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If this were in Texas, I would tell you to walk away from the deal....since he doesn't have the title, and thus proof of his legal ownership of the vehicle, you are assuming the risk that he is selling something that doesn't legally belong to him. Don't know about Missouri laws, but I'm betting they're the same.
Call your local dealer or the DMV to see how you can find out who has the title
You can always get the vin from him and run it by a local law enforcement agency.
I've run a vin and bought with just a bill of sale here in Texas and had no problems. If I wanted, I could apply for a bonded title. Kind of a hassle and was told by a dmv person it would be about 300 dollars. Since this was a 90cc quad that I paid 200 for, I passed on that.
Becoming an adult has to be the dumbest thing I've ever done.
Running the VIN through law enforcement is a good idea to keep from buying something that has already been reported stolen, but it does nothing to assure you are protected from buying the quad from someone who doesn't legally own it and can't transfer title...which could (and has in some cases) mean it was stolen from someone who doesn't know it is stolen yet
Applying for a title is a troublesome process, and yes, many times not worth the fee the DMV will pop you for doing it...even then, it doesn't guarantee you'll get a title.
Remember that you aren't purchasing/trading for something that is all that rare or exclusive...
"shake his hand and call it a deal" wow....really? Why even bother getting a title then?
Tactical, I appreciate your belief that people should to do the right thing and live up to their legal obligations...I share that same belief...but unfortunately the truth is that there are a hell of a lot of our citizens that don't do the right thing.
About every two months I represent clients who have been ripped off by people they thought they could trust, and their cases are very similiar to the situation Ty would be in if he didn't get a title.
If the bike turned out to be stolen, and Ty was in possession of it when it was found by law enforcement, guess who gets arrested for theft of a vehicle (which, in many cases, is a felony) It would be up to Ty to prove he didn't steal the vehicle, and I doubt the guy who sold it to him with a handshake as a transfer of ownership is gonna be a stand up guy and admit he stole the ATV instead of Ty.
Shake hands when you're through with a good ride with your buds...but don't dare settle for anything short of legal proof that you own the vehicle you've bought.
I have an 06 TRX 90 that I bought brand new and never received a title for it. Now I have received titles for an 09 Recon and an 07 Rubicon....but not the 90.
I live in MS so....
On another note, my wife bought an 04 Yamaha Bruin 350 back in 05 for 1000 bucks from a friend of her oldest son. The guy needed money and he did give us a bill of sale with the VIN number on it and we have that filed away.
in Ohio my brother in law bought a warrior with a bill of sale he had to take the quad to the BMV they did a pencil etch of the vin for their records they ran it for stolen and he got his title the same day