Thursday, July 4, 2013
3 year temporary title
Dealing with the red tape of Washington State institutions takes a thick exo-skeleton and clever use of one's words. When I brought the trailer home I used a temporary travel permit to haul it. Once it arrived, so began the the quest of getting tabs and registering it in my name. I had the name of the registered owner and a bill of sale that I found in the trailer that had the purchaser's name and signature blank. Thank the sweet lord for that bill of sale.
First I spent several days calling the State Dept of Licensing and asking questions. The first day I was quite defeated. I started with the truth, which was my first mistake. I told them the trailer had been abandoned and I had been given it by the property owners. The DOL employee informed me that I had to contact the police and have them haul away the trailer. It was abandoned and technically was the property of the state of Washington. Tim (the employee) informed me that I might be able to buy the trailer at an auction. I explained that I had already done lots of work on the trailer and I could not just give it away now. He told me what I was doing was illegal, and emphasized this. I told him thanks.
I woke up the next day and talked to Tim again. I told him I bought the trailer and I had a Bill of sale, but no title. And he said, ohhh in that case then you can apply for a 3 year temporary title. He sent me all the info in a letter of the process for ownership in doubt. I had to send a letter to DOL asking for the last registered address for the owner of the trailer. Weeks later I received the address. I sent a letter to the owner (with return receipt requested) and 2 days later the owner of the property, Paul, called me back. Paul had never heard of the registered owner. He had never lived there. I told him that the state of washington thinks that owner of the trailer has his last registered address at his address. Paul told me he built his house in 1984 and no one by the name of James (registered owner of the trailer) had ever lived there. I said thanks and he said he would try to straighten out the address confusion with the state of washington.
Now that I had attempted to contact the registered owner, I could bring in my bill of sale and my returned letter and apply for a 3 year temporary title. In those 3 years, if James (registered owner) decides that his property has been stolen he can seize the trailer from me. After a 3 year wait period I can then apply for a true title to the trailer. $141 later and I have my plates!! After 2 and a half months of waiting and swearing, the Leaf Spring is road ready.
I wanted to share this story because there are so many obstacles set by state, federal, and local bureaucracy. I believe if what you are doing is good, it will happen. Some guy named Tim will probably tell you that you are doing something illegal and you might feel like the State of Washington is a bunch of non-reuse minded, liability cowering assholes, and they probably are, but don't give up. The hardest part about re-using the immense wealth of garbage in our nation is the red tape of institutions.