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Yikes! WA resident almost bought an OR trailer

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Yikes! WA resident almost bought an OR trailer

Old 07-30-2019, 03:19 PM
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Default Yikes! WA resident almost bought an OR trailer

I really dodged a bullet this morning, and I thought I'd share my experience here in case it's of use to others. I've been perusing Craigslist over the past few days to look for used boat trailers. Since I live on the Washington side of the Columbia River, 99% of the stuff on CL is in Oregon. I didn't really think much about it. As long as I have a signed bill of sale, it should be good just like with anything else, right? I was talking with a guy who had a trailer that would have been perfect for me, at a perfect price. He was even willing to drive it over and put it down in my driveway. Thankfully I listened to the little birdie in my head and gave the DOL a call before the guy drove an hour over here.

Small utility and boat trailers don't require titling in Oregon. Everything in Washington requires titling and licensing. Since the trailer I was looking at didn't have an Oregon title, it was going to be a fiasco to get it titled in Washington. First up is going to Washington State Patrol for an inspection and weighing. Problem is the wait for such an inspection is currently 1-2 months. DOL won't touch it without that inspection. That means the trailer is parked in my driveway for up to 2 months, unusable. When I finally get it licensed 2 months later, Washington still won't give me a title for 3 years. That's because it was never titled when purchased new in Oregon. As such, Washington considers it "ownership-in-doubt," and requires the 3-year waiting period. Yes, even with a notarized bill of sale.

So, today I got an education, almost the hard way. That lesson was to never consider buying an untitled used trailer from Oregon. Not unless I want it sitting around taking up space for a long time. Either buy new, or only buy in Washington. Gotta love Washington State red tape.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:54 PM
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Interesting - I got an OR title on my trailer, took it to CA AAA and they were ok with it.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:12 PM
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Well this sounds like it's a Washington-specific level of absurdity. When I called DOL and asked her about the steps for licensing a boat trailer from Oregon she said, "Oh my God, you didn't buy a boat trailer from Oregon, did you?"
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by roykirk View Post
Well this sounds like it's a Washington-specific level of absurdity. When I called DOL and asked her about the steps for licensing a boat trailer from Oregon she said, "Oh my God, you didn't buy a boat trailer from Oregon, did you?"
And I always thought California was the worst at these sort of things...
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:37 PM
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I had a similar experience after I bought a boat in Idaho, Trailer was licensed with the boat, but no specific title for the trailer. Thank goodness Montana would license it with a bill of sale and a Signed/notarized form stating I believed all the info to be legit. Was a slight PIA, but worked out after finding someone that actually knew what they were talking about.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:56 PM
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I bought a travel trailer licensed in Washington (I live in Oregon) two years ago. It took me 15 minutes and a couple hundred bucks at the Oregon DMV and I was on my way with Oregon plates. If a trailer is under 1800 pounds loaded it doesn’t need licensing in Oregon.
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