Locating last Registration/Title

Good morning, saloon, listers,
Over the past 10 years, I have done a complete ground up restoration on a 1960 jaguar Mark nine. This car came to me after someone who had acquired it on eBay failed to move forward and it was given to me under some circumstances around Christmas 2011. Well, I invested heavily in the labor and resources required for a complete restoration, I failed to think about a title until now. The car is in pristine condition, and I have shown it once, driving out to the show without incident, but I now need to register the vehicle to be sure that it is safe and secure on the road. The question is how in the world does one find the title on a vehicle that has not seen registration for what I estimate to be decades. Evidence of wrappings of parts that were inside the shell indicated that the nearest date of registration was ~1987. so any ideas how I might go about this. Some of the vendor search websites seem to require a modern Vin number. Thoughts? I will be very grateful for your input.

Where are you located? That will impact the answer greatly.

I am in Reno NV.

Where are you located?

Go to DMV and apply for a lost title. See what shows up.

Contact your local DMV office and explain what you have. They have procedures for lost/stolen titles.

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Thank you Pat. These procedures begin with a registration, old and unknown in this case but they seem to need it.


A couple of things:

You’re going to have to go to the DMV and start the process for a bonded title. This effectively starts the title process over, in your name, but the car will need to appraised by a dealer, usually safety inspected by the local State Patrol and you’ll need to get a surety bond for the appraisal amount. As part of the process, they will run the vin through the national database of stolen vehicles and you’ll need to send a certified letter to the last owner of record indicating that you’re bonding on and claiming ownership of the vehicle.

There is risk - the guy could claim it’s stolen, the DMV may have it listed as stolen, etc.

Get any and all information you received with the car together, timelines, letters from the folks you got it from outlining the circumstances in detail.

Lastly, if you have any lawyer friends, ask them if NV has an adverse possession law in regard to items (not real property like land) that may cover cars.

All normal stuff, happens all the time, but arm yourself with all the options and needs before initiating the process.

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Forgot to add, bring that ‘87 registration to the DMV, they can check if it’s the last known tied to the car.

Online services aren’t going to work as it doesn’t have a 17 digit vin, but the DMV system shows all.

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Thank you very much Jeff.
Problem here is that I do not have a registration from any previous ownership and the DMV so far wants to start the process of creating a new title by having a registration from previous ownership.


When I got my XK150, all I had was a bill of sale. There were no prior records of the car, including any prior registrations. In CA, all the DMV required was that I get the VIN (in this case the chassis number) verified by a law enforcement officer. They have a standard form for that.

With that and the bill of sale, they issued me a title and registration on the spot.

BTW, the car wasn’t running, it was largely disassembled when the Highway Patrol verified the VIN.


Thans for the info. Nevada DMV seems less friendly on this topic than your experience.
I don’t even have a bill of sale.
792570BW and a Heritage certificate is the best I can do.

Beautiful car! Just take your vin into the DMV and tell them you want to started the bonded title process.

If they still are not cooperating, then report back, as you can do the process in another State without them needing to see the car (VT), and you can either keep it registered there, or since you will then have a title, re-register it NV.


Absolutely spectacular car ! congratulations on the restoration!!! I just love this car.
As far as the title / registration goes, you may have to do a “two-step” : As you live so close to California, perhaps you have a friend over there that you could “sell” the car to. ( If not, PM me -as I have a brother in Granite Bay, CA.) According to a post in this thread, CA will issue a title / registration with only a Bill of Sale and VIN verification. ( Check this out FIRST by calling CA DMV). Once your buddy has got a registration /title in CA, then have him “sell” it back to you. Nevada will then accept the CA title and issue you a title. U-Haul rents a car trailer for not too much money per day to get the car towed over to CA for the VIN number to be verified ( and then towed back to your place in Reno!)
PS: I would put $1,500 on the Bill of Sale - I’m sure that there is a tax to be paid in both states upon registration based on the sale price.
Good Luck !!!

Thanks- you are clearly a very creative chapt!

Thank you. My years of lawyering has its residual benefits at times. I hope you get you title issue resolved!

The problem with the Vermont title path, is the value of the car is based on blue book value. It can cost thousands now to get a title. I tried it and stopped when I found out the cost. Luckily my title was found and I proceeded the normal path. I was fearing I would have to part my rust free Mk2 out. Of course now it’s my money pit!

Hi Tim G, thanks for your post. Love the MK II. I have the S type, 1966. Yes, it looks like getting the mark nine retitled will be quite an adventure. I need to do that here in Nevada. I have an appointment with the DMV and hope by then that the heritage certificate and the history of pictures can establish something worthwhile for them. We’ll see what happens and I’ll post the result. As for now, here’s the S type.

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Same experience for me, as I had a title but no registration for twenty years. My 67 Etype was all apart and did not run. At first, they wanted to tax me on book value, but the clerk said to insure the car and get an historic plate. Local law enforcement came to my shop and verified the VIN #. I am in Kentucky, and the state rules vary.