Pink Slip - Vehicle Type that is.

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Jul 4, 2005
Hi All.

Despite having joined in July last year, this is my first post on the forum. 

I've been following the trials and tribulations of my compatriot Paul (UK-RV) since we communicated prior to him starting out. 

As a result of some of his experiences and my recce to Lazydays last year I'm now rethinking what my plan will be when the time comes.

When I first started this research I was torn between a small Class A and Class c vehicle. Eventually, and after visiting Lazydays, I had narrowed my choice of an RV down to a National RV - Dolphin 34" to be sourced from Lazydays.

After reading Paul's continuing experiences, coupled with my increasing misanthropy  ;D(Is that something to do with prior jobs, copper and para-legal, or merely a function of ageing?  :-\).... I'm returning to Plan A which was to purchase a 23' Lazydaze.

The only draw back to this plan is the lead-in time from order to pickup of a new Lazydaze. A way around this would be to buy 2nd hand (Sorry Pre-Owned  :) ).

Whilst I'm familiar with the steps I would take here in the UK to protect myself, so far, I haven't found any reasonale references for what I should do in the USA. eg to check  whether
  • there is any outstanding finance
  • the vehicle has been involved in an accident and has been "Written-Off"

etc, etc..

and .... what is, and what details are on, a Pink Slip?



Hi Cam,

The transfer of title is done here through the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), operated independently by each state. You can visit any state web site and click on the relevant link to their DMV site. The DMV will not transfer title (pink slip) to you if there's an outsanding lien (e.g. loan) on the vehicle.

If you buy from a dealer, new or used, they'll usually handle all the DMV paperwork for you. If you buy from a private party, I'd suggest you visit the DMV with them and only hand over your cheque (check) when you're happy there are no liens outstanding. Some folks might think this is overkill, but don't hand over your money until you know the title is clean (this only applies to used vehicles bought from a private party).

Here, for example, is the California DMV web site:  and you'll see the 'Title and registration' links on the left of that page. Title here is the equivalent of what used to be the log book in the UK. Registration is the equivalent of UK car tax. 'Tags' are the equivalent of the UK disk in the window, but the tags are stuck on the licence plate.

Here's a reference to pink slips, but I can't vouch for the accuracy. Maybe someone from California can jump in.

In most states, a pink slip, or Certificate of Title, will contain the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), Year, Make, Model, short description (2-door, 4-door, motorhome, etc.) and Title number. It is issued by the state in which you register it (get license plates for it), and may contain more information, or not all of the information above.

Usually the reverse side will have spaces printed where you, the owner, can fill in the necessary information if you are selling it such as Seller and Buyer names, odometer reading at time of sale, whether it was flood damaged, manufacturer buy back, previous police vehicle, previous taxicab,  or salvage vehicle. This is from a Wisconsin Title; other states may vary.   
Karl said:
If "dmv" doesn't work, try "dot", Department of Transportation.

Arnold couldn't spell DOT, so CA uses DMV.
LOL Karl, only if we change the constitution. OTOH he could be first lady gentleman  ;D
I was trying to think of an amusing repost concerning ...

spelling, presidents and pototo(E)s.. but couldn't... so gave up. :)
Cam said:
presidents and pototo(E)s..

You say pototoes and we say potatoes. Of course, down the Gower Peninsula they're called spuds.
Thanks for the all the replies.

Following some links through the South Dakota DMV (where I will probably register), I found a good source for pre-purchase checks here

Any anecdotal warning/advice would also be welcome.



Tom....We call 'em spuds 'ere in Briftol as well.

I've never used CarFax, but maybe someone else can add some words of wisdom.

We have some checklists you might find useful when you're ready to buy that dream motorhome. Click the Library button above and select Checklists.

We call 'em spuds 'ere in Briftol as well.

Might be because you're just a hop, skip and a jump from the other side of the Severn Bridge. I'll bet you even call it "fish and chips from the chippie" there too  ???

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