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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my bike (85 VN700), and it needs an entire rebuild from the floor up (balancer shafts bad, need some electrics redone, need major carb/air intake work).

Before I start into all this, I'd like to know what I'm looking at in getting this thing titled. The guy I bought it from had the title for it when I initially looked at it. When I went back to pick up the bike, he said he washed the title by accident leaving it in his jeans. He never transferred the title to himself so it's in the previous owner's name.

I've looked online and none of the scenarios for getting a new title fit mine. The best chance I probably have is getting a bill of sale from the guy I bought it from.

Do I have any chance of getting a title for this bike, or should I begin parting it out to cut my losses?

BTW, I live in Tennessee. Anyone from TN that has had experience in this issue would be appreciated.
 

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I had a similar situation. What you will need is a Power of Attorney from the last titled owner, apply for a duplicate title in his name, and have him sign it over to you.

Actually, I've been down this road twice. One went smooth as silk, the other was a royal PITA - all depends on the attitude of the previous owner.

Since you've got a lot of work ahead of you, the wait shouldn't be that big of a deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I found the Power of Attorney form for TN online. Once he signs that and we have it notarized, can I then complete the application for lost title on my own without any signatures from him, and have the duplicate title sent to my home address?

If so, then I basically sign his name on the title back, along with mine, and turn it in to the county clerk, at which point it's sent off per business as usual and I get the new title in my name in appx 10 days?
 

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Close... (?) Not sure the diff's between KS & TN laws, but Federal law states that for anything newer than...I honestly don't remember...you can't sign the title over to yourself due to odometer disclosure regulations.

So you need to get the POA signed, apply for the dupe title which can be mailed to you. and then have him sign the title again to transfer it to you. Or sign for him as the POA and transfer to someone else.

In my last little adventure, I signed for him and transferred the title to my wife, which for whatever was perfectly acceptable for the folks behind the counter - go figure!

Now, my wife's the proud owner of a 2006 Yamaha TW200! :D
 

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Also don't forget to either get two copies of the POA or get a notarized "certified" copy of the POA. You'll need one for the dupe title and another for the subsequent transfer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good point. I'll get 2, maybe 3 just in case.

I've spent the last 90 mins or so looking for online forms for TN and filling them out with as much info (not signing- I know to do that in front of the notary) so that when I present him with this, basically all we have to do is go to the notary and sign the PoA forms (I already have them downloaded for TN vehicles). He can even ride with me so he's not out any gas. I'm paying the fees, so he's only out a little bit of time.

I think in TN that anything over 15 yrs old is exempt from odometer requirements. I know the '86 Honda Shadow I bought after this bike I took the title (already signed by previous owner) to the county clerk, and because the Honda wasn't with me (in my garage waiting to be repaired as well) the odometer reading was left off the title that was turned in. When I got MY title for the shadow in the mail, the odometer reading portion was blank. If TN has a law against me titling the Vulcan to me, my brother will become the owner.

Thanks for all your help in this, and if anyone from TN has been through this and wants to chime in please do. You can never have too much info. Hopefully I can get this taken care of and begin rebuilding the vulcan. I found a thread on here where some guy in Georgia did this and basically ended up with a brand new showroom perfect 88 or 89 Vulcan 750. I'll be using his rebuild thread as a guideline along with the online repair manual. I do plan to replace the fenders with the GL1100 (front) and VN1500 Classic (rear) and might do an ear shave depending on if I can find decent air box boots.

And let me add, you Vulcan guys are way, WAY, WAY more helpful and assisting here than the owners over at shadow.net . Getting repair info on that Shadow has been like pulling teeth. I'm new to all this (building motorcycles- all the work on my Nighthawk was electrical and body- and titling issues) and your help and patience is definitely appreciated.
 

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If you have an understanding PO, they you should be home free. It's still a bit of a laborious process, but certainly worth it in the long run. My last debacle was an out of state title (Oklahoma) and the PO was in Ok. and not particularly helpful.

I want to say the odo req't was 10 years, but it might have been 15, either way you're likely set in that regard. I just found it interesting that it was the odo req't that kept me from signing the title over to me. Took me two duplicates before I could finally manage to legally tag the TW. Wouldn't have been so bad if they'd spelled out these ridiculous rules somewhere...but they didn't...

In any case, sounds like you're pretty much set. Just need to hurry up & wait...

And you're right - this is a great group of folks on this forum, one of the best I've had the pleasure of keeping online company with in a long time! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One last question- where is the engine number located?

I need it for one of the forms I'm filling out. I've looked on the engine and cannot find anything. I'm obviously not looking in the right place(s).
 

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....

And let me add, you Vulcan guys are way, WAY, WAY more helpful and assisting here than the owners over at shadow.net . Getting repair info on that Shadow has been like pulling teeth. I'm new to all this (building motorcycles- all the work on my Nighthawk was electrical and body- and titling issues) and your help and patience is definitely appreciated.
I dealt with Shadow.net for quite a while when I first got my 02 shadow sabre. You're right about that site. I've only been on here a couple of days and already see the difference. Good luck with your situation.
 

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Go to DMV and tell them your scenerio and they will give you the proper paperwork to fill out.
 

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One last question- where is the engine number located?

I need it for one of the forms I'm filling out. I've looked on the engine and cannot find anything. I'm obviously not looking in the right place(s).
Right side, under the clutch basket cover right under the frame tube. You might need to clean some crud off the cases to see it.

Don't feel bad, took me a while to find it too!
 

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Sounds like you've got most of it figured out. One thing to keep in mind is that when you do actually go to transfer title in Tennessee you'll need to pay for tags then too, regardless of whether it's running or not. I just got my title transferred last year and had to put tags on it. They won't transfer without it. Was kind of a waste of money, but I don't have to keep the tags current...they'll just issue me a new tag when I'm ready to ride in a year or so. No mileage affidavit or back taxes owed. I checked on this about 2 weeks ago, cause my tags will be coming due again soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys. I found all the forms online once I knew what to look for (PoA, etc). I did find that should the prev owner not have contact info for the guy he bought it from that I can file for something called Certification of Ownership as the fair market value of the bike is less than $3000, where I would need to do the following:

-if previous owner is not known, must list in general publication in my county my intent to title the vehicle with exact description and VIN, any and all parties holding interest in vehicle must contact me within 10 days from publication by certified mail. If no contacts received, I can proceed to...

-verification of VIN by law enforcement officer via pencil tracing, then

-notarized statement from SELLER (not previous owner) stating why vehicle was not titled or registered in their name {this should be easy, I plan to type it up for seller stating he took the bike as an even trade for a Jeep Cherokee (he explained this when I first looked at bike) and rode it twice and the engine blew, so he sold it to me as inoperable but washed the title before the transaction was complete}, then

-photographs of vehicle in pre-repaired state

I am now pretty confident that even without a Power of Attorney (should the guy that traded it to my guy I bought it from not be found) I can still title this Vulcan. Although I think PoA is still the easiest route, at least there is a 2nd option now. The way the paperwork reads, I can submit all of the above with the form for certification of ownership and application for title, and the title will be sent to me in my name. It does not absolve me of any past of future litigation on the vehicle, but I seriously doubt there is any lien against a 26 yr old bike that has been in less than top condition for awhile.

While I'm at it, I may file for an antique tag with it since in TN anything 25+ yrs old is eligible for antique tags.
 
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