My Titling and Registration Adventure (a fun rant)

Buying my chinese electric car was easy. But I knew … I just knew that getting it titled was going to be a pain. So before I walked into the title office I gathered as much information as I possibly could and planned on spending some time there.

I started by handing them my MCO (Manufacturer Certificate of Origin) and said, “I would like to title this please”. She stared at it a while and then asked, “what is it?”. I went on to explain that this is a LOW SPEED VEHICLE. A very slow, very small car, to be driven on slow back roads. At this point, the queen b’ who runs the office chimed in to tell me that there was no way in hell that I was getting that titled. “Some woman tried this two weeks ago” (like I am trying to get away with something?) “… and we called the State title office, and they told her you can only drive it at parks”.

She asked how fast it goes, and I tell her MAX of 25mph. She says “yep, that can’t be titled, that’s not for public roads”. Now at this point, I was doing well to remain cool about the whole thing. But I was NOT leaving without a title for this car, and I had a few hours to waste. I removed my coat, neatly folded it and set it down, and then began producing my paperwork. Namely I pointed out my Ohio Revised Code, and SB 114 which clearly identifies what constitutes a “low speed vehicle” in Ohio, and how they are to be titled. I also corrected her on every point, telling her that what she is describing is an UNDER-speed vehicle, and I have a LOW-speed vehicle which are completely different in Ohio. But they wanted none of it.

Queen B’ insisted that they get the State title office on the phone. That guy asked for the MCO to be faxed so he could look at it, at which point he declared “it’s a golf cart, title it as one”. But the queen was not happy with this answer (because she was losing) and so she demanded to talk to his supervisor. Meanwhile, I was nothing but nice to the clerk and to her, and so I have no idea why she insisted on raining on my parade. The guy on the other end of the phone wants her to describe the vehicle, because the MCO says “LSV” for the body type. I said “tell him it’s like a GEM car”. She says “it’s like one of those old GEM cars”. I correct her, “no, not OLD GEM car’s, it’s a real thing, and they have been making them for 12 years. He will know what I am talking about”.

Guess what the supervisor said? It’s a golf cart, and you should give that guy a standard title, noting that it’s a low speed vehicle. What now? “You will NEVER get plates for that”. Okay, so you are going to print me up a standard title, why wouldn’t I be able to get plates??

So she snaps up the MCO and goes next door to the registrar. Never asking if that was okay with me? :slight_smile: That wasted another 20 minutes or so. Guess what they said? Yes, he can title it. Yes, he can put plates on it.

And in the end, after the better part of an hour, they reluctantly titled the damn car which took all of 10 minutes. And getting plates and registration next door was an easy process.

I had been planning on putting some snazzy vanity plates on it - but after all that nonsense, I just wanted to get some plates and get the hell out of that place.

Now … I have to insure the thing. And I can see this will be interesting. My insurance agent came out this morning and took pictures of it to send to the underwriters. They are not sure what to call it and how to insure it. This is either going to be really cheap - or grossly expensive.


Not gonna be cheap. Cant wait to hear.

The insurance ended up not being that difficult. For ME anyway. The agency and my underwriter had to go back and forth on it. And pictures were exchanged. Ultimately, they decided it was “car enough” and ensured it like a vehicle lacking some safety features. This was probably a special case sort of thing.

At any rate, I removed a 68’ Volkswagen Bug (been sitting in my driveway unregistered for a long while now) and replaced it with a 2015 Massimo Jonway MSE-220. And the difference was about $40 extra a month. The VW was liability only, and this one is full coverage on a $7500 value car. So … not bad really?