August 28, 2005 - August 30, 2005
A "bill of sale" was provided by the previous owner when Dweezil was purchased in Alabama almost a decade ago. Alabama did not issue titles for vehicles as old as Dweezil, so even if the previous owner had one, it would not have been recognized by the state. I took the bill of sale to the courthouse and registered the vehicle with no problems. That was then. This is now.
In Florida, where I live now, things are a little different; titles are required with precious few exceptions. I suppose it is a good thing to fight vehicle theft, but is complicated by differences with other state rules. My abilitiy to obtain a title is further complicated because my vehicle has not been registered in several years and the only documentation I have is a handwritten bill of sale and a registration receipt. Should be enough, but I will have some explaining to do.
For starters, just going down to the DMV with a couple old wrinkled bits of documentation will not get the job done. The vehicle must be present for VIN verification.
The first step of this little journey will be to rejoin the body with the chassis. Luckily, I have this handy dandy body dolly that will allow me to put the body on myself.
(Installation is the reverse of removal).
Not bad. Now to change to thinner rear tires and line up the trailer.
When presented with a challenge beyond my strength, I usually ask myself "how would the Egyptians do this?" In this case, while they would not know what a car is, I do believe they would reach directly for their ratcheting tie downs. Ratcheting tie downs, of course, were vital in the construction of pyramids.
Anyway, I pull Dweezil up the ramps little by little. When the ratcheting mechanism is full, the front wheels are chocked so the tie down may be released and reset.
Loaded and ready for the big day tomorrow!
It is amazing how much better the trailer pulls with the car arranged this way.
The parking lot is crowded, forcing me to park a good distance away from the office. Inside it is a busy day with a lobby full of people, so I take a number. The line moves steadily, but slows when I get my turn.
The employee must look a few things up, consult with a few other employees, and make a telephone call. The call is to the Tallahassee office, and apparently does not go well. She comes back to the desk a little annoyed and says "Tallahasse is not being nice today, so I'm just gonna pass it!"
Because I parked outside the agency's parking lot, the employee requests for me to pull up to the front of the building. Needless to say, I get a few looks.
Half out of amusement and half just wanting it to be over, the nice lady quickly verified the VIN and signed off on the title.
I believe the condition of the car helped seal the deal (who would steal this?), but must give credit to the lady who handled my case. She could have said no, but instead made a judgement call in my favor.
Now work can proceed without the fear of it all being done for nothing on an untitled vehicle. The title is in the mail!