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Buying an RV from a dealer means no hassle and all the paperwork is in order, but you have to pay some additional fees. Older motorhomes are a good option if you want to save some money, but there might be some paperwork missing, given you have bought from a private seller. What should you do if it does not have a title? How to get a title for a camper without title?

An old RV may not have the paperwork for various reasons. The documents could be lost during a move or the seller had never bothered to register for a title. Shall you purchase a camper like that? With no title, a cop can pull you over and slap a fine, or even worse, confiscate the camper’s ownership.

Is Buying an RV without Title a Good Idea?

register a camper with no title
Buying an RV without Title

There are legal processes to register a camper with no title. But it might not be possible in every state.

Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state for requesting a transfer of title. This is how to get a title for a camper without title. The officials there will ask you to make an Affidavit of Title and a few other things, certifying that you are the legal owner. You may have to hire a lawyer for handling these documents, which is expensive.

The tax office in your state can find the whose name the vehicle is registered to by searching the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You won’t get that facility in every state. If the camper hasn’t been titled at all, you will need a Bill of Sale and a Certificate of Origin (C.O.) or Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO), but getting these papers done is quite a hassle.

how to get a title for a camper
Try to register it as a home-built trailer.

Some states provide registration for home-built trailers. If you suspect the trailer to have a shady past or it has never had a title for some reason, try to register it as a home-built camper, given the camper is old and your state allows this. Some states don’t even require a title for an RV if it falls in a specific weight category.

The best option is to talk to your state’s DMV and tax office and follow their advice and guidelines.

How to get a title for a camper in an easy way? What if the vehicle was stolen? Let’s move into the next section to get these answers.


How to Get a Title for a Camper without Title

Getting title for a camper that has never been titled shouldn’t need to be complicated if it’s not stolen and there’s no lien against it. The process is just like obtaining a title for a new camper.

If you have all the documents ready, your state’s DMV will issue the title within a short time.

So, how to get a title for a camper without title? Well, there are two ways: sending the required documents and fees to your state’s DMV by mail or visiting the DMV office and handing them the fees and paperwork in person.

For contacting via mail, you will need to hand over an extra document, a copy of your driver’s license. Remember that not all states provide this convenience and it may take a longer period, 6 to 8 weeks, than the physical visit and submitting the documents to get the title.

how to get a title for a camper without title
Keep all paperwork ready.

The list of the documents that you will need to get the title are:

The documents you will need are the following.

  • Title application
  • Bill of Sale
  • Proof of no-lien status of the camper
  • DOT or Certificate of inspection
  • Your driver’s license (if required)

You should always check the DMV’s website because the requirements may vary a little depending on the state. Never forget to register the camper within 30 days of receiving the title. If the police pull you over during this period, show your Bill of Sale as a substitute to the title.

Are There Any Legal Repercussions?

Only when you attempt to file for a title for a stolen vehicle. You might be unaware of it but that won’t stop the cops to knock at your door, seize the camper, and in the worst case, arrest you on suspicion of theft.

Even if you are a victim of a scam, there won’t be any financial compensation for you. Rather, you may have to pay fines or serve prison time for possessing stolen property.

In the case of a lost title, the DMVs in most states are likely to have an e-copy in their database. You can get a copy for a fee. As a buyer, if you need to verify a title, contact the DMV of the state from where the seller had bought it.

For these reasons, it’s safer and hassle-free to receive all the paperwork including the title from the seller. Also, you should verify the authenticity of these documents to avoid any legal trouble.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Title?

You’ve learned how to get a title for a camper without title and the possible legal consequences of buying a vehicle without a title.

buying an rv without title
Avoid buying a camper without a title.

What if you don’t apply for the title at all? It’s not rare to come across dirt-cheap, good-conditioned RVs without a title. They seem like good deals if you want to save a lump sum of money. Should you get involved in such a dealing?


A title is the ownership-proving legal document of a property such as a car or a house. You need it for registering a license plate for the camper and the insurance company will ask for it, as well. If you get caught to the law enforcement authority while driving an unregistered camper, you will face legal consequences and its ownership will be reverted to the previous owner.

About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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