January 31, 2019

Car Bought

Titled Without Registration

Now this is interesting. The first time I tried to do this was at a Title and License Plate office. I asked the lady DMV worker what I needed to do to obtain my Certificate of Origin. She flat out didn’t know what I was talking about. So I moved to the next question. (Although she later found the answer on her computer and told me that COVs in NC are destroyed and only kept on file, whatever that means)

“I would like to un-register my vehicle. I have just purchased it and have this title-” I passed her the notarized title with my info filled out, “and would like to remove its record from the DMVs registry.”

Again, silence. She assumed what I wanted was to Title it without registration. Not so, but I went ahead and did it (for $100) thinking it was better to at least get it in my name to minimize chances of forfeiture and confusion. (But who knows if that was a good idea.)

Since then I have talked to a few DMV officials both locally and over the phone in Raleigh. Turns out they have no method of removing me from the registry, unless it titled with another person. So for now this is a dead end.

I can junk the car (although Jacquie Figg isn’t fond of that idea. Or I could export it to the foreign jurisdiction of the Constitutional State of North Carolina. Which would require a deeper understanding of how corporate states work in this country. Or I may be able to exploit an AFFIDAVIT FOR REMOVAL OF REGISTERED VEHICLE FROM VEHICLE REGISTRATION FILES by using a “John Doe” name.

I think my real remedy lies in appealing to a higher authority within the Governor’s office.

UPDATE: I just found this.

Certificate of Origin of Vehicle / Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin

So this (in my opinion) is a little more interesting. A COV/MSO is a type of “Bill of Lading” which is used for shipped goods and —as far as I can tell— indicates ownership. The theory is that between a bill of sale and a copy of the vehicles COV, one’s ownership cannot be disputed. However while that is undoubtedly a useful paper I am starting to doubt that it is the proper or ideal method.

My car is a 2000 Honda Accord. It’s had plenty of life before me. Though incredibly it’s only had 2 owners prior. It was bought by a woman in Maryland in 1999, titled there, and remained in MD until about 2016. In 2018 it was purchased by the family I bought it from, who only held it for about 8 months before passing it to me.

I spent a morning a few days ago calling up the MVA in Maryland and Honda and a Maryland Dealership. At first it was the dealer told me that they only kept the MSO (that’s the term Honda uses) for 1 year after a sale, and they couldn’t help me, but the MVA could take care of it. Then the people at the MVA said they keep it on file and I needed a continuous titling record (in their state) from the original owner. Which I may try to do if I ever make it up there.

So after all that I was kinda hopeless, after all Honda’s website clearly states that they will not issue a duplicate MSO more that one year after purchase. Turns out, even that isn’t quite right.

After chatting with an exceptionally helpful Honda operator, he lays it out like this:

  1. The process begins with “the” bank or the original Honda Dealer.
  2. They issue an Affidavit to Honda’s Print Center in Torrance, California.
  3. The Print Center then creates a duplicate MSO and issues it to the bank or dealer, so they can deliver it to the customer.

And while the period for this isn’t as short as I thought it still cannot happen more than 3 years after the purchase.

All said and done I have 2 potential points of entry to get access to an MSO. Honda’s Print Center and Maryland’s MVA. But the path is currently unknown and that project will have to wait for a sunnier day.


So it turns out this is way easier than I thought. It started with some emails to various agents stating the facts. I am driving unregistered and unlicensed. I would like to insure myself against liability. The 2 responses I got (which I should publish here) was simply confusion about what I was asking for. I personally don’t understand the details of the service they provide and would need an open minded agent to talk with over lunch to get the real story and find long terms solutions.

A few more calls, and story changes later, I found success with a semi-local agent. The story I gave him was that I bought a car and am unlicensed. I will be getting a license in the near future and need liability insurance. And even though that’s a questionable story, it was good enough for him to happily sell me some insurance. And it’s a rate that’s competitive with what I had prior. He never asked and I didn’t provide my SSN, I’m 90% sure I didn’t give my cancelled license number either. All he has is the vehicle’s VIN, my address, my name, and my bank account info.



Yes! It worked like a charm. To be fair it only worked so well due to the kindness of the man working the desk at the time, however as far as I’m concerned this is proof that in a NC DMV you have a 75% chance of being taken care of in the process of canceling your license.

So what happened was very straight-forward. The second DMV I walked into (the first was too busy) had a short line for the “gatekeeper” worker who was there to issue tickets for the main line where one could wait for a proper DMV official at a booth to handle business.

So with the expectation that I would be sitting in line for an hour, I approached this gatekeeper and explained that I had an unusual request. To cancel my license and have it removed from the registry.

His initial reaction was not positive, as I am sure he thought my intention was to rid myself of a negative driving history. So he quickly explained that there was no such thing possible, what’s in the record stays there. But after a few more seconds of trying to explain myself he did concede that I could cancel my license and he would take it, but that there was no receipt that could act as evidence. So I restated my question and made it clear that any kind of paper record would be good. But no luck.

So with no intention of remaining liable to the DMV I took my chances and agreed to his terms. He took the license I handed to him, and started typing on a computer. He sat there typing for a solid 3 minutes. Then he handed me back my license and told me to hold it. Got up, went to the back of the room and returned with a freshly printed piece of paper. He asked for the license back, we swapped items, and I was pleased to see that the title of this page had the word Receipt. 1



Now I still want the personal and public convenience of a proper ID that is recognized by officials, so 2 weeks prior I had also submitted the proper paperwork for a passport. The lady at the post office was very helpful and didn’t take a second glance at the Social Security Number field that I had filled with zeroes. The only thing that caught her eye was that I had to change my mother’s name to reflect what was on my birth certificate. After that it was sealed and mailed for about $200.

So yes I am taking a risk going without a proper ID for a month. But it’s just another chance for education if something goes wrong.

So Far So Good

Reference Material


                    DATE RECEIVED: 01-28-2019



ISSUE DATE: 10-30-2018



                              PORTIA MANLEY, DIRECTOR
                              FIELD SERVICES


“Customer No” is my driver’s license number.

Truth Bleeds Red 2018