improve and appreciate your feedback.  If you have a moment, please visit our website at http://www.TxDMV.gov/survey.htm and take our customer satisfaction survey to let us know how we are doing.  If you simply have a suggestion, a complaint or even a compliment, email us at DMVSuggestions@TxDMV.gov.

<clint405@hotmail.com> 8/19/2012 9:30 AM >>>
Name: Clint Sutherland<clint405@hotmail.com>
Address:


Comment: Question about registering a new home built trailer.  It is call a Teardrop trailer. It has electricity, A/C, and a bed.  It does not have water, or tanks and it weights less than 1500#.  Also it is 12' long x 75" wide x 72" tall.  Does this require a VIN number and a Title or can it be registered as a home built utility trailer.

Thank You

Last Page: http://www.txdmv.gov/wheretogo/contact_us.htm
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Re: Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

Postby 2bits » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:09 pm

You will get a different answer depending on the day of week that it is.
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Re: Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

Postby asianflava » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:00 pm

Just assume that your county requires it and bring everything. It will save you a trip.
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