Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Proud New Owner of an Old POS

Or, How I Learned To Stop Freaking Out and Transfer My Car Title

Now that I am all grown up or whatever, I have embarked upon the rather complex task of unburdening my parents with taking care of stuff for me. Some things it's smarter to keep with them (e.g. family plan cell phone) and then pay back, but I want to assume the responsibility for these things, and also not burden them by being an adult child.

If I get car insurance on my own, I will pay more upfront. That will decrease over time, but also, their rates for the other cars should improve. No sketchy 22-year-olds driving little red cars any more! Mostly, though, it seemed unfair and not very legit to have them continue to may hundreds of dollars for my car insurance every year. The trick with car insurance, though - and not everyone seems to be sticklers on this point - is that the insurance should be by the person who owns the title. Thus, I have been struggling through the daunting task of taking ownership of the car.

After months of reading about it and having a plan, below are the items I needed, in the rough order I got them. The whole thing was held up the most by the Waiver, because City Hall has stupid hours, and it's too far away (and I was expecting too long of a wait) to go during lunch, etc. When I had a moment of time off work, I siezed the freakin' day and got it, and set everything else in motion. (I had already done the inspections by that time.)


--Driver's License
Oh, maybe it's obvious, know-it-all, but this was an actual step in the process for me. Since I had just moved, I had to go get a new one with the new address. I'm not sure that the old one would NOT have worked, just that everything runs more smoothly (and won't it be easier to vote?...I hope) with my current address on my legal docs. This was my first step in the ordeal, with its own trip to the DMV and its own list of documentation needed. Cost: $10-20.
--State Inspection and Emissions test (Less than 60 days old)
They've changed the Emissions test as of this fall, for those of you keeping track at home. Now you don't have to drive to the special facilities - it gets done at approved repair shops, just like the inspection. It was pretty easy to get this done at the nearby Firestone (my chain place of choice. Their oil changes are cheap, their tires are good, and they don't charge me extra for having a foreign car. (Thanks, but No Thanks, Valvoline with your $65 oil changes for VWs.) Cost: $50-60, for both.
--Statement of Non-Assessment, a.k.a. WAIVER.
If you already own a car or property, you bring your proof that you paid property taxes on those. If it's your first car and you don't have a house, you need a waiver saying that you didn't owe them any cash. You have to look up your "assessor" here. If you live in the City of St. Louis, that means you need to truck your butt down to 1200 Market Street (Office 115/Personal Property, go to the WAIVERS desk) on the one day you get the afternoon off because you are sick with the following:
--the signed-over title, see below.
--driver's license, see above.
--(knowledge of) your social security number
They will print you up a snazzy form and you will sign. Cost: $1 for parking, gas to downtown, possible missed work because of the crazy City Hall hours.
Note: At least in MO, property tax hits you for what you owned by January 1 of the year. This way, my parents have paid for this year, and I'll be taking it on myself for 2008.

--The original title, signed over to me.
This is kind of a tricky looking document, I suppose, so they have very helpfully dissected it for you. If the title is in two names - oh, say, your parents, just to give a random example - you have to have both of them sign. Which means when you need the signed title, you should drive to both of their places of employment in the same day to get signatures. Cost: 50 miles worth of gas.

--Proof of Insurance.
My faxed copy of my temporary card would have been okay, except it noted that it was valid for 60 days after the date shown - rather than stating the end date. THIS WAS NOT OKAY. If I had known when exactly all this was going down, I would have gotten the insurance far enough in advance to get the new card. Lucky for me, my insurance agent is, well, more useful than anyone I have ever known. I called him while standing at the desk (and he told me all sorts of nice things about how they shouldn't have made me get anything else, etc), and while we were still going through the forms, his fax came through with even more information. My love for him will be a post of its own soon. Cost: $700, plus $2 fax-at-DMV fee, minus the cost of an additional trip to the DMV.

--General Affidavit - for Gifting
It's Form 768, and it's pretty self explanatory. You don't need it notarized for this. Cost: Negligible.

Take all this crap and truck it down to the DMV. I should note here that unless I accidentally turned right on Kingshighway into an alternate universe, 10:15 AM on December 5th is a distressingly good time to go to the DMV. When I got my new license, there was a 30-45 minute wait, and this time? Negative 30 seconds. She called me up to her window before I could even put my car keys away. She hassled me a little, and I was pretty nervous, but we got the shit done in one trip (I LOVE YOU, ALLSTATE). I didn't have to the temporary tags, etc, like when you buy the car from the dealer, because everything happened right there. I got my new plates & stickers, and they will mail my new title. Cost: $35. I didn't pay any Sales Tax because we did this as a gift.

The Resources I Used For Initial Information:
There is no "DMV" in Missouri, technically. All that crap is run by the Department of Revenue now.
Their website is pretty swanky in many ways, but led me astray, too.

So, without further ado...


That's right, I filled out all these damn things (and actually, you have to get the Title Application snail-mailed), and she didn't even need them. Maybe you will need them (Bill of Sale/Notice of Sale) if you are buying the car rather than receiving it as a gift.

Notice of Sale / Transfer: Form 5049

Bill of Sale: Form 1957

Application for Missouri Title and License: Form 108 She kind of sneared at me that this was "a dealer form." OKAY, WELL YOUR WEBSITE WAS AMBIGIOUS, LADY.

That's it. Good luck. Call them if you have questions!


Anonymous said...

yay! thanks for the help- i will be going through this mess once andy and i are married (then we get to change it from my parents to me (with a different last name) and andy. woot.
Also, this should fall under the "duh" category, but make sure your stupid car dealership puts your full names (i.e. Angela not Angie) on the title. grrrr. :)

sort-of grown-up said...

Now that we have gone through this with the other car, I should add that it costs twice as much if you want to get a two-year registration - so bring even more cash.

Paula said...

Good words.