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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys:
I'm in Michigan.

My son has found a car in PA ('95 BMW 318ti to replace a ti he drove for 4 years and got totaled) and we're probably going to do a little road trip down there this coming Sunday. He paypalled the deposit and we're gonna bring cash for the balance. I wanted to do a reality check on title transfers in PA.

In Michigan, we *used to* have to have the seller's signature notarized or go to the Sec of State to sell a car. Now, the seller can simply sign the title and hand it over. It appears that in PA, you need the seller's sig notarized. I used to get my sig "pre notarized" when selling a car, and filling in the info when the buyer came with the $$$...do folks in PA do this?

Also, in Michigan, we have to enter the selling price, the miles on the car, and if there is a secured party listing (bank or car loan company) they either need to sign off directly on the title or supply a supplemental piece of paper from the loan organization that shows any liens as being done. I'm assuming this same stuff will happen on the PA title?

My concern is that we need to do the deal on a Sunday in PA, so if there is any legal mumbo jumbo that needs to be done involving Sec of State or loan institutions, we're screwed.

I also found a pdf from PA that says you can't drive a car without a PA plate, but in MI, we can just slap on the old plate and use it so long as we have the title/bill of sale, valid insurance on the vehicle purchased (done).

Thanks for any help....and either reply or PM me ASAP if you sense any problems...I don't want to have an interstate paper BS problem...

Subaru content: we are taking my '09 Foz down there, so I'll have an 800 mile day on Sunday and am looking forward to the road trip.

George
 

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2009 Forester X 4 A/T
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Sorry to say, but in PA you cannot transfer a title or sell an item with a title on Sunday- vehicles, boats, homes etc. (Gotta love a "blue law state")

You need to complete the transaction at a notary that handles automotive titles and registrations. Used car dealers and AAA are good inexpensive sources. To transport the car you will be issued a paper "temporary transit plate". There are also "TAG stores" in some areas. None are open for transfers on Sunday.

Be prepared for another lovely PA hoop to jump through- the PADMV establishes a "retail" value for all used vehicles which tends to be WAY higher than NADA or Blue Book. If the selling price is more than 15% (I think) lower than that value, the seller needs to sign a paper saying why they are selling you the car for $XXX. I just wen through this with an '03 Buick- sold it for $5200 but the State of PA said it is worth $8650 (wow -if only ANYBODY could get that!) so I had to fill out the below market value form.

I'm not totally sure how the out-of-state sales tax goes. Used to be you paid whatever was higher- example our is 6% (7% for Philadelphia & Pittsburgh residents) if someone from a state with 4% bought a car in PA to take home-they paid OUR 6% tax. Not sure what happens if both are 6%.

NOTHING is simple in PA.
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sorry to say, but in PA you cannot transfer a title or sell an item with a title on Sunday- vehicles, boats, homes etc. (Gotta love a "blue law state")

You need to complete the transaction at a notary that handles automotive titles and registrations. Used car dealers and AAA are good inexpensive sources. To transport the car you will be issued a paper "temporary transit plate". There are also "TAG stores" in some areas. None are open for transfers on Sunday.

Be prepared for another lovely PA hoop to jump through- the PADMV establishes a "retail" value for all used vehicles which tends to be WAY higher than NADA or Blue Book. If the selling price is more than 15% (I think) lower than that value, the seller needs to sign a paper saying why they are selling you the car for $XXX. I just wen through this with an '03 Buick- sold it for $5200 but the State of PA said it is worth $8650 (wow -if only ANYBODY could get that!) so I had to fill out the below market value form.

I'm not totally sure how the out-of-state sales tax goes. Used to be you paid whatever was higher- example our is 6% (7% for Philadelphia & Pittsburgh residents) if someone from a state with 4% bought a car in PA to take home-they paid OUR 6% tax. Not sure what happens if both are 6%.

NOTHING is simple in PA.
Whoa...thanks a LOT for the quick info. Sales tax is payable in the state where the car is going, just like you are supposed to pay sales tax on mail ordered items to your home state. And there is no state tax on the mail ordered items where they are sold. The tax is typically payable when you re-title the car, which my son will do in Michigan.

In terms of evaluating cars for sales tax purposes, Michigan does have some sort of control they check on purchases but this is a '95 318ti for which we are probably overpaying for on a pure book basis (but it has an extra set of M3 wheels, new Bilstein suspension, an unobtainable factory posi--it's a rare Club Sport model).

I will get my son the info and he will have to work it out with the seller before we drive. Of particular concern is the "no deals on Sunday" kind of stuff...but again I wonder if we just have a signed, notarized title with seller/buyer info on it, why we would need to file anything in PA.

If he's stopped and the cops check the VIN, there's a problem, but if they run the Mich plate thru their computer, it will be the correct plate for a BMW 318ti...so I'm wondering if we can just sneak out of PA nice and quiet-like and play dumb if we ever are stopped.

Thanks,
George
 

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Your best bet is to bring a valid plate from another car with you, get the PA title signed-over and notarized, drive it back on your plate (and hope you dont get stopped along the way) and title it in your home state. Dont worry too much about PA titling laws - you aren't registering it here.
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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Discussion Starter #5
Your best bet is to bring a valid plate from another car with you, get the PA title signed-over and notarized, drive it back on your plate (and hope you dont get stopped along the way) and title it in your home state. Dont worry too much about PA titling laws - you aren't registering it here.
Thanks, Bravo. I was hoping that we could slide by using this approach which seemed to me to be reasonable. If we were doing the deal within Michigan, this is exactly what I'd do.

My son's plate is from his deceased 1997 BMW 318ti, not expired, the new car is a 1995 BMW 318ti, and the plate will end up on this car.

Thanks very much,
George
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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In-state transfers require notarization. I doubt it will matter on a state-to-state transfer. A notary won't do the title anyway without the buyer being present, as far as I know.

So it's really about what Michigan needs when you get back there. You need to check with MI DMV moreso than the PA laws. I can bring any out of state title into PA and just have it transferred with no notarized seller signature!

Put a plate on the car that is one registered to you. Carry any internet correspondence showing your purchase of the car and of course you'll have the title signed off by the owner. Should you be stopped, it may not be perfect, but it should let you go without a big hassle. Just don't get stopped in PA with the 'open' title. THAT they may confiscate.

PA only uses radar via State Police. Provided you stay 10 over the limit or less on the highways they will leave you alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In-state transfers require notarization. I doubt it will matter on a state-to-state transfer. A notary won't do the title anyway without the buyer being present, as far as I know.

So it's really about what Michigan needs when you get back there. You need to check with MI DMV moreso than the PA laws. I can bring any out of state title into PA and just have it transferred with no notarized seller signature!

Put a plate on the car that is one registered to you. Carry any internet correspondence showing your purchase of the car and of course you'll have the title signed off by the owner. Should you be stopped, it may not be perfect, but it should let you go without a big hassle. Just don't get stopped in PA with the 'open' title. THAT they may confiscate.

PA only uses radar via State Police. Provided you stay 10 over the limit or less on the highways they will leave you alone.
Thanks so much, ddavid! Michigan did the transfer quite easily for me when I got my son his former ti from North Carolina, and that had some dirty stuff on the paperwork like a repo, etc... I'm guessing they will let in a car fairly easily, and we have no inspection laws or anything else so once we get the car and title here, I think we're good.

As I recall, you're into BMW hobby cars as well, so you might be one of the few folks who know what a 318ti Club Sport is.

I love these old Bimmers, and my son is a bicycle racer, so the ti's hatch is an absolute necessity.

George
 

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The 318ti was an epic fail for BMW in the states. Too bad, as it was a pretty useful car, much better than the hatchback Benz they had out about the same time.

There's one abandoned at one of my local body shops. I don't think they are able to get the title to it because there's an outstanding loan. It's been parked there for at least 2-3 years now. :icon_frown:
 
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