“The Ownership Dilemma”
Like most car enthusiasts we are always on the lookout for cool project cars. Browsing Kijiji, and surfing the Facebook groups is a daily ritual. Sometimes after you’ve found the perfect car, you discover the seller doesn’t have an ownership for it. Now for a lot of people, thats a huge deal breaker, but if you have the right resources this an easy fix.
When I first came across my ‘88 Daytona on Kijiji I definitely wasn’t prepared to buy my first car. I sent a message with no real intention of buying it. But for $600 and the promise that it “ran when parked” I had to at least ask about it. The ad stayed up for another 2 months before it expired, during this time I had become enamoured with it. While in the middle of a huge move I took a chance and sent another message. Now you need to understand that this ad had been up for 2 months, and then had been expired for a few weeks before I sent a message asking if it was still available. I was heart broken, there was no way I was going to get an email back. But I did! We were able to set up a time to drive (2 hours each way) to see her. Now I had hearts in my eyes I was so excited to own this car, I had named it before I even committed to buy. When I was then informed that there was no ownership, just a bill of sale, my spirits sank.
I had never even been to the MTO before, and had no idea where to start getting a new ownership issued. After some Googling I had a rough starting point, but honestly no amount of research really helped. Most of the forums all said the same thing “don’t buy it without the ownership”. There was some information on canadianrodder.com about getting an affidavit in order to prove the vehicle was lawfully sold. The MTO proved largely unhelpful in pointing me in the right direction, and mislead me a couple of times before confirming I needed an affidavit written up by a lawyer, as well as the bill of sale and an appraisal. If your vehicle is less then 25 years old, you likely won’t need an appraisal but that could depend on your specific situation.
After all the fussing around with the MTO, getting the affidavit drawn up was actually the easiest part of the whole ordeal. It took an hour of my time and $150. I showed the lawyer the template I found online, which he found extremely helpful as he had never written a document for this purpose before. I definitely suggest that if you are doing this yourself to bring a reference document with you. I brought the affidavit back to the MTO and it was a quick process to get the ownership from there. About 20 minutes and the taxes on your vehicle (plus applicable fees), you’ll be out the door with ownership in hand.
The internet made this process seem a lot more difficult then it was in reality. The most important thing is being prepared. Take the proper steps to make sure the car has a clean title, take the VIN and get a Used Vehicle Info Package before you buy it. Make sure you go to the MTO with all the information, don’t bother waiting in line for hours if they are just going to send you away because you don’t have the right documents. Have the bill of sale, affidavit, and in some cases the appraisal, ready to hand over.
With this post I have included an anonymized version of the affidavit I submitted, but the MTO also has a form that outlines the requirements for the affidavit. I’ve included a copy, but you can just ask for one at your local MTO office by asking for form SR-A-104 2013/03. Feel free to use this article in your own registration adventures.