If you live in Arkansas you have seen your share of mobile homes. Much like “stick built” houses, they cost a wide range of money. For many they are an inexpensive alternative to a house built traditionally.
Here is a tidbit that you may not have known about mobile homes, they are considered personal property. What this means is that unlike a “stick built” home they are transportable and therefore aren’t considered real estate. See the provided definition Investopedia.com.
Personal property, in its most general definition, can include any asset other than real estate. The distinguishing factor between personal property and real estate is that personal property is movable; that is, the asset is not fixed permanently to one location as with real property, such as land or buildings. (Reference: www.investopedia.com/terms/p/personalproperty.asp)
So how does this apply to selling a mobile home? On August 5, 2017 the state of Arkansas passed a law requiring a title for all mobile homes when selling the home. So if you have bought, or are buying, be sure to keep your title where it is secure and easily found.
But let’s say that you bought your mobile before the law was enacted and only have a Bill of Sale or no title at all. How do you get a new title? Good question. There is a form that can be filled out and submitted to the Department of Revenue. What you will need is the VIN or Serial Number located on your mobile home. It may be located on the back beam or by the tongue of your mobile. Newer models have that information somewhere within your home near the kitchen sink or water heater. If you are fortunate to have this information, you can submit the form and it will be a 4-6 week process to receive your alternate title.
However what happens if you can’t find a Serial or VIN number anywhere? Here is where it gets more complicated and turns into a longer process. Since you are legally required to have a title, if you cannot find one you will need to contact local law enforcement. They will send someone out with a new form that validates that there isn’t a number anywhere to be found. This form requires a signature and the badge number of the officer that assists you.
Once you receive this additional form you will need to send it in with your title request at the Department of Revenue offices. At this point it will be a 21 day wait to be re-issued a new VIN number for your mobile. Once you have a VIN you are required to go to a local trophy shop to have it engraved on a mountable metal panel that must be affixed somewhere within the mobile. Don’t forget, this is a government agency so there will be a fee for being re-issued the VIN in addition to buying a plaque to mount in your mobile.
So now you have a VIN number and it is mounted in your mobile. You still don’t have a title. At this point you can submit the form for an alternate title and within 4-6 weeks should receive your new title. I trust at this point that you are beginning to see the value of holding onto that original title in a safe and secure environment.
Like all rules, there is an exception. Let’s say you own a double wide. You can surrender your title to the state essentially transitioning your mobile from personal property to real estate. What this means is that when you sell the property you don’t need a title. I am not sure if you can do the same with a single wide. That will require some research. So definitely hang on to those single wide titles folks.
I hope that you have found this article informative and helpful. Thanks for reading.