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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Buying a trailer...

I'm buying a used trailer from Wisco. What do I need to make it legal? Here is what I know... It's a cheapo harbor freight open trailer. The guy doesn't have a title, and it hasn't had plates. I think he's the second owner. I'm assuming all I will have to title it and get plates is a handwritten bill of sale. Is that enough? What sort of fees am I looking at? Tax? Title? Plates & registration?

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:24 PM
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You will need to register it as a homemade trailer in the state of IL. Up until last year, all you needed to do was fill out paper work at the DMV or the Currency Exchange and they would send you a title and a plate. They changed that law now. You have to take pictures of the trailer and take it to the Secretary of State Police to have it inspected. Then they will put a VIN on it and license and title it.

EDIT: The cost will be somewhere around $113 total.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:25 PM
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Where is the Secretary of state police located? I'm in a similar boar with having a homemade trailer needing to be titled.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:26 PM
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I was confused about that too because I never heard of the Sec of State Police. There was a number on the IL DMV site that I called.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:27 PM
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http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/de...lice/home.html

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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You will need to register it as a homemade trailer in the state of IL. Up until last year, all you needed to do was fill out paper work at the DMV or the Currency Exchange and they would send you a title and a plate. They changed that law now. You have to take pictures of the trailer and take it to the Secretary of State Police to have it inspected. Then they will put a VIN on it and license and title it.

EDIT: The cost will be somewhere around $113 total.
Ah, wasn't sure if the harbor freights were considered homemade. So I don't need to go to the DMV at all? Is there a specific state police office that I need to go to? The state doing anything on my behalf has me skeptical...

Do you have a link? I couldn't find the info i'm looking for anywhere, and I'd like to be prepared so it only takes one trip (if possible).

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link So it says they need to inspect the trailer prior to issuing the title. How do I get it there with no title/plates? Is it a don't ask, don't tell situation like the motorcycle got there when you take your license test?

edit - perhaps I should just call them at this point...

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:40 PM
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Call them. They will send you a packet with instructions and paperwork.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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This the right place? Can I just stop in? I'll be about a mile from there later today.

District One Headquarters
103 West Roosevelt Rd
Villa Park, Illinois 60181-3551
Phone: (630) 693-0551

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:50 PM
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Not sure but give it a try. Long story short, I purchased a trailer with no title and tried to title it as a homemade trailer but couldn't get it titled because it already had a VIN on it. So I had to contact the previous owner to have him get the title reissued to him to sign over to me. That's how I know about all of this.

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image v. substance. Some people want to be motorcyclists, others just want to be seen as motorcyclists.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 02:20 PM
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Pat post up what you find out. I work a mile from there, and can stop in and pick up the paperwork too if thats the deal.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Fo sho, I'll update this thread with any new info.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Update - I called the number and the lady wouldn't tell me any information. All she would do is take my name and address and forward that off to someone in Springfield. They will mail me a packet of info, and no, I can't pick it up anywhere, I have to wait for it to be mailed.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 03:07 PM
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We probably spoke to the same lady because that is the same treatment I got. Couldn't ask any questions. Shit, I couldn't even get a word off.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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We probably spoke to the same lady because that is the same treatment I got. Couldn't ask any questions. Shit, I couldn't even get a word off.
Sounds like the lady I talked to. She cut me off just about every sentence, and I couldn't even ask if this would be considered homemade. After she got my mailing addy, all she would say is, "ALL THE INFORMATION WILL BE SENT TO YOU!"

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 08:03 PM
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Not sure but give it a try. Long story short, I purchased a trailer with no title and tried to title it as a homemade trailer but couldn't get it titled because it already had a VIN on it. So I had to contact the previous owner to have him get the title reissued to him to sign over to me. That's how I know about all of this.
Sounds like he will have to do the same thing you did. Harbor Freight trailers are not home made trailers. They have VIN numbers.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 08:09 PM
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A few touches with a grinding wheel, and there will not be a vin on the HF trailer either. Just sayin'.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like he will have to do the same thing you did. Harbor Freight trailers are not home made trailers. They have VIN numbers.
I just hope all the info is in whatever package they are sending me. But I do have an angle grinder if needed

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 10:41 AM
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Why doesn't it have a title? Did the original guy never get one or he lost it? If the VIN comes up under someone else's name it might make the process more difficult.

Maybe if the bill of sale is notarized they will see the sale was legit.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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The guy i'm buying it from never titled it, and the guy before him never titled it. From what he says, in Wisco (where he lives) a trailer under 3000 lbs doesn't need plates. If that's true, that's news to me. He has also been driving it without lights for 2 years :P However, if I pick it up, I do want it titled, and I do want plates/working lights. Sounds like a clusterfuck waiting to happen.

It is slightly modified (wood floor ), does that count as homemade then? Can I remove the VIN and title it that way? Hopefully this packet gets here soon and I can get a better idea of what to do.

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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 11:18 AM
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the no plates on small trailers in wisc is true

modify to suit, respray the steel a different color after grinding/cutting off all unwanted accessories or trailer parts register as homebuilt

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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 07:37 AM
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Same here. Bought my trailer from a guy in Texas. When I asked for the title he thought I was nuts. Told me that they only need to register them, no title. So I had him complete a bill of sale which we both signed, and he gave me a copy of his last registration plate sticker form. Went to the DMV in Lombard with both and walked out with plates. Think it was close to 150 otd for all fee's. 90 of it was for a IL title to be created, still waiting for it to come in the mail. Before going to the DMV check online to make sure they do titles, not all of them do. Lombard for sure does.

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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Update - that stupid lady on the phone didn't help at all. The packet they sent gives information on homebuilt trailers only, but to me, it looks like it's only for homebuilt trailers that you're building. I think my trailer would qualify as a homebuilt, but I didn't build it, so I wouldn't be able to answer some of the questions on the numerous forms. There is nothing in the packet for my situation. Back to the drawing board. Hopefully when I call today someone else answers the phone.

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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 07:47 AM
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Update - that stupid lady on the phone didn't help at all. The packet they sent gives information on homebuilt trailers only, but to me, it looks like it's only for homebuilt trailers that you're building. I think my trailer would qualify as a homebuilt, but I didn't build it, so I wouldn't be able to answer some of the questions on the numerous forms. There is nothing in the packet for my situation. Back to the drawing board. Hopefully when I call today someone else answers the phone.

adapt and overcome brother. No one knows you didn't build it.
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, i'm trying to determine which will be less of a headache. The homebuilt forms are pretty detailed, but a simple title transfer won't be simple since the guy I bought the trailer from never titled it in his name.

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 08:05 AM
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what sort of questions?

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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I need to state where the body, frame, suspension, axle, and fenders were acquired from and how it was constructed. Problem with the harbor freight, it has a VIN and I have to sign a form saying it never had a VIN. I need to submit at least 4 photos and pass a live inspection. I'm assuming they have seen these trailers before, and I don't want to get caught F'n around.

The guy that I bought it from is super helpful, so I'm going to call the sec. of state today and see what I can do. Another drawback to the homebuilt process is waiting at least 4-6 weeks for an inspection. I'm hoping I can get something faster than that.

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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 08:38 AM
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What does harbor freight customer service say? "Hey, Im thinking about buying a trailer from you people and I live in Illinois, so what do I have to do to get it titled?"

Its worth a try, they must have been asked that question over the years.......

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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 08:49 AM
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sucks they do so indepth for it, I still have my trashcan fender brackets if you need to further disguise origins, youll need your own plastic garbage can though

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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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What does harbor freight customer service say? "Hey, Im thinking about buying a trailer from you people and I live in Illinois, so what do I have to do to get it titled?"

Its worth a try, they must have been asked that question over the years.......
My only problem is that i'm not buying it from Harbor Freight. The guy I bought it from, bought it from someone else (not sure of the rest of the family tree). I guess it's possible that nobody has ever titled it, I never thought about that. I was thinking the original owner titled it.

I'm probably just going to have make a million phone calls, a couple dozen trips to the DMV/sec of state, and empty my wallet into the states pocket to get this thing legal :/

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