Storage Facility

Storage Unit Vehicle Titles: What You Need To Know

  • 8 min read

How does it work for a title for a vehicle that was sold from a storage unit? Well, in many cases, you’ve seen the shows on TV about storage wars and all those bidding wars where you buy items from self-storage and get to own them, well, in almost every state. Vehicles and other types of assets are specifically excluded from transfer from the storage auction, things like anything that requires a title, like a vehicle, boat, vessel, jet ski, and motorcycle. And I’m also into things like firearms and sometimes legal documents. Diplomas or certificates in storage units shouldn’t go with the unit, and many states have laws about that. Most of the storage unit contracts referenced that. So what happens if you are a self-storage unit owner and you have vehicles that are in a unit that nobody pays the bill for? What happens if you’re the buyer of a storage unit and you have vehicles? What if the owner of a self-storage property sells you a vehicle?

They say somebody left here and didn’t pay the bill. How do you get a title for it? Well, we’re going to start with information from the self-storage industry. There’s an industry publication called Inside Self Storage, and they had an article discussing how to avoid making a bad sale. Many of the self-storage lien laws on the books have exceptions for certain items, for example, vehicles. You can read about them right here. Sale of vehicles; only a handful of states have self-storage laws; address the procedures for processing vehicles with titles. Some states outlined the specific notice requirements, and there are other requirements for Arizona self-storage owners conducting lien sales. The law gives owners access to title and registration records. Well, it gives it to the owner of the storage unit, meaning that if you bought one from a storage unit and they did not give you a title, there may be some difficulties. And here’s the reason why: In order to do a sale, here’s an example of a California law. It’s Section 18.15. What do you have to do to do a sale on any vehicle valued at over $4,000 or from a self-storage facility? within 30 days of when the Lena rose, meaning that the storage unit was due and not paid.

The lien holder, meaning this storage unit, must submit an application for an authorization within 30 days. So let’s say the storage unit has a due date of October 1st for their rent, and the rent’s not paid. And they auction off the unit, but they leave out the vehicle because you know those storage bidders. You know all the clothes because of everything else in the unit. Weight sets and books don’t get the car because that’s excluded. So the car gets pulled out. Well, in order for this to get a title, that storage unit owner has to submit forms 5, 6, and 7 to the DMV within 30 days, but that doesn’t happen within 30 days. The whole thing is void. So what happens then? The DMV notifies the owners and interested parties, meaning that if there’s a bank that has a loan on the vehicle, they send them a notice of lien sale. The owners and interested parties have 10 days to oppose the sale.

So let’s say there’s a 2004 Honda Civic in this storage unit. It gets pulled out of the storage facility XYZ self storage and submitted to the DMV. DMV sends a letter out to the owner of the vehicle, and if there’s a lien holder, they send it to them. They have 10 days to reply and say, “Hi, I’m opposed.” They must sign and return that documentation. If they oppose it and the vehicles are registered outside of California, the DMV will notice that. DMV of that state. If this sale is opposed, then the lien holder, meaning the owner of the storage unit, will get a letter denying the application. If it’s not opposed, then the storage unit can conduct a sale upon receipt. The lien holder must set the date of the sale. So 20 days before that auction date, you have to send a notice of Leanne’s holdings by certified mail to the registered owners. Now the register owner gets two notices, and all persons know, meaning that if there’s a bank or lien holder, they also get two notices. And they also have to send a letter to the DMV lien sale unit. So you have to send another letter to the DMV. So in order to make this valid, the storage unit has to submit Forms 6, 5, and 6 within 30 days or 20 days before the sale, and they have to send another registered owner letter. Another lien holder letter and a DMV letter, then, five days before the sale, you have to advertise it in the newspaper, and then you have to have the vehicle available for inspection. conduct a sale in a businesslike manner. No sealed bids; you’ve got to do a public auction. 

And then, after the sale, the lien holder, meaning the storage unit, has to keep the vehicle for 10 days. The registered owner may redeem the vehicle by paying all costs plus interest after the redemption period. The store unit has to remove the plates submitted in transfer form. And then give those to the buyer along with all of the certified receipts. After the sale, the lien holder must submit any excess fees to the lien sale. And then the buyer submits all that to the DMV. So if you’re a buyer and you bought this vehicle and you didn’t get all of these things from all these steps, you’re out of luck. You can’t go to the DMV. Hey, I bought this car from XYZ storage unit. They’re going to say, “Well, they didn’t go through this process.” And the problem is, now you can’t go back and start it up because it’s not within 30 days of that lien sale. So here’s one example from California: Let’s look at another state. Let’s look at Kansas. What does Kansas say about this? A self-storage unit lien sale affidavit is the same thing as the vehicle information you fill out on this form.

You have to have the following items attached to the affidavit: verification of ownership was required, so the lien on the storage unit had to look up the owner. copies of notices sent to the owner and lien holder that sound familiar, the same as California. The copy of the newspaper ad sounds familiar. They also have to send a copy of the storage rental agreement. So in order to do this, you have to have a signed agreement from the vehicle owner stating that you’re storing the vehicle. And then it has rules. It says I certify that the default was more than 45 days and that I have complied with all requirements of the self-storage act 58113, including all the statutes. Well, let’s take a look at the instructions for the requirements. Before a lien may be enforced, the operator must send notification by default, not less than seven days. Restricted mail notices are also to be sent to any lien holder by certified mail. At least seven days before the sale, you have to advertise it. We talked about the rental agreement. A vehicle may be sold at public auction, and it has to hold funds. in case the person comes forward afterwards. See if there are any other requirements under KSA 813. It doesn’t look like it’s clickable, so it’s very similar. Most states have the same requirements. Vehicles or anything that’s titled are separate from the norm. Abandoned vehicle or lien sale items So if you are wondering, the moral of the story is this: If you are a storage facility, you probably already know this, but make sure that you’re aware of the requirements for selling a titled motor vehicle.

Motorcycles, boats, and vessels—sometimes even ATVs—qualify as equipment. Payloaders dig with excavators. Anything that would have a title that you do that separately from your normal process, and may you have an attorney? They’ll give you legal advice about this. If you’re a buyer, you have bought a vehicle from a storage facility, either individually as a vehicle by itself or as part of a storage unit. You might need to make sure that that storage unit went through one of these processes. If not, you may be able to get a title through a bond, prior owner contact, or a court order. But these are probably the ways that they’re going to require that you have gone through, so if you do have further questions about a storage unit titling issue, you can contact us through our website, We have a customer service desk; is the email. and we can give you some more suggestions on your particular case based on your state and what type of vehicle it is to get a new title for that vehicle that you bought at a storage unit.


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