In some states, you do not even need a sales tax. They do not have one.
Only motive in all this is revenue gain to state ; aka collect taxes. . Zero motive or thought about title implications that would bother us, as collectors ---it is all about sales tax and penalties. Yet they call themselves RMV, Which is about stolen cars.
They kill you in Mass, add sales tax , BIG penalties, compounded, can get to 15-20k on a 300f not titled for 25 years. They use today’s value (!!!!) out of a book, and not paid for that long (only in Taxachusetts) You simply did not need a title then in Mass; but there was a sales tax you paid, happened when registering it, not a separate transaction. I thought of it as another line item when you register your car, like proof of insurance . Everybody did. . I stored it. So inadvertently did not pay a reasonable sales tax at the time.. couple of hundred? No discount for a rusted out parts car vs perfect car on “value” ==”Pay max first” , then argue. . Appealed formally with photos, rusted out car with broken windows, and lost, on that issue. No time or $ for lawyers. So, No title …on a car I legitimately bought and own. Aggravation and “attitude” abound , all around this issue. 2 hour wait at RMV to then be straight-armed. Some cars I bought had old titles, so can resell, but not register. Get a title!! For tax reasons, not title reasons.
Some of this paraphrasing experience , not an expert.
Some guy in Alabama does it for a fee, 1500 (?) comes to mind for Alabama title. But I agree on this one ---if a dealer, he CAN get a title on a legitimate car. Watch out, stolen or totaled out flood car.
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.).
John Kuegel, 300F