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My daughter and I recently went to the tax office to renew the registration on her car (registered in mine and my soon to be ex husbands names) the car is awarded to her pending the final decree. BUT the tax office informed us that their documentation shows my husband sold the car $2500. They couldn't give us any other information, but instead a number at the DMV to call.....that number just gives me the go around. So now my daughter can't get the registration renewed or even drive it... NOTHING, it sits in her garage. My A** of an attorney is no help, I have no clue what to do to help my daughter, she needs her car to get to work. Any help, leads, ideas???? Please and thanks in advance!! Oh and FYI, my husband and I gave this car to my daughter over 5 years ago and she has the unsigned title to her car.
This is in Texas.

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Take a deep breath.

Now go to the DMV.  "I would like to renew the registration for this car."

Leave out all this informat... (more)

dcwilbur (May. 23, 2017 @ 8:29a) |

Your divorce attorney should be the one to handle this if you are correct that the disposition of the car is part of the... (more)

galawdawg (May. 23, 2017 @ 10:37a) |

Never seen a lawyer yet unwilling to take a matter before a judge.  Unless they are pro bono maybe.  The question is whi... (more)

RedWolfe01 (May. 23, 2017 @ 1:09p) |

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What state?

Seems like something you need to straighten out with the DMV directly. But maybe someone can add advice.

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Talk to your divorce lawyer. He's probably seen this shady stuff before.

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We're in Texas
 

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Did the tax office say WHEN the car was supposedly sold by your husband?

If it is recent then your husband is pulling something.

If the sale was longer ago maybe it is just the transfer to your daughter and you have a tax bill due. If a car is transfered then they will expect sales taxes unless it is gifted. Some states may want proof a transfer is a gift because too many people try to claim $0 changed hands to avoid the sales tax bill.

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Did your husband "sell" the car to your daughter, to remove himself from the equation?  You say you gave it to her 5 years ago, and she has the title - who's name is it titled under?  It kind of sounds like she just needs a new registration in her own name, rather than renewing the registration in your name.

What do you mean the number to the DMV "just gives you the go around"?  Do you talk to someone who refuses to help?  Or do you give up before reaching a person?  Why not go to the DMV office?

There's also the chance you are the victim of a scam, where the VIN was cloned and sold multiple times (I forget the exact mechanics behind it).

Perhaps your daughter should ask her dad what's going on?  You have to admit it would be rather odd for dad to sell the car and process the sale, without having the title, let alone having the car to deliver to the buyer.

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Seems to me the route to take is to talk to your husband directly or via attorney

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red72814 said:   ... and FYI, my husband and I gave this car to my daughter over 5 years ago and she has the unsigned title to her car.
This is in Texas.


What does that mean that she has the 'unsigned' title?

Was the transfer to her ever recorded?

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My husband and I are going through a nasty divorce. He does not even talk to our adult children. Both children have been awarded cars that we gave them and they have possession of. My husband signed an Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Gift Transfer form for our sons car but he won't sign one for our daughter. They both have the titles to their cars, although our daughters is not signed obviously. my attorney keeps asking for the affidavit but he keeps giving excuses. Our daughters car is still in both mine and my husbands names so I went to the tax office to just renew the registration so our daughter can drive her car and they informed me that their records show my husband sold the car. That is all the info they could give me and told me to call the DMV. The DMV said there is nothing they could do until the divorce is final. Meanwhile my daughter can't drive her car without the registration being renewed or registered in her name so she is struggling to find ways to get to and from work. and NO my husband did not sell the car or transfer it to her name. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this issue. He is just one of the most controlling narcissistic human beings on this planet and wants nothing more than to terrorize me and our kids. Hence the reason we are divorcing. 

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red72814 said:   My husband and I are going through a nasty divorce. He does not even talk to our adult children. Both children have been awarded cars that we gave them and they have possession of. My husband signed an Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Gift Transfer form for our sons car but he won't sign one for our daughter. They both have the titles to their cars, although our daughters is not signed obviously. my attorney keeps asking for the affidavit but he keeps giving excuses. Our daughters car is still in both mine and my husbands names so I went to the tax office to just renew the registration so our daughter can drive her car and they informed me that their records show my husband sold the car. That is all the info they could give me and told me to call the DMV. The DMV said there is nothing they could do until the divorce is final. Meanwhile my daughter can't drive her car without the registration being renewed or registered in her name so she is struggling to find ways to get to and from work. and NO my husband did not sell the car or transfer it to her name. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this issue. He is just one of the most controlling narcissistic human beings on this planet and wants nothing more than to terrorize me and our kids. Hence the reason we are divorcing. 
  
I have no idea what the process is for this in Texas or if this is even the best advice, so I recommend looking into it hard before going through with it:
http://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buying-or-selling-a-vehicle/bough...

If your attorney can't figure it out and can't point you in the direction of someone that can help, it is unlikely anyone on this board can help you either (my advice is worth exactly what you paid for it). And if someone on this board figures this out better than your attorney, you should hire a new attorney. Most likely, your husband really did just make things extremely difficult for your daughter. If the DMV won't let her register the car, there isn't much that can be done without a court order. Ask your attorney if there can be a hearing about the ownership of the vehicle prior to the divorce being settled.

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red72814 said:   We're in Texas
  there's your problem right therre

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So Basically,
Court awards Daughter car in messy divorce, and husband sells it before she can put it in her name.


Did he have the physical car or she does?

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red72814 said:   My husband and I are going through a nasty divorce. He does not even talk to our adult children. Both children have been awarded cars that we gave them and they have possession of. My husband signed an Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Gift Transfer form for our sons car but he won't sign one for our daughter. They both have the titles to their cars, although our daughters is not signed obviously. my attorney keeps asking for the affidavit but he keeps giving excuses. Our daughters car is still in both mine and my husbands names so I went to the tax office to just renew the registration so our daughter can drive her car and they informed me that their records show my husband sold the car. That is all the info they could give me and told me to call the DMV. The DMV said there is nothing they could do until the divorce is final. Meanwhile my daughter can't drive her car without the registration being renewed or registered in her name so she is struggling to find ways to get to and from work. and NO my husband did not sell the car or transfer it to her name. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this issue. He is just one of the most controlling narcissistic human beings on this planet and wants nothing more than to terrorize me and our kids. Hence the reason we are divorcing. 
  

Your husband won't sign a gift affidavit and makes excuses.    The tax office says he sold it.    

Seems to add up that your husband is doing something...

But the car is in your name too and I don't see how he can sell a car thats in your name without your permission.

It doesn't make sense to me that the DMV would say they have to wait until after the divorce.

 

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red72814 said:   My husband and I are going through a nasty divorce. He does not even talk to our adult children. Both children have been awarded cars that we gave them and they have possession of. My husband signed an Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Gift Transfer form for our sons car but he won't sign one for our daughter. They both have the titles to their cars, although our daughters is not signed obviously. my attorney keeps asking for the affidavit but he keeps giving excuses. Our daughters car is still in both mine and my husbands names so I went to the tax office to just renew the registration so our daughter can drive her car and they informed me that their records show my husband sold the car. That is all the info they could give me and told me to call the DMV. The DMV said there is nothing they could do until the divorce is final. Meanwhile my daughter can't drive her car without the registration being renewed or registered in her name so she is struggling to find ways to get to and from work. and NO my husband did not sell the car or transfer it to her name. Otherwise we wouldn't be having this issue. He is just one of the most controlling narcissistic human beings on this planet and wants nothing more than to terrorize me and our kids. Hence the reason we are divorcing. 
  So he sold the car, but he didn't sell the car.  And its as much yours as his and he can't sell it without your signature, and she still has the car anyways?

What does the DMV care about any divorce, final or otherwise, except if you are asking them to force through a title change to your daughters name?  Either the title was transfered to someone else without your signature (which would be fraud, which the DMV needs to deal with now), or there should be no issue with registering the car (which the DMV needs to deal with now).

I'm guessing you come off as a bitter ex-wife, and give way too much context that lets everyone blow it off as being "a divorce issue" instead of keeping focused on "my car, my title with my name on it, why can't I register it?".  

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Unless I am missing something, this doesn't add up.

If the DMV says your husband sold the vehicle for $2,500 you should walk in there with the title.  That should be proof that the vehicle has not been sold.  However, there is a chance that your husband was given a duplicate or certified copy of the title.  If he did, I would assume he did so fraudulently.  Whehter or not the DMV issued a duplicate title to your husband, I believe the DMV could only register the sale and issue a title to the new owner if your signature is on the transferred title.  As I mentioned, I would physically go into the DMV with the title in hand.  Simply go in to renew the registration, nothing else.  Until the vehicle is officially/legally your daughters (title in her name) the DMV should be able to register the vehicle for you, given you provide them with proof of insurance, the vehicle inspection report, and related fees.  

If they tell you there is record of the vehicle being sold, show them your name on the title and say that you still have the vehicle and that you have not authorized any sale... "there must be some kind of mistake in your system."  See what happens.

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I'm confused about the talk of a transfer of the title without OP's signature. Is a title worth anything without the physical car? In other words, why would someone pay for title to a car if they can't get the physical car?

Other question - is your husband represented by an attorney? If so - just have your attorney ask his attorney what the deal is - shouldn't be too difficult to straighten out if there are attorneys on both sides (then again, I have no experience whatsoever with family law attorneys).

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Crazy idea but if your daughter lives separately from you and houses the car on her property, perhaps the car can be considered abandoned since the new owner hasn't taken it away. She can file a lien on the vehicle and soon she will own it, I guess. It's a crazy idea and perhaps not legal but just trying to be creative. (And since she would have been the one to leave it on her own property, I don't know how that would be considered in the eyes of the law.)

I'm also wondering about her legal responsibility now. She perhaps stopped paying insurance on it so if something happens to it then what's her liability considering she was the last one to drive it and chose where to leave it?

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marginoferror said:   I'm confused about the talk of a transfer of the title without OP's signature. Is a title worth anything without the physical car? In other words, why would someone pay for title to a car if they can't get the physical car?

Other question - is your husband represented by an attorney? If so - just have your attorney ask his attorney what the deal is - shouldn't be too difficult to straighten out if there are attorneys on both sides (then again, I have no experience whatsoever with family law attorneys).

 She apparently thinks as much of her own attorney as she does of he ex-husband. 

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I think you're getting confused by what the DMV is telling you. What's the car worth? In Texas, you have to pay sales tax whenever you buy or sell a car. If you don't state a price, Texas uses a "presumed value," which is probably where the $2,500 figure is coming from. Because it's being processed as a sale and not a gift, you'll owe sales tax on that amount.

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I'm in Texas.
You can pull public records (there is a small fee) to lookup who the "current owner" of your daughters car is.   It's likely that the DMV is saying that "your husband doesn't own the car".   This may be because he sold it, he didn't register it, or some other funky thing.  

If it was his car, he (at one time) had the right to sell it, especially pre-divorce.  Who would "buy it" - in title only, no possession?  I have no idea.  That was probably an asset hiding thing OR the car was never properly registered to him to begin with.

Regardless, if the car was sold prior to your divorce locking assets down OR if the car was never in your husbands name, you have two choices:
1) Seek the current of the car, which should be public record, and see if you can get him/her to sign or give you a POA on the car.   The POA makes it easier.  You'll have to "sell" the car back.  As Texas has presumptive sales, it's likely that they're going to tax you on a pre-determined value of that car.
2) You may be able to seek a bonded title for the car.  Ask the DMV about this process.  Basically you pay a small bond to a company, they issue a branded title that you can use for registration.  If no one claims the car in X years, the branding goes away.

If your husband moved that asset during the divorce while it was locked, two choices;
1) Tell him to un-screw it up, give him a deadline to recover the title back to his name or into your daughters name at no cost to you.
2) Small claims his ass.  You'll need DMV records of transfer to show when it was sold.

A $2500 thing - I'd think you'd chew through that in legal fees pretty fast if you expect your family attorney to get involved...

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You may also be able to petition the judge at the District Court to make him comply. Judges don't like stuff like this especially from people who act like a jerk.

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red72814 said:    I have no clue what to do to help my daughter, she needs her car to get to work. Any help, leads, ideas????
  Until this gets settled, why not help her buy a cheap beater to get to work?

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dcg9381 said:   I'm in Texas.
You can pull public records (there is a small fee) to lookup who the "current owner" of your daughters car is.   It's likely that the DMV is saying that "your husband doesn't own the car".   This may be because he sold it, he didn't register it, or some other funky thing.  

If it was his car, he (at one time) had the right to sell it, especially pre-divorce.  Who would "buy it" - in title only, no possession?  I have no idea.  That was probably an asset hiding thing OR the car was never properly registered to him to begin with.

Regardless, if the car was sold prior to your divorce locking assets down OR if the car was never in your husbands name, you have two choices:
1) Seek the current of the car, which should be public record, and see if you can get him/her to sign or give you a POA on the car.   The POA makes it easier.  You'll have to "sell" the car back.  As Texas has presumptive sales, it's likely that they're going to tax you on a pre-determined value of that car.
2) You may be able to seek a bonded title for the car.  Ask the DMV about this process.  Basically you pay a small bond to a company, they issue a branded title that you can use for registration.  If no one claims the car in X years, the branding goes away.

If your husband moved that asset during the divorce while it was locked, two choices;
1) Tell him to un-screw it up, give him a deadline to recover the title back to his name or into your daughters name at no cost to you.
2) Small claims his ass.  You'll need DMV records of transfer to show when it was sold.

A $2500 thing - I'd think you'd chew through that in legal fees pretty fast if you expect your family attorney to get involved...

  
One issue is that if the title was in your and his name he would not have been able to sell the car no matter what.  Texas is VERY picky on title work, as I have had to deal with them a few times over minor issues.  (they require a copy of both parties IDs as well)  IF he signed your name without a PoA -- and Texas has VERY specific serial numbered POA forms required for the process then Texas can and will charge him for Theft.   If he HAD a PoA then it is a different story.  (you would remember that document, it is a stiff carbon form with an imprinted serial number)  

And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the decree -- if he sold it with a joint title and the co-owner was not involved then Texas considers it theft.  (I had a co-owned vehicle totalled and even WITH both original signatures and documents the Insurance Co wanted us to do the PoAs to them as well -- because Texas can be such a PITA)  Even transferring it to your daughter can't be done without your consent so it is not likely to be him having assigned a value on transfer.

If you are CERTAIN of the title and have a copy then you just need to report it.  Let the police pay him a visit and see how that works out.  

Really you should have transferred the car to her back then - although I understand why you would have not wanted to pay SPV tax on it.  I just paid SPV on a motorcycle I transferred in from NC, because they call their tax a "road use" instead of a sales tax.  Had the new plate on it 2 weeks and someone stole it off the curb.  (sighs)  At least I did get the taxes back when the Insurance company settled.  I actually got more back than I paid for it including taxes, even with a $500 deductible....

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He didnt sell the car.  Ignoring the need for the title and OP's signature, he doesnt even have the dang car itself.

Was/is there a loan or other lien against the car?  Might it have been repo'ed, even if they havent actually found the car yet, and that transfer to the lienholder is what's being considered a "sale"?

Did you wait until the last minute to renew the registration, where it's now expired?  If not, or if you still have the plates regardless, I'd think it's innocent enough for her to keep driving it to work for now.  As long as OP is on the registration and title, if pulled over it wont be too hard to explain it away with a "it's my mom's car, she said she was taking care of it".  Depending on what she was pulled over for, worst case is they dont let her drive the car home and she needs to call a tow truck.  But that's a relatively low-cost gamble for being able to get to work while this is being sorted out. 

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There isn't any such thing as waiting until "last minute" -- you really cannot do it more than 30 days early due to the new "two step, one sticker" inspection requirements. You can, however, do it "late."

Risk is low unless you are in certain communities with plate scanners that check every vehicle they pass for title/reg/owner warrants -- Plano/Richardson run them for sure, so does University Park near SMU.

It can be expensive if you get a ticket though, because they charge a fine at the courthouse AND a surcharge on the car registration. (plus the registration is backdated) If it is "expired" then she isn't paying for it because the new registration will start when it is re-registered. To be fair MOST cops will just give her a warning. Particularly if she is young and/or pretty...

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RedWolfe01 said:   It can be expensive if you get a ticket though
  Just a ticket? What about impound fees and storage fees since she can't get it out of impound if the DMV says she's not the owner.

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maybe the guy skipped out on one of those title loans?  sounds like he knew something was up.

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dcg9381 said:   A $2500 thing - I'd think you'd chew through that in legal fees pretty fast if you expect your family attorney to get involved...
  I'm not really sure, but OP should probably at least mention it to the attorney, especially if OP is planning on filing a lawsuit against her ex-husband separate from what's going on in the divorce. The attorney would be blindsided by husband's attorney and now OP's attorney would be upset at her.

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Might he have done a car title loan on it, and defaulted on it?

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I am in Texas and I renew my registration online every year at Texas.gov

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atikovi said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   It can be expensive if you get a ticket though
  Just a ticket? What about impound fees and storage fees since she can't get it out of impound if the DMV says she's not the owner.

  
They don't tow for a sticker here, even if you get arrested for something you have to consent to the tow unless it isn't in a safe spot.  (after a certain time they can tow an "abandoned" car)    Only issue would be if the new "owner" had been able to report the car as stolen.  Said owner having a forged title doc since the ex-wife didn't sign it.  (my money says it was signed over for a title loan and the deadbeat didn't pay it)

As far as the impound lots go if it somehow ended up there?  She has a copy of the title, as the OP says.  As long as they get paid they aren't going to call DMV with a title in hand.  
sirguy said: I am in Texas and I renew my registration online every year at Texas.gov

And your car hasn't been "sold" to someone else who likely has filed for title/registration at a different address.  I personally still think she is going to have to file charges to get the cloud off the title.  Let whoever paid the Deadbeat $2500 on sketchy paperwork sue him in small claims court...  The liability is on the buyer to ensure that there is a clear title trail -- almost bet he forged either a POA and signed "for" the OP or forged it on the document with a copy of OP's drivers license.  (after being married its good odds that he could have one -- I have one of the relative I shared a vehicle with just because I needed it to register it the first time)  

The registration system does require your information match the vehicle as in their records, and where are they going to send the new sticker?

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RedWolfe01 said:   
I personally still think she is going to have to file charges to get the cloud off the title.  Let whoever paid the Deadbeat $2500 on sketchy paperwork sue him in small claims court...  The liability is on the buyer to ensure that there is a clear title trail -- almost bet he forged either a POA and signed "for" the OP or forged it on the document with a copy of OP's drivers license.  (after being married its good odds that he could have one -- I have one of the relative I shared a vehicle with just because I needed it to register it the first time)  

Who would pay anyone $2500 for a non-existent car with no title?

I'm betting on a DMV paperwork/processing error. Or her VIN was cloned.

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pics of car

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What is his financial situation? He could have got a title loan that he didn't pay.

As others suggested, you should be able to find out the 'owner' with records search.

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Take a deep breath.

Now go to the DMV.  "I would like to renew the registration for this car."

Leave out all this information about your husband, your attorney, the awarding of the car to your daughter, etc.  Repeat after me, "I would like to renew the registration for this car."

"Hmmm, ma'am, the records reflect that this car has been sold to another person."

"No, that can't be.  See, I have the paperwork right here, and the car is at home in my driveway..."

Be nice, and again, leave out all that extra information.

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Your divorce attorney should be the one to handle this if you are correct that the disposition of the car is part of the pending divorce proceedings. He/she should be able to contact your husband's attorney to see if there is some mix up at DMV or some other innocent explanation.  If your husband did something improper that interferes with your ability to register and use the vehicle, and your attorney is unwilling to bring the matter before the judge (on an action to enforce, contempt, etc), then you may want to consider contacting the Texas State Bar to file a grievance.

https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=File_a_Grievance&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=29656 

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galawdawg said:   Your divorce attorney should be the one to handle this if you are correct that the disposition of the car is part of the pending divorce proceedings. He/she should be able to contact your husband's attorney to see if there is some mix up at DMV or some other innocent explanation.  If your husband did something improper that interferes with your ability to register and use the vehicle, and your attorney is unwilling to bring the matter before the judge (on an action to enforce, contempt, etc), then you may want to consider contacting the Texas State Bar to file a grievance.

https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=File_a_Grievance&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=29656

  
Never seen a lawyer yet unwilling to take a matter before a judge.  Unless they are pro bono maybe.  The question is which is higher.. the lawyer bills or the car value.  Visiting DMV and getting records and filing charges and letting the police sort it out is free.

http://www.txdmv.gov/txdmv-forms/doc_download/1248-vtr-275-reque...  -- fillable PDF of the form you need.  If you have it printed out it is quick and easy.  It cost me $2 -- "oh, this vehicle is marked as stolen"  -- "yep, here is a copy of the title -- it is for proof of tax for the insurance CO"  "here you go, that is $2" 

(I gave them reg/tax records for TX, NC, Title, receipt for new Tires, recent service and inspection, and it was worth every bit of leg work when they paid out -- it made it obvious I had JUST spent a decent amount of money getting the bike in top condition.)  

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