Should You Purchase A Handcrafted Automobile Without A Title?

Lets face it. We have all browsed classified ads and see handcrafted automobiles for sale without the proper paper work. Maybe it was never titled and has the MSO (Manufactures Certificate of Origin) maybe it got lost over the years, or maybe it was never titled at all.

I get several emails a month from people asking how they can get a title or MSO for a car that We produced. As most readers know we have nothing to do with the former kit car companies we post about. So we are of little help getting that info for you.

Should You Purchase A Handcrafted Automobile Without A Title?

In a perfect world I would answer this question with a big fat NO and move on. But unfortunately its not that easy. Im kind of glad it is not because I would have a warehouse full of these . I hope this post will help people out there who are considering buying the kit car, or other handcrafted car of their dreams that does not have the proper paperwork.

Here are a few QA that may be able to help.

Q. I found the perfect kit car but the seller claims he lost the title.

A. Well first thing that comes to mind is if the seller had it they should be able to get a duplicate. It is not that difficult to go to your local motor vehicle office and get a duplicate title. If the seller says he/she purchased it and it had an “Open” title that was lost just walk away from it.

This means the seller purchased it from another seller and the title was in the previous owners name. Unless there is still direct communication with the former owner you are just asking for headaches.

Should You Purchase A Handcrafted Automobile Without A Title?

Q. I want to buy and old Classic Motor Carriages Kit Car that has never been built. The seller has all the parts and the MSO (Manufactures Certificate of Origin). Should I buy it?

A. Best bet is always to check the state you live in to see how you go about getting a VIN and title assigned to you after the car is built.

Sterling Kit Car Project in Texas

Q. I bought an an old, unfinished kit car and I need the MSO (Manufactures Certificate of Origin). Can you provide that to me?

A. NO! We are not affiliated with any of the kit car companies from the past. Your best bet is to contact your local Motor Vehicle Department and see what the laws are in your state. In some cases a simple list of every part that it took to build the car is enough. In others you will never be able to get it done. I personally conciser kit cars like this a parts cars. Usually its to much of a headache to get it done.

Q. I found a kit car body I would like to buy but the seller does not have the title. What should I do?

A. You do not need a title for a kit car body. It is just that, a body. A bill of sale to prove ownership was transferred to you for your own records would be more than enough.


These are just a few things that come to mind. If after reading this you still have to have this car without a title, AT LEAST get the VIN that is on the car and have it checked out to make sure it is not stolen. Most police offices or Motor Vehicle Departments should be able to do this with little hassle.

And if all else fails I may buy your must have kit car that still does not have a title for pennies on the dollar. As I said above I consider it a parts car that I might use on a future project.