Help on VIN number issue

Went to pick and pull to get a motor for a Saturn. Got it put in. Went to get it titled and long story short, the motor I put in didn’t belong to the car I took it out of! Now what?

You can’t transfer title to the vehicle because the engine came from a third car in the mix and not the second? Why do you need an engine serial number to title the car? Is this a salvage vehicle?

You don’t have a vehicle problem , you have a legal problem . Also you don’t say what state you are in .
Used motors are put in vehicle all the time so there must be more to this story.

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The Washington State Patrol has a guide for salvage vehicle inspection, What they require for yards such as pick-n-pull. There is a way to register the car under what’s called ownership in doubt Other states may do things differently.

"Parts purchased from a licensed vehicle wrecker must be presented with an original sales
receipt to include the wrecking yard name and address, a description of the parts sold, the date of sale, the amount of sale, and the stock number and/or VIN of the vehicle the parts came from"

Overthinking I think


That is bureaucracy at its absolute worst

And this is a perfect example of why so many people hate it

This is where some local government official needs to step in . . . in my opinion, for what it’s worth . . . and say “I’m taking charge and cutting through this red tape. Give that man a title for his car.”

I have purchased many used parts–including a used engine–from junkyards, and never once received an invoice showing the VIN of the car which the parts came from. Even when I purchased the used engine, from a junkyard where they pull the parts and have them ready to go, the only information on the receipt was the type of engine and the year/make/model it was from. I cannot believe that this type of invoice will not be accepted if someone is trying to repair a salvage vehicle to obtain a salvage-restored title.

What state is this and you’re saying they did an engine serial number inspection? This whole thing sounds ludicrous and I wonder if you just happened to deal with someone who has no clue.
By that logic, what would someone do if they installed a crate engine which did not come out of a car at all? Even engine reman facilities have no idea what cars their cores came from.

Years ago I bought a 1941 Harley from a guy out of CA. He gave me a valid CA title, CHP inspection, Orange County sheriff inspection. LAPD inspection, OK OHP inspection, OK County sheriff inspection, and OK City PD inspection. Three argumentative visits with the local tag agent led nowhere. The lady there emphatically stated “You are not ever going to get an OK title. Ever.” I won’t repeat what I said in return.
I went to the OK Tax Commission and it took the supervisor less than 2 minutes to approve a title for me. He also stated I had enough paperwork for a dozen titles and that the DMV agent was an idiot. Maybe you were dealing with someone similar at your DMV.

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The resolution sometimes is to go to a different office of the DMV. I also have had good results asking the DMV office to take my request, charge me the basic fee to do the bureaucratic thing I came for, and refer the matter to their home office for resolution. In my case they “send it to Sacramento”. It takes forever, you might get letters asking for something you have already done or some other strange thing. Just do it. It’s not personal, in fact it’s the opposite.