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Thread: Buying a vehicle WITHOUT OWNERSHIP, what do I do?

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    Buying a vehicle WITHOUT OWNERSHIP, what do I do?

    This sticky was suggested by BBD after I went through the process of acquiring an ownership for a vehicle that was purchased without one and with very little historical info on previous owners. After seeing a few posts regarding ownerships in the last few days I figured what better time than now to post it up...



    For those wanting to skip some explanation of what a UVIP is and get right to the meat of the post, scroll down to the next bit of red text...



    The process of purchasing a vehicle without an ownership should start with a USED VEHICLE INFORMATION PACKAGE (UVIP).



    They are available at any MTO office, will cost you $20 and all you need to supply to the person behind the desk is the VIN for the vehicle.


    A quick note about a VIN, prior to 1981 there was no standardization when it came to a VIN and different manufacturers had different ways of doing it. After 1981 the VIN was standardized and is currently a 17 digit alphanumeric that is unique for every vehicle. - want to learn more about VIN, check it out on Wikipedia.



    Once you have the UVIP it will list who the last owner of record is, any previous owners (knowing who the owners were will likely come in handy when you need to do an AFFIDAVIT OF OWNERSHIP), mileage reports for each time the registration was renewed, and it should list the "branding" for the vehicle...this does not mean they list it as Ford or Jeep (although that will be on there too). A vehicle brand in this sense is a description of condition. See the quoted info below to understand the various brands in Ontario.

    The Four Vehicle Brands

    Irreparable

    Vehicle has been written-off as a total loss.
    Can only be used for parts or scrap.
    Cannot be driven again in Ontario.

    Salvage

    Vehicle has been written-off as a total loss.
    Can be repaired or used for parts or scrap.
    If repaired, vehicle must pass a structural inspection test and be inspected by an authorized technician.
    If vehicle passes test it will be re-branded as "Rebuilt".

    Rebuilt

    Vehicle was written-off, branded as "Salvage" and was repaired.
    To qualify as "Rebuilt", owners must have photographs, documents and receipts of vehicle damage.
    Vehicle must have been issued a Structural Inspection Certificate from an authorized technician at a Ministry of Transportation-licensed Motor Vehicle Inspection Station.
    "Rebuilt" or "None" are the only acceptable brands for a consumer buying a used vehicle for on-road use.

    None

    Vehicle has not been given one of the other three brands.
    Vehicle may have had a damage-related brand applied outside Ontario, or
    Vehicle may have been damaged or rebuilt before March 31, 2003, or
    Degree of damage does not meet branding criteria, or
    Vehicle may never have been in a collision.


    You may see some other info on the UVIP regarding the status of the vehicle, eg. FIT, UNFIT, WRECKED, SUSPENDED

    Some of those are explained in the quote below, but FIT is not explained. FIT essentially means the last time the vehicle was transferred and registered (not at renewal times, only on a transfer) that the owner presented an Ontario Safety Standards Certificate to the MTO office. Basically, the vehicle passed a safety. It does not mean that the vehicle will currently pass a safety, only that it had in the past and was allowed to be registered for use on the roads.


    Suspended

    If ministry records show that a vehicle status is "suspended", no transactions involving the vehicle will be processed.
    A buyer could not obtain a new vehicle permit.
    A vehicle permit may be suspended for things like a contravention of a statute, such as the Highway Traffic Act.


    Unfit

    If ministry records show that the vehicle status is “unfit”, it may be mechanically unfit.
    Licence plates cannot be attached to such a vehicle unless a Safety Standards Certificate is provided to the ministry.


    Wrecked

    If ministry records show that the vehicle status is “wrecked”, the vehicle has been completely dismantled or crushed.
    Licence plates cannot be attached to the vehicle and it cannot be used on any public road.


    Now that we have some information out of the way regarding what a UVIP is, lets move on to why you should get one. The seller should provide it, but most don't because they couldn't be bothered to spend the $20. If the buyer will not provide you with one to look at (and ultimately keep to take to the MTO if you decide to buy the vehicle), then get the VIN and drop the $20, it is cheap insurance to know the history and what you are potentially getting in to when buying that vehicle. It could show you some info that would make you think twice about buying the vehicle.

    A UVIP should never be considered the be all end all of condition. Every vehicle purchased should be thoroughly inspected to ensure it meets the description given by the seller, as well as meeting your expectations. It would really suck if you were planning to put the vehicle on the road then found out the frame or body were rusted out. If you do not feel comfortable inspecting the vehicle yourself, then take a knowledgeable friend that you trust, or take it to a trusted mechanic. In the case of taking it to a mechanic, they will likely charge you a fee to inspect it, but again this is cheap insurance before buying the vehicle. But at this step, you should be fairly certain you want this vehicle, an inspection at a mechanic could easily cost $100 or more.



    NOW ON TO THE MEAT OF THIS POST...
    THE STUFF A LOT OF YOU CLICKED IN HERE FOR...



    Acquiring an ownership for a vehicle that does not have one is a fairly easy task.

    For some reason the process seems daunting and most don't know the first thing about it. I went through the process first hand in December of 2011 and it was challenging at that time because different MTO offices were telling me different things that were needed and different fees that had to be paid, etc. Now that I have gone through it I understand just how easy it is. To make it EASY for others, I will explain the process and needed documents here.

    After getting a little confused on what exactly was needed and having some disagreements with some MTO employees I finally called the head office and got the true story. A few days later we had an ownership for a 36 year old (at the time) Jeep that had gone through at least 5 owners without an ownership. That ownership listed the ORIGINAL VIN for the vehicle, the MTO did not create a new VIN or reVIN the vehicle.


    Here is a list of what is needed and some associated costs, your costs may vary based on your exact circumstances (eg. value of vehicle for tax purposes, cost of performing an appraisal, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by igotafrigginjeep View Post
    - Signed bill of sale with both seller and buyers info (seeing as I had purchased it and was giving it to my wife, I rewrote the bill of sale as if I had sold it her - essentially I was and it had already been through 3 owners before me, so what is another 2 by the time it is in the wife's name)
    - Appraisal to show value - MTO does this for ANY vehicle 20 years and older (so even you kids with 1992 and older vehicles will need this) - cost to us $30 to garage/dealer that performed the appraisal, where you get it done may charge a different price and they should have the form, if not get the form from an MTO office
    - Affidavit of Ownership including all information about vehicle endorsed by a notary or commissioner of oaths , we had a commissioner in our town office do this for $10 (could probably get your city hall clerk to do this for a lot cheaper than a notary public or lawyer)

    Other costs

    $10 fee for transfer plus the taxes on purchase price or value of the vehicle, would be another $20 if we wanted plates plus the price of the registration sticker, but we didn't need them yet as the vehicle needs a full rebuild

    One thing you will notice that is missing from the list above is a UVIP. In our case we did not need a UVIP as the MTO did not have any record of the vehicle in their computer system. It is very likely that you will need a UVIP, they are $20 - if the seller does not provide one just take the VIN to your local MTO office and ask them for one.



    Now for the part that always confused me and seemed like the daunting task...WHAT THE **** IS AN AFFIDAVIT OF OWNERSHIP!!! I even asked this at the MTO offices and for some reason nobody could give me the answer. I asked if it was a form that needed to be filled out, response - "maybe, but we can't find it..." This is when I called the head office for the MTO and asked all my questions. They explained that an AFFIDAVIT OF OWNERSHIP is basically a letter that you write/type that states that you are the legal and rightful owner of the vehicle (you better have done your research through getting a UVIP and some other resources eg. local police doing a search to see if the vehicle is stolen, etc.).


    So, what is needed in an affidavit of ownership?

    Quote Originally Posted by igotafrigginjeep View Post
    - Owner's name and address, as well as driver's licence number this would be your info or whoever is going to be the owner of record (if it is not going to be you, then the person it will be needs to be writing/typing this up and putting their info in it)
    - A statement that your are the legal and rightful owner this is as simple as putting in the sentence "I am the legal and rightful owner of (insert vehicle info here)"
    - Jurisdiction the vehicle was last registered (if known) - what province/state/etc. it was registered in
    - Explanation of how you obtained the vehicle including any information about previous owners and how they came to own it
    - Explanation why supporting documents can't be provided (eg. previous owner did not have the ownership and why)
    - Full description of vehicle (year/make/model/VIN/color/# of doors/engine size (# of cylinders)/weight (if you know it, we didn't and it wasn't an issue)/mileage/class (passenger/truck/etc.)

    What the Commissioner of Oaths needs to include on the affidavit:
    - Judicial district or province
    - full legal name
    - professional designation
    - expiry date of their appointment as a commissioner of oaths
    - signature and stamp of the commissioner or appointed person
    - date affidavit was taken

    Most of that info will be included on a stamp they will put on your letter, they will write something like "witnessed by (insert their name here) on (insert date here)" and they will sign it...
    When you have the commissioner of oaths do their part, they will want to see your photo identification as proof that you are who you say you are in the letter, they will also likely ask you if the information in the letter is the truth to the best of your knowledge.

    So, where do I find a Commissioner of Oaths or somebody else who can notarize this letter?

    We found ours at our local Municipal Office. In our case it cost us $10. You could call your town or city hall and ask the information desk, they will likely be able to direct you you to the right office and you can ask how much it will be. You could find a Notary Public by checking "Notaries Public" in the Yellow Pages. You could ask your lawyer (if you have one) or call a law office and see if they will do it.

    The Notary Public or lawyer will likely cost a lot more than your local Municipal Office, so I would recommend you call them first. There is no preference of one over the other from an MTO standpoint.


    Here is an example of the letter that we used as our AFFIDAVIT OF OWNERSHIP...

    (Insert date here)

    This is an Affidavit for Vehicle Registration.

    On (Insert date of purchase here) I purchased a (Insert vehicle year/make/model here). Information for the vehicle is outlined below:

    Year ----

    Make ----

    Model ---

    VIN -------------

    Colour ---

    Odometer Reading -----

    The vehicle was purchased from (Insert name of seller here) of (Insert town and province of residence of seller here) without ownership for the sum of (Insert purchase price here) making me the legal and rightful owner (<--take note of that statement as it is a requirement in the letter).

    It is unknown to me where and when the vehicle was last registered (<-- this statement was true in our case, but may need to be changed in your case). Supporting documents for previous vehicle ownership are unavailable as (Insert name of seller here) stated, on (Insert date of purchase here), that he had purchased the vehicle without ownership from another party (<-- again this statement was true in our case, but may need to be changed in your case). (Insert sellers name here) stated the previous owner had purchased it from (Insert any other supporting info you may have about previous owners here). Through this process, of buying and selling, the vehicle had never been registered by any of the owners.

    (Insert sellers name here) could not recall the name of the person he had purchased the vehicle from (<-- again this statement was true in our case, but may need to be changed in your case). (Insert sellers name here) had never gone through the process of transferring the ownership to his name as the vehicle was not road worthy and (Insert sellers name here) had no intentions of ever making it road worthy (<-- again this statement was true in our case, but may need to be changed in your case).

    Signed,




    (Insert your name here)
    (Insert your address here)
    (Insert your town/city and province here)
    Insert your postal code here)
    Ontario Driver’s Licence Number - (Insert licence number here)

    Again, this is an example, your situation may require some different info, but this would be a good basis to work from.


    SIMPLE AS THAT...if you have any questions, feel free to post them up here and I will do my best to respond (if I don't respond for a few days/weeks, shoot me a PM as I may have missed your question). I would say to PM me the questions, but I think it would be beneficial to others to post them up here.

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    Thanks for posting this. Dad did something similar for a utility trailer he bought years ago. I've had to use Commisionars when gifting vehicles to family members, but never for replacing an ownership.

    I've got 2 dirt bikes that we've owned since the late 80's. They're both technically street legal hondas ('78 & '82). I'd like to get the ownerships for them... this will help.
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    Good DIY Post; just thought I would try to clarify issues surrounding the Affidavit of Ownership:


    Quote Originally Posted by igotafrigginjeep View Post
    When you have the commissioner of oaths do their part, they will want to see your photo identification as proof that you are who you say you are in the letter, they will also likely ask you if the information in the letter is the truth to the best of your knowledge.

    So, where do I find a Commissioner of Oaths or somebody else who can notarize this letter?

    We found ours at our local Municipal Office...The Notary Public or lawyer will likely cost a lot more than your local Municipal Office,...
    1. The Affidavit of Ownership must be "commissioned" not "notarized".

    2. The purpose of the commissioning is to ensure the accuracy of the statement by reminding the deponent (the person making the statement) that the statement has been made "under oath" - so yes, the commissioner WILL ask if the statement is true. There is a $2K fine associated with not asking.

    3. Most government agencies (Service Ontario, Small Claims Court and likely the MTO) have had a commission granted to the clerks at the front desk, who will commission your affidavits for FREE (as long as the affidavit is related to the business you are transacting with that office).



    Quote Originally Posted by Noltz View Post
    Thanks for posting this...I've had to use Commisionars when gifting vehicles to family members, but never for replacing an ownership.
    People should not confuse:
    Commissionaires (retired police/military personnel who now act as security staff) with
    commissioners (persons appointed under the Commissioners for taking Affidavits Act, RSO 1990 Chapter C.17).

    Only a commissioner can officially validate your affidavit. (Which is not to say that a Commissionaire cannot be a commissioner)



    97xjsteve is a Paralegal, licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada and partner at ML Legal Services. This post was created for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice.
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    Thanks Steve that is GREAT info and an excellent addition to the thread...just the kind of info I was hoping would be added, good to clarify for others looking to do this in the future.
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    Great sticky... Thanks for taking the time to post... Have always been scared off of vehicles with no ownership as I thought it would be too frustrating... Now I know

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    I have a slightly off topic question. I had a freind in Arizona give me a jeep, (80 somthing) I lost the title for it and he is very old and doesnt want to be bothered to get a replacement. how can I bring it up here and register it

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    Buying a vehicle WITHOUT OWNERSHIP, what do I do?

    I would give the main MTO office phone number a call and inquire with them. Possibly even call the RIV office as most vehicles being imported must go through them (I know there is a 15+ year old clause, but don't know how it works exactly).

    Crossing border without title may be a sticky issue.

    Make some calls and report back with your findings. Might help others out.

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    Buying a vehicle WITHOUT OWNERSHIP, what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    I have a slightly off topic question. I had a freind in Arizona give me a jeep, (80 somthing) I lost the title for it and he is very old and doesnt want to be bothered to get a replacement. how can I bring it up here and register it
    I "imported" a Florida motorbike last summer. It was more difficult that I physically had the paper title that signed over to someone else who signed a bill of sale to someone else who then sold to someone else before it got to me. I had to attempt to contact every single person in that chain then report that all reasonable attempts failed. The florida DMV informed me they could reprint the title and id just have to get it resigned but the proper owner was dead so that wouldn't work. In all: Had I not had the title and paper-trail the customs officer said then I could just declare the item after clearing for liens with the American side of the border (but at this time I bought the bike on the Canadian side).

    If the owner is too lazy to go to the DMV I would question the integrity of the ownership and title clearance. Then proceed to contact the DMV yourself so all the owner needs to do is sign a reprint at time of sale.

    In your case try to not lose things and go to the customs office on dixe rd/401 in Mississauga they can help you.
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    hes a friend of mine down there it is his.. NO questions. do I contact dmv in Mi or do I need to go to colorado where is his permanent residence

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    Buying a vehicle WITHOUT OWNERSHIP, what do I do?

    Contact the DMV office the title was issued from. They are independent.

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    Buying a vehicle WITHOUT OWNERSHIP, what do I do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    hes a friend of mine down there it is his.. NO questions. do I contact dmv in Mi or do I need to go to colorado where is his permanent residence
    I would think the DMV where it was last registered.

    Like I said, keep us posted. Once it is sorted out do an info post in THIS THREAD like the first post here. Keeps everybody informed and all info in one place.

    I will then clean up the discussion to prevent any misinformation.
    Last edited by igotafrigginjeep; 12-02-2012 at 01:04 PM.

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    I bought an ATV on consignment from dealer. Paid for, picked up, was being sold for a friend of dealer and the ownership was promised in the mail. Fast forward a few years and many conversations with dealer and mto I still don't have an ownership. Because of the bill of sale mto is instructing me get the dealer to get me the ownership. They would except the previous owner is being a *** and refusing to hand it over. Do I have to lie about loosing my ownership to get one made up?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandit86 View Post
    I bought an ATV on consignment from dealer. Paid for, picked up, was being sold for a friend of dealer and the ownership was promised in the mail. Fast forward a few years and many conversations with dealer and mto I still don't have an ownership. Because of the bill of sale mto is instructing me get the dealer to get me the ownership. They would except the previous owner is being a *** and refusing to hand it over. Do I have to lie about loosing my ownership to get one made up?
    No, geeze, read the first post of the thread. If you are satisfied that you are not going to get anywhere with the dealer, follow Jeff's instructions about getting the affidavit of ownership and combined with your bill of sale, apply for a new ownership. You can't simply say that you lost the ownership since it was never in your name in the first place. The legal owner would be the only one able to get the lost ownership reproduced. Beyond all of that, the dealer may have some liability in this instance since they are a business profiting from this transaction. It's possible that you could pursue legal action. I'm assuming you don't want to do this and would rather just get an ownership and keep the ATV.
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    Another variation on this topic:

    I've registered several old vehicles that weren't in the MTO's records and it's as simple as you say. There was even one I bought from a neighbour for $1. The office dutifully collected its 8 cents sales tax. (This was before appraisals, and before HST.)

    Where it apparently becomes more complicated is where the vehicle IS in the system but no paperwork is available. The specific situation I have is that the owner died. There was no will, so no executor to sign off on the vehicle. There was no next of kin. No ownership was found. The Public Trustee of Ontario acts as executor in cases such as this. The only document I have is a letter from the Trustee to the landlady, saying that the estate was not big enough for their office to get involved, and she should simply dispose of the deceased's effects. She did this by giving me the car to haul away.

    When I went to the local MTO office to ask about getting the car transferred, naturally no one knew what to do, but the nice lady said she'd go up the chain of command until she found someone who did know. When I went back she had several suggestions as to what I MIGHT do but she said no one knew if any of them would work. Obviously this is total BS. There has to be someone somewhere in the MTO who will make the decision to accept or reject my application if I follow one or more of the suggested procedures, but no one will admit to being that person.

    The car isn't particularly valuable, so it's not worth jumping through a lot of hoops to transfer it. I'll probably just part it out, but it could have been frustrating if I really wanted the car. As it is it's merely amusing.

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    I tried this and it doesnt seem to be working. Heres the scenario. Bought a car from a guy who claimed he did not have the ownership as the company he got it from lost it. Not a problem right ?, He gave me the UVIP, bill of sale & an uncommissioned affidavit stating he owned the car got it with no ownership. I went and got a commissioned letter as stated, and a appraisal. The guy I got it from dissapears out of the country. I go to the MTO and explain things. She makes a call and says without a letter from the last registrant stating they have no interest in the vehicle that they cant transfer it to me. THe current registrant is being kind of pricky cuz he aint making no money off ot it. He has told me he has no problem letting me have the car but now hasnt answered his phone in over a week.
    Should I try another MTO ? Or do I have to get this letter ?

    *******UPDATE********
    I went to a different MTO who knew what they were doing. IN and out in 15 minutes, ownership in hand.
    Last edited by got_914?; 02-23-2015 at 05:07 PM.

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    Thumbs up

    some good info here... thanks
    i got a jeep that was left at my uncles place that he purchased a few years ago... no idea how long the jeep has been in the driveshed.
    i am assuming the RO is deceased, as my uncle bought from the estate, but there were tenants in the basement. could have been the tenants, could have been the deceased property owner... dont know
    short story long, collecting dust, my uncle had no use for it, so now i have it, no ownership.
    i'll go to the MTO tomorrow and see what happens. wish me luck
    if that fails i have a another vin and ownership
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