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Hello, I am a 30+ year attorney and have represented both auto dealerships and individuals in litigation involving automobile and vehicle transactions for many years. I will be happy to assist you with your questions. Please give me a few minutes to prepare my answers to your questions. Thank you for your patience while I do so.
Thank you for your patience while I prepared my answer to your questions. First, your concerns about surrendering the title to your vehicle to a vehicle transporter (or any third party for that matter) are valid and your instincts about doing so are correct. You should NEVER surrender or otherwise deliver the original title to a vehicle which you own to any one- PERIOD. The transporter, under your facts, has no need to possess the title to that vehicle and should never ask you to deliver the original title to it. The fact that the transporter is asking (actually demanding) that you surrender title to the vehicle is a clear indication that the entire transport operation is very likely a fraud and if you were to actually surrender your original title to the vehicle to the transporter, you would very likely never see your vehicle again and be left with no real legal way to sue the transporter or ever find your vehicle. This is a very common scam in which a vehicle owner is told that the title is needed by a transporter to ship a vehicle overseas. Once the transporter (fraudster) is in possession of the original title document, the vehicle is containerized and shipped to another country where it is sold to a buyer with your title being used to do so.
The answer to your second question is unequivocally " NO"- it is never safe or advisable to give someone the title to your vehicle - and, yes, anyone in possession of the title can easily claim ownership of the vehicle and with simple forgery either sell or register the vehicle in their name or that of a third party and you will then first need to attempt to locate the vehicle and sue the person who then is the titleholder to the vehicle in order to retrieve your vehicle. Never, under any circumstance surrender the original title to any vehicle which is titled in you name. No one has any legitimate legal reason or justification for asking you to do so and anyone who does has only ulterior and criminal motives for doing so.
I hope I have answered your questions and provided you with an explanation you were seeking. Thank you for allowing me to assist you with this matter. Apologies for the rather long answer, however, I wanted to provide you with the benefit of my many years in handling such matters in my private practice.
Thank you for allowing me to assist you with your questions.
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I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.
Given your circumstances I would offer the following thoughts:
First- providing a certified copy of the vehicle title is much different than providing the actual title as the certified copy is just that- a copy certified as being a copy of the original. You may also be able to use a notarized bill of sale along with a certified copy of the title document because the true intent of the legal requirements by Customs is to attempt to ensure that the vehicle is not stolen. Those documents should be sufficient based upon my review of the legal requirements for shipping a vehicle overseas from the US. If that is acceptable to the US Customs folks, then you can have some protection that the title will not be transferred to an unknown third party. If that is not acceptable and the Customs official is demanding the original hard title, then you should do two things- use a reputable shipper to handle the entire process and require that the transporter provide you with the declarations page of its' insurance policy showing that they have fully paid up insurance against loss or damage to your vehicle during transport. Second, I suggest that you contact your insurance carrier here in the US and discuss the shipment of the vehicle and find out if your policy here covers any loss or damage in transit. If not, I suggest you inquire as to the cost of such coverage and from whom that coverage is available. I would not release the vehicle or documents to anyone until you have bound coverage on the vehicle by a reputable insurance carrier you can reasonably expect to pay the claim for any damage or theft during transport. I would also personally call the US Customs office where the vehicle is to be shipped from and speak directly with the agent in charge and determine if he will accept the copies of the documents mentioned above AND if you can deliver those to him directly without the transporter ever having possession of those documents- you can express your concern about theft because the overseas shipment of stolen vehicle is such a huge multi-billion dollar industry now. I hope that helps.
Thank you for allowing me to assist with your new questions.
Greetings - I will be happy to help you- If you wouldn't mind opening a new question since this question has been closed out by the system.
You can ask specifically for me (just type "For Kenneth Only") and I will do my best to respond quickly since I am familiar with your situation with this shipper and the title issues you have been dealing with. Thank you very much.