It's easy in New York State for a car made before 1975(before titles were issued)...and may be as well in other states. All you used to need was a handwritten bill of sale, a rubbing or photo of the VIN plate, a weight verification(if the vehicle model was not in the DMV database- like a truck which you would take and get weighed at a scale) and some forms filled out. They will then issue a non-transferable registration immediately after you pay the sales tax (the most important thing that they are interested in!)and send you a transferable registration(which functions as a Title) in 30-60 days when the transfer of ownership and research of prior ownership is complete (lien search, etc.).