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Old 05-18-2019, 08:05 AM   #1
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Question Selling paperwork and plates questions

We are privately selling our travel trailer to a couple who are out of state and will want to take the trailer with them when the deal is done, no second trip.

What paperwork should I prepare in advance?

We have the title and our registration. Should they have registration completed at their own RMV even though they haven't even seen the unit? And to have their own plate?

Are we expected to let them drive off with our plate and a request to mail it back?

They are offering either cash or a bank certified check as payment. Is there a problem with a bank certified check?

What else will I run into when it comes down to the decision to sell to this couple?
We are so very new to this process.

Thanks in advance. I really appreciate the advice of seasoned experts in selling trailers.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:18 AM   #2
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I'm not a "seasoned expert" but I've sold a few vehicles. First, take the cash! A certified bank check can be faked so unless they are willing to wait until the check clears your bank, which can take several days, cash is best! It is the simplest solution.

As for the plate you need to keep it. They can make, or get, a temporary plate for the trailer. A dated notarized "Bill Of Sale" should satisfy any inquiring minds along their way home if they are pulled over. Depending on what state they are in they may be able to get a "real" temporary plate from their DMV...

That's how I'd do it...
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:22 AM   #3
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They would need their own plates. I would not let your tags go with them. 20 years ago Iíd say ok but now adays you just donít know.

If you have a title/registration place around you, go there so they can notorize the title transfer.

Each state has different rules. I would suggest going on the website of your DMV and find out what you need.

I know Pennsylvania website has everything a PA resident would need or know to do the transaction.

Here in PA when I sold my camper. I went to the bank with the individuals(their bank) they got the cash then we went to the messenger service to get the title transferred. They used their plates to haul it. Of course they came back in two days to tow it away. Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:22 AM   #4
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Do not let them take your plate. You don't want your name attached to that trailer once it leaves your hands. In many states, you can drive a vehicle without plates directly home or directly to DMV after a sale. This usually requires a bill of sale and/or title. You can go online and find many free templates for a bill of sale. Make sure the bill of sale includes both parties' name and address, sales price, and AS IS language.

I would always be wary of checks since there are so many scams. Cash is always best. If they want to do a check, meet them at the bank that check is from and cash it there.

Hate to sound so negative, but I see people burned by scams every day and it's a real bummer. Just assume you will never be able to see/contact these people again.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:27 AM   #5
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You will most likely get lots of answers here and it is also dependent on what state you live.

I would not let anyone take my TT with my plates even if you sign over the title.
If you provide the VIN and other details, most states can provide a purchaser with temporary transport tags to allow them to take it home.

I would prepare a bill of sale with VIN # and other critical information and have both parties sign a copy. You can probably find a BoS for your state online. Do not cancel any insurance you have until you have turned in the tags. If you take a check, go to the bank where it is drawn and cash it or have your bank verify it is good.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:32 AM   #6
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it may depend upon what state you live in but:

cash or certified check is your call.

give them a bill of sale and a receipt for the payment. have both parties sign both and give copies to both to each party. maybe take a copy of their drivers licenses just for id purposes.

when we sold a car we simply filled out the back of the title document (california pink slip) with the name, address, etc of the buying party. then just send it in to the state DMV. that's all you as the seller have to do (perhaps cancel any insurance). i do not know if the buyer has to sign the back of the pink slip or not. it is up to the buyer to complete the registration where ever they take the trailer.

i would not take the plates off the trailer. that might be noticed by an officer along the way. your obligation is to notify your DMV that you have sold the trailer and to who you sold it to. the onus is on the buyer to get it registered properly.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:35 AM   #7
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Driving through 4 states

It sounds like cash is the best way to go.
We have an RMV in our city. Can they get some kind of temporary plate in Mass and use it to drive through CT, NY, and NJ as well?
I will not let them "borrow" my plates for the ride home to Jersey.
I wonder if going to the bank with them would work? We don't have nationwide banks in our city but can the bank verify and accept the check for deposit to my account? The bank also has a notary so the transfer would be legal.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:37 AM   #8
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Everyone on this site is an expert so you need to check with your DMV or whatever entity handles rv's such as yours as to what to do. I'm not an expert but I would take cash though.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:43 AM   #9
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Some states require you to retain your plate and others require the plate to stay on the vehicle.
Your state DMV website will explain what you need to do.
Cashiers/bank checks can be forged.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:55 AM   #10
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Call your local DMV.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:07 AM   #11
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i would not take the plates off the trailer. that might be noticed by an officer along the way. your obligation is to notify your DMV that you have sold the trailer and to who you sold it to. the onus is on the buyer to get it registered properly.
That's a common line of thinking. However, as soon as they sign that title over, the plate becomes an improper plate. Leaving it on there only serves a purpose of trying to fool law enforcement. However, since the plate is registered to YOU and the trailer now belongs to someone else, it's not a valid plate anyhow (not that an officer would necessarily know...). Most states allow for you to transport home after a sale. Many states will issue a temp plate. Most officers will use common sense if they stop you and see that you have a signed bill of sale from that date and a title and probably not write a ticket. But I sure wouldn't want someone getting in a crash, causing damage, or getting tickets with a plate that was registered to me.

As everybody else said, it sounds like this is something you should check with the local RMV about.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:14 AM   #12
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That's a common line of thinking. However, as soon as they sign that title over, the plate becomes an improper plate. Leaving it on there only serves a purpose of trying to fool law enforcement. However, since the plate is registered to YOU and the trailer now belongs to someone else, it's not a valid plate anyhow (not that an officer would necessarily know...). Most states allow for you to transport home after a sale. Many states will issue a temp plate. Most officers will use common sense if they stop you and see that you have a signed bill of sale from that date and a title and probably not write a ticket. But I sure wouldn't want someone getting in a crash, causing damage, or getting tickets with a plate that was registered to me.

As everybody else said, it sounds like this is something you should check with the local RMV about.

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Old 05-18-2019, 09:16 AM   #13
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Call your local DMV.
If it's like Nevada DMV, no one will answer a phone.
Their website is the only information resource.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:29 AM   #14
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Every state I've lived in has a title for the trailer (or other vehicle). There's a place on the back to transfer the title that just takes your signature. I've had my signature notarized at work or local bank. That's all the notary is doing is verifying your signature. I'm the only one who has to be there.

Buyer hands me cash. I hand them the title. Transaction is done. There is no need for a separate bill on sale nor for me to have a record of who I sold it to. All I need is the cash. Done deal.

Tag comes off the back regardless since this is an out-of-state sale. In-state sale may be different as in some states the tag remains with the vehicle.

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Old 05-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #15
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so how does taking the plate off protect you? suppose it got into an accident and did not have a plate on it? do you think they won't use the VIN number to search for the registered owner and come back to you? signed bill of sale and title transfer are what you would need. as mentioned many times check with your local DMV and insurance company. all you need to do is get the title out of your name. i seem to remember in california we also had to furnish the sales price but not sure of that.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:03 AM   #16
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Buyer hands me cash. I hand them the title. Transaction is done. There is no need for a separate bill on sale nor for me to have a record of who I sold it to. All I need is the cash. Done deal.



-- Chuck
The bill of sale protects you in case the buyer never registers or titles it in their own name. That way, you have proof that you aren't responsible if they do something stupid with it. Let's say they wreck it or cause a crash. Or... They abandon it someplace and a year later you get a bill for storage fees or something.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:08 AM   #17
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so how does taking the plate off protect you? suppose it got into an accident and did not have a plate on it? do you think they won't use the VIN number to search for the registered owner and come back to you? signed bill of sale and title transfer are what you would need. as mentioned many times check with your local DMV and insurance company. all you need to do is get the title out of your name. i seem to remember in california we also had to furnish the sales price but not sure of that.
This is true. Removing the plate is just one extra step to protect yourself. It makes it SIGHTLY more likely that the person will properly register it if they don't have a plate which returns to that particular vehicle/trailer. It also makes it difficult for them to say that they are borrowing it from a friend or whatever if they get into some trouble. Sure, the VIN will still come back to you. That's why you keep a bill of sale. But I don't understand why in the world you would leave your plate on there after you sold it. The plate is improper now, so you aren't helping them out. You are just inviting trouble for if they do things like run red lights or blow through toll lanes, or flee an accident where someone got the plate. Again, I know I'm pessimistic, but I see a lot of this kind of stuff in my job.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:21 AM   #18
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Every state I've lived in has a title for the trailer (or other vehicle). There's a place on the back to transfer the title that just takes your signature. I've had my signature notarized at work or local bank. That's all the notary is doing is verifying your signature. I'm the only one who has to be there.

Buyer hands me cash. I hand them the title. Transaction is done. There is no need for a separate bill on sale nor for me to have a record of who I sold it to. All I need is the cash. Done deal.


-- Chuck

The problem with this is there is no proof that you sold the trailer if the new owner has not registered it. Lets just say on the way home he backs his new trailer into a vehicle and does major damage and injures someone. He unhitches the TT and drives away. The only record of ownership for that vehicle shows it belongs to you and you have no way to prove you sold it. Always good to have the signed Bill of Sale.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:21 AM   #19
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The problem with this is there is no proof that you sold the trailer if the new owner has not registered it. Lets just say on the way home he backs his new trailer into a vehicle and does major damage and injures someone. He unhitches the TT and drives away. The only record of ownership for that vehicle shows it belongs to you and you have no way to prove you sold it. Always good to have the signed Bill of Sale.
Bingo.
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:31 PM   #20
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Cash and plates

Some have alluded to but no one mentioned being safe. Make your "cash" transaction in a public place, Bank (#1), local library, restaurant, etc. You don't want your signed title and RV gone along with the cash you never got.
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