A Brand New Car. Sorta

June 13, 2007

I bought a car yesterday. Actually I bought my car again yesterday. It's a long story.

Once Upon a Time Many years ago, while still living in Illinois, I bought a car. The dealer recommended a lender and I applied for the loan there and got a very nice 5% lending rate.

When we moved from Illinois to Kansas in the summer of 2004 the license plate tag on the car was almost expired. When the new Illinois sticker came we put off going to the Kansas DMV; why stand in line unless it is absolutely necessary. In August of 2005 Michele handled the license plate sticker renewal. Looking back now I realize she must have told me about the issue with the title and the bank in Illinois and the State of Kansas, but through the fog of her death I really can't remember.

The Issue With the Bank, the Title, and the State of Kansas The title to the vehicle is held by the lien holder, in this case the Illinois National Bank of Springfield, Illinois. The car is collateral for the loan, so they keep the title unitl it's paid for. However, now that the car (and I) reside in Kansas, it needs a Kansas registration to go with Kansas license plates. Oddly enough, the State of Kansas would like to have a Kansas title on the vehicle. When I went to get my August 2006 sticker I discovered this fact and called the bank in Illinois to have them send an original of the title to Kansas. The bank said, "no way."

They don't "do" out-of-state vehicles and refused to release the title to Kansas. Fortunately I managed to connect with a very understanding representative at the Kansas Department of Revenue who gave me a 1-year exemption on the title requirement so I could get my sticker for the year. This would also give me time to transfer the loan to Kansas. Obviously this must have been the deal that Michele engineered in August of 2005 that I either never knew about or can't now remember.

When I called the bank in Illinois to plead my case they flatly refused to release the title. Even after I pointed out that this was going to cost them business. It would appear that they take the "Illinois" in their name far too seriously.

A New Loan Last September after I sorted out the whole sticker/title/bank/Kansas mess I put a reminder on my calendar for July to transfer the loan to my credit union here. This past spring in an effort to be more organized we started a couple of goals lists, and one of my goals was to complete the loan transfer by July.

Monday this week I completed an online automobile loan application at my credit union and yesterday I went to the local branch office and signed the paperwork. It will cost me a bit more now to own the car outright, but the lender, and therefore the lien holder, is now in Kansas. Within a week or two, when the processing is complete in Illinois, my credit union will hold the original title and I can register the car in my state of residence.

So today I got to drive my "brand new" car to work.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.