The title.

Several years ago, my youngest daughter, Rachel, needed to buy her first car. Since she had no credit rating, I had to co-sign the loan. And because I co-signed the loan, my name, along with hers, was on the title.

The car is now paid for and the bank has released their claim on the title. So, Rachel, who now lives in Ohio, wanted the title changed so that my name was no longer on the document.

If she transfered the title using the Ohio Secretary of State, I would have to be present for the title signing as it would have to be notarized. If we transfered the title in Michigan, I could do it without her being present.

Since I didn’t really have the time to drive to Ohio, we opted for a Michigan transfer. So with documents in hand, I headed for the local Secretary of States office, which is just a couple of blocks away from where I work.

After about a 10 minute wait, my number came up and I proceeded to the next available agent. I announced to the agent that I wanted to do a title transfer. I then produced the original title, the loan release from the bank and the document filled out by Rachel authorizing the transfer.

The agent looked over the documents and then announced that she needed the registration and proof of insurance for the car. I told her that I didn’t have the registration for the car because the car was already registered in Ohio.

It was at this point that the “tilt” light went on. And just like in the movies where the killer robot is shut down by the good guys, the woman froze, head leaning to one side.

Finally, after a few moments, I asked “mam are you OK?” She affirmed that she was. Then she stated that she needed the registration. And again I told her that the car is now registered in Ohio and that all I want is the title changed.

She then checked her computer screen and announced that the plate had expired in September. I told her that I was aware of that and that the car now has an Ohio plate on it and is registered in Ohio. With that, she went over and conversed with an associate.

A few moments later she returned with her associate who announced that she needed the registration and proof of insurance. Once again, I told her that the car is registered in Ohio and now has Ohio plates.

Her eyes started blinking rapidly. (I had seen that movie before. The eyes of the alien killer robots started blinking rapidly just before their heads blew up.) She asked, “How did she do that?” To which, I shrugged my shoulders.

The associate then pointed out that with out the registration and proof of insurance, she could only transfer the title and not the registration. I told her that that was fine.

She then pointed out that she could not put an Ohio address on a Michigan title. I told her to use my address on the title. I figured that once the title was transfered, Rachel could do what ever she wanted with the title and the address.

Ten minutes and twenty dollars later, I was out the door, title in hand. Mission accomplished. Once again, I beat the bureaucracy!

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