Car Title Stolen?

My boyfriend lost his car title a few months ago. Instead of listening to his good woman’s advice, he waited until he only had three weeks before his tags expired to look into replacing the title.

When we did the lost title search the clerk told us there was no record of registration because the car was registered in Hamblen County (TN). I called there, and that clerk told me that the car was no longer registered there! That it had been registered in Lewis county last November. We know not a soul in Lewis county, never even been through the area, and we certainly have the car.

When I asked who it was registered to, the clerk said she couldn’t reveal the name by law. I explained the situation and she told me all she knew to do was call the police.

Called the local police Friday (I have NEVER been treated so poorly over the phone, by the way). The officer/clerk/obnoxious person said there wasn’t a thing I could do about it and was I sure he didn’t register it there because it sounds awfully suspicious.

We have had this car for over three years. It was stolen two years ago for a few months but found a few weeks later. A few months ago someone broke into it and we filed a police report with the registration…they didn’t say a thing about it being in someone else’s name.

What in the world could be going on? If someone DID use the title and change it to their name, WHY? What good is a title without the car? And what can we do about it since the police act like I am a criminal for simply inquiring?

Yes that made lots of sense! It was stolen a few years ago but found a few weeks later.

Now I’m starting to sound suspicious to myself!

Legally, the person on the title owns the car. That person could report the car as stolen or hire someone to find it and take it. They then sell the car and take the money.

You should be able to prove your case by coming up with the bill of sale.

He bought the car from another person, not a lot, and I’m betting he never got a receipt. The car is probably only worth about three hundred dollars. I’m not sure of the make/model, but it’s from the early eighties and has more rust than paint.
According to the police it’s never been reported stolen.

I can understand it being done to a newer, nicer car, but this thing is one step away from the junkyard.

But it’s OURS, doggonit!

My wild guess is that some scoundrel has used your title to register a stolen car, and he’s driving around with “your” plates on it. One of the problems of a car thief is that you have to find a way to register it without tipping off the police through the BMV computer.

Did you search by the license plate # or the VIN#? VIN#s are on several places on the car, after I think, 1986, one every part.
If you did search by VIN#, did you have the clerk varify the plate #. If you did that, check the VIN# in another place on the car. Its on the door, the dash on the driver’s side, through the window, and on Am. cars, on the bottom side of the engine block. The dash and door #s could be removed or changed, but the block # is stamped into the metal. Otherwise check with a dealer, to find any other spot, compare three, if any are different, the car was probably chopped before you bought it.
Good Luck.

The state of TN is pretty piss-poor when it comes to maintaining proper records. For years I would never get a renewal notice for my tags until after I sold my car. If you’ve got your registration slip from the last time you renewed your tags, you should be able to get the tags renewed without having the title. (I’ve been able to do it in the past.)

My advice is to find a cop hanging out at a Stop-N-Rob, explain the situation to him/her and see what they tell you. Generally they’re in a better mood than the cops who have to answer the phone all day long.

This may sound silly, but are you sure you gave them the VIN no correctly? If this car is as junky as you make it sound, if you wrote the VIN no off of the sticker on the door, it could be incorrect because the car has had the door replaced off of another car. Of course, you could have just written it down wrong too.

I used the VIN number on his registration renewal paper from last year. We checked with the VIN on the car today and it matches, thanks picunurse, we’ll compare the different areas in the morning.

Tuckerfan, we tried to renew with just the registration paper; that’s where we found the trouble.

Really? I’ve done it for years with no problems. So I wonder who’s following the law: the folks in Memphis or the folks around here?

Maybe because his car wasn’t in the system here in his name anymore?

How does one lose a title?

Car Title Gnomes. How else?


I think he must have lost it by carrying it around in his pocket instead of putting it in a safe place. He carries everything in those pockets!

Or yes, it could have been the gnomes. Around here they wear cat’s clothing.