UPDATE: No title Vespa legal!!!
A while back, I posted an article about the trials and tribulations of getting legal paperwork for your scooter, if you happened to purchase it without a proper title. Quick recap: my friend had obtained a vintage Vespa 1980 100 Sport, without said paperwork, and had run into long delays, canceled payments through his credit card company, and a host of other headaches. His original attempt had been through a service in Nevada, which had come recommended, but had turned into a nightmare. The Nevada company had left him waiting for 18 weeks until he finally decided to throw in the towel. All this, while simply trying to get his scooter road legal.
I have an update: his scooter is on the road, legal and ready to roll. He finally went through the Vermont registration process, and with the help of reader ANDREW, he was able to skip the physical trip up north, and did it all through the internet and United States Postal Service. Not only was this far less painful than his first experience, but hopefully will prevent others from suffering the same delays.
This is how it all played out. The following is from an email from my now-relieved, soon to be scooting, pal:
The Vespa was finally registered, inspected and insured last week. As far as the Vespa registration in VT, I downloaded the VT registration form from their website, filled it out, and mailed it to them with a copy of the bill of sale. Had to send payment of $85 for Registration & Taxes.
After I got VT plates & registration, I brought them to NYDMV and transferred it to NY registration, but had to pay ANOTHER NY state tax (so tell people to keep the bill of sale) total cost of $165.
All this took about 3 weeks.
Seems the key here is to make sure that if you are purchasing a vehicle without a title, always get a Bill of Sale. In fact, with every used vehicle I have purchased, I always got a Bill of Sale, as well as any other applicable paperwork. This is standard procedure, and really only needs to be a document that you type up and print yourself. For New York State, details can be found here.
Keep in mind, in New York State, there is a clear distinction between the paperwork needed for registering vehicles made prior to 1973, and vehicles made after that date. If your vehicle was produced prior to 1973, then you only need a Bill of Sale. I was fortunate to also have the previous owner’s Registration, with a transfer of ownership form on the back.
Knowing someone who has now been through the process, it makes it a little less intimidating for me to think about purchasing a vehicle, sans paperwork. There are many deals out there, and preferably they come complete with the official documents you need. But if you stumble upon that deal of a lifetime, and just don’t want to pass it up, there is hope for us after all.