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Registering used Trailer from Alabama

Old 02-22-2019, 09:23 AM
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Default Registering used Trailer from Alabama

Well, I just left the DMV here in Louisiana, and didn't over-turn any tables/chairs on my way out of the office, so I'll take that as a win.

I bought a used boat and trailer from a guy in Alabama a few weeks ago. I was aware that Alabama did not register or title trailers. I have a copy of the seller's driver's license, prior bill of sale (where seller took ownership), current bill of sale, boat registration etc. Apparently that info is not enough. I need a letter from the Alabama DMV stating the trailer was never titled. I call Alabama DMV, and spoke to a nice woman from the license revenue department. I was informed that Alabama DMV does not issue letters stating certain trailers were never registered/titled. Instead, she emailed me a generic letter / Memorandum from the Alabama Department of Revenue stating that effective 01/01/2012, no certificates of title shall be issued for any trailer etc etc. After dealing with the people (creatures) in the LA DMV, I feel like they would not accept this Memorandum because it did not list my specific trailer as having never been titled.

Has anyone from LA bought a used trailer from Alabama and was actually able to get their hands on this letter? Any help would be great
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:14 AM
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You should also be able to get a letter from the trailer manufacturer stating who the trailer was initially bought by. That may help. You will have to get the LA state police to inspect the trailer before you can get it registered. It will have to meet all LA trailer requirements. In my case, the original title was sent to the boat shop that owned the boat and the guy in Alabama that bought it did not have a need to transfer it. I had quite a bit of work to do to get the trailer up to LA specs. You can get the trailer specs online for LA. Ultimately, I used a permanent trailer plate from a trailer in the weeds behind my house due to the DMV not wanting to take my money.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:10 PM
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You might try private title companies. Sometimes they know other ways to skin a cat. in the mean time, here is a little reading for ya.

3135401.pdf
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:11 PM
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Quick update!

I went back to the DMV with the generic Memorandum from AL Department of Revenue. Thankfully, I lucked out and got a different employee who was much more knowledgeable and helpful. She was ok with the Memorandum, and started to write up the registration. Things were looking up!...however, you were right pooldoo, I will have to get trailer inspected first. I called the State Trooper's office, and it seems like they're mostly just interested in confirming that VIN or Serial # on trailer matches paperwork. Next, I drove to boat storage facility across town, and of course, the 2007 trailer's VIN sticker is completely faded, cracked and illegible. So the next hurdle will be getting a new sticker from McClain Trailers. It sounds like they will be able to help.

Damn what a royal pain in the ass. At this point, I want the title just to prove to myself that this exercise can be done. My main concern is resale. If I ever sell this thing, I want all paperwork to be good to go.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:20 PM
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Might try this solution to faded VIN sticker

Faded Trailer VIN Problem Solved
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:32 PM
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Get a set of the metal "stamps" you hit with a hammer.

Punch the numbers into the frame before the troopers come out.

Done and done.

Good luck LA makes this such a pain in the ass.

here's the el cheapo version

https://www.harborfreight.com/36-pie...iABEgLd_vD_BwE

ps the blacklight deal sounds great but if you already know the number just stamp the trailer
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:38 PM
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And also heed any trailer related advice from VesselCalling, he's kinda a expert . . .
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by VesselCalling View Post
Might try this solution to faded VIN sticker

Faded Trailer VIN Problem Solved
Thats a pretty cool tip! Thankfully, I grabbed a copy of the prior Bill of Sale which had the VIN No. listed on it, so McClain Trailers was able to verify the No. and request a reprint. Downside is that it will take some time to arrive.

Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
Get a set of the metal "stamps" you hit with a hammer.
I'm liking the stamp idea! much more permanent. Louisiana is such a pain in the ass that I'm going to get the new sticker anyway, just as a precaution, but I will be stamping the trailer too as an extra measure.
Love Louisiana....but sometimes....oh well its crawfish season and Mardi Gras season...hard to complain too much.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:13 PM
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I feel for ya bro'! I bought my Contender from an Alabama seller. The boat registration with LDWF was a snap. The trailer deal was a nightmare. The BS with getting it inspected by LSP was a deal killer. The trailer had problems, and I knew there was no way that the Super Troopers would pass it. I paid $50 to have it cut up and "disposed of." Ordered a new trailer and brought the manufacturers certificate of origin to DMV and walked out in 15 minutes with a non-expiring registration and plate. I only lost 5G's in the process.
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:48 PM
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Gotta love Bama...
Ya got a boat trailer ... ok use it ...No tag title , Nothing!!!
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:54 AM
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We live in Alabama, and just love those 2.5% sales taxes and no ad valorem taxes on boats. Voters here are for less government, so no titles are issued on boats and on most trailers.

When I bought my Bennington, I was furnished a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin on both the boat and the trailer. If an out of state purchaser got my boat, I'd just sign over the MSO's to them.

Whenever a state requires a title, they can accept a MSO with a bill of sale too--especially if they can document the previous owner paid sales taxes on the trailer. And a trailer manufacturer can always reissue a Duplicate Manufactuer's Statement of Origin if requested by the dealer that sold the boat new.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:24 PM
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Update for those interested...

I have a trailer title coming in the mail and currently have a license plate and registration for the bama trailer.

Aside from usual boat/trailer purchase paper work, there were 4 key items needed in order to get the trailer titled in LA
1.) Generic Letter from AL Dept. of Revenue stating no trailers are titled/registered in their great state.
2.) A legible Serial/VIN No. on trailer
3.) Trailer inspection
4.) copy of seller's ID

Called McClain Trailers and gave them the Serial Number. A few weeks later, a new Serial No. tag arrived in the mail. Drove boat/trailer to DMV this morning and miraculously found a parking spot for a 23ft boat. Trailer inspection went smoothly, and I even talked boats with retired State Trooper inspector guy who loved my Blackjack. Skipped everyone in line and waited by "Amber" 's desk. Amber if you're reading this you're great! She started paper work a few weeks ago at my first visit when she told me I needed boat trailer inspected first, and to come find her once it was inspected. Sat down and she knocked it out. It was the easiest trip to the DMV in human history. Still need boat numbers now!

Will I need to pay taxes next in order to get boat numbers? LDWF website is somewhat confusing, and i'm hearing different accounts from buddies.


^based on this..no I don't need to submit a form saying I paid taxes.....then further down the page:.....


Sounds pretty clear cut...just hoping i don't have to pay the man.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:32 PM
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Born and raised in NOLA. Semi retired and live in Fairhope, AL now. All I can say is, I wish I would have moved here sooner. After switching all my vehicles, boats, motorbikes, etc over here, you realize how much of a nightmare Louisiana is. Not to mention, my insurances are at least HALF of what I was paying in La.

You were lucky to get someone to help you. DMV is still trying to bill me retroactively for cancelling my titles...totally unbelievable. So glad I'm out of there!!!
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by _TidewateR_ View Post
Update for those interested...

I have a trailer title coming in the mail and currently have a license plate and registration for the bama trailer.

Aside from usual boat/trailer purchase paper work, there were 4 key items needed in order to get the trailer titled in LA
1.) Generic Letter from AL Dept. of Revenue stating no trailers are titled/registered in their great state.
2.) A legible Serial/VIN No. on trailer
3.) Trailer inspection
4.) copy of seller's ID

Called McClain Trailers and gave them the Serial Number. A few weeks later, a new Serial No. tag arrived in the mail. Drove boat/trailer to DMV this morning and miraculously found a parking spot for a 23ft boat. Trailer inspection went smoothly, and I even talked boats with retired State Trooper inspector guy who loved my Blackjack. Skipped everyone in line and waited by "Amber" 's desk. Amber if you're reading this you're great! She started paper work a few weeks ago at my first visit when she told me I needed boat trailer inspected first, and to come find her once it was inspected. Sat down and she knocked it out. It was the easiest trip to the DMV in human history. Still need boat numbers now!

Will I need to pay taxes next in order to get boat numbers? LDWF website is somewhat confusing, and i'm hearing different accounts from buddies.


^based on this..no I don't need to submit a form saying I paid taxes.....then further down the page:.....


Sounds pretty clear cut...just hoping i don't have to pay the man.


Did you buy from an individual or a dealer?

Either way I *think* you will have to have the local tax office, and maybe state too, sign some paperwork just saying no tax is due, or that it has been paid - depending how you bought it.

That is just based on what I recall of my boats in the past . . .
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:19 AM
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exactly right! My previous two boats came from FL dealers where I had to pay taxes in LA. This boat was from an individual. I emailed LDR and again miraculously found someone helpful. She said that I do not owe sales tax, and she even offered to help process Tax Form 1331. I emailed her the paperwork and she signed/stamped it within an hour (no trip to downtown BR thank God!). My local branch had to sign it too and that was painless as well. Mailed all of my stuff to LDWF, so hopefully i’m all set.
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