Here’s a common scenario that I deal with on a regular basis: You buy a boat, motor and trailer from an individual seller. The seller has all of the paperwork on the boat and motor, but he doesn’t have the title for the trailer. The sale is taking place in Louisiana.
Warning! In Louisiana, you have to have a title for the trailer. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (DWF) will register the boat for you, but for the trailer you have to deal with the nice (not!) folks at the LA Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). When you try to get a new license plate for the trailer, so you can drive your boat to the water, you are in for a shock if you don’t get the title. Simply put, you’re sol without the trailer title.
Louisiana is a trailer title state. While some states don’t require a title for the trailer, ours does. It’s possible that you can deal with the state police and show them that it’s a homemade trailer. It’s also possible that you can show them a manufacturer’s certificate of origin. It’s certainly possible to fix the situation, but it can be an absolute nightmare!
Here is my best advice: If you really want to buy the package from the seller, and he does not have a title for the trailer, both of you need to go to the DWF. Explain the situation and see what they have to say. You may end up going to the state police as well. The point is, don’t give the seller a penny until you personally know for a fact that the title issue can be overcome!
I used to advise people on how to handle this myself, but the rules are just too much of a mess for me. You will never resolve a missing boat title issue until you deal with the DWF and OMV yourself. Remember, buyer beware! Trust me, you don’t want to end up with a trailer that you can’t get a plate for.
If you are buying a boat/motor/trailer package from an individual in the Baton Rouge area, and you need a notary that will travel to you 24/7, give me a call at 225-907-5280. If you have a valid title, I can take care of the rest.
Thank you for reading!