Titling Problem

I bought a home with a Bill of Sale. Seller moves it to my park as part of the deal.

So it gets on my park and my city wants the label number to tax it.

But, turns out the home has no label or serial numbers anywhere to be found. So I ask the guy to give me some information and he tells me, listen you agreed to buy it with a Bill of Sale. I said yes, but that has nothing to do with identification of the home. Someone had to pay taxes on the home during 2017. The city wants the numbers so it can tax it of course.

So seller says he has no more info, he has discussed it with his attorney, and I need to leave him alone. I bought it as is.
City wants the numbers to tax it or I need to remove it.
And without numbers, I can’t really hire a mover that wants to properly get a permit.

If I send in an affidavit that there are no numbers, and here is my bill of sale, the guy is probably going to get in serious trouble for selling it and for the fact that he didn’t get a permit to move it.

Any ideas? I am trying to do the right thing here and not get myself into a civil matter.

Does the city have the authority to force you to move the home? I’d ask them to explain on what basis they can enforce such action. In the cities I deal with, only one would make an issue over setting up a home. They require any mobile home moved into the city to be 15 years or newer; otherwise, they will not give a CO.

In NC I’ve had several homes that I’ve moved and set up with no title and VIN number that I could find, and it was never an issue. When the city asked me for a VIN, or where it came from, if I didn’t have the information they didn’t force the issue.

They think it could be a “mobile home” which isn’t allowed instead of a manufactured home. And so they are not allowing me to get electricity to it.

Given your handle I assume this Park is in Texas, but maybe not. Anyway Texas has a process to assign a serial number to a home without one. Call the TDHCA and ask them the right forms to fill out - should be something like an AFFIDAVIT OF FACT FOR NO ID NUMBERS type deal.

Since it’s not January 1st they shouldn’t be worried about taxing you since their valuations are supposed to be on that date. Good luck!

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Yes, in Texas. I’ve called the state. They will want the bill of Sale, and proof 2017 estimated taxes have been paid.

As part of that can’t you assert it’s a 1976+ home and use that to have the city turn on electric, etc?

What does the bill of sale say you bought? In all honesty, you probably will not be able to get clean title and the city may require you to remove the home (or demolish it).

If there is no label number, you need to apply for a “seal number” which is the ID number for a home with no label number. Once you have a “seal” you can apply for title (SOL or Statement Of Location).

In order to get a SOL you need to tell the TDHCA whether the home was moved for this sale. If it was moved, they will need the mover’s permit (called a Form T) and a statement from the county (called a Form 1076) where it resided on 1/1/2017 stating that 2017 taxes have been escrowed (the bills come out in October).

If it was not moved, then you need the Form 1076 from your County.

If it moved from a different county, the taxes should have been paid in the county where it was on 1/1/2017 in order to get a moving permit. If it was moved without a permit, the mover should be liable (but good luck chasing him down, or the seller).

IF you can figure out where it was on the tax rolls before it was moved, there should be a record of its tax status. As the new owner, you will have to pay any back taxes or you will not be able to get “clean title.” Assuming you do get the Form 1076, you may be able to tell the TDHCA that you don’t know who moved it (and avoid the hassle of documenting the Form T).

Cities can prohibit “mobile homes” (Pre-HUD homes i.e. pre-1976). You may have bought one in which case you’ll have to sell it to someone else who takes it off your hands, or demolish it. Or it may be post-1976 but not a HUD-code home.

If it’s really a HUD-code manufactured home but just you can’t find the info, you’ll probably have to explain that on the form Form 1008 that @jhutson posted. If the TDHCA believes you then you can/will get the seal #. (*I have never tried this). That’s probably your best shot at a way out of your mess. Otherwise you have about $3k demolition bill to show for all your hard work (or, you might be able to sell it as “business use” if you can get a seal #.)


Thank you for the responses. I am trying to make sense of it all. The Seller was also the mover and he did not get a permit, he also was the installer.

There is no way for me to fill out the form as I do not know the manufacturer, model, or year. The bill of sale says a 14x50 mobile home. The Seller will not give me the address where it was on January 1 for me to pull any tax information. This was the first home I bought from an individual, so I am learning the hard way.

I could sell it to someone, but I don’t want to do to someone else what was done to me. I can have it moved out to my land in the country and use as storage as a final option.

Your “check of last resort” is to crawl under the home and look at the foremost cross member and see if there is a serial number stamped on it. If you can find that you should be able to track it down, otherwise it’s a mobile home and you’re likely in a pickle.

Some details: Section 3280.6 of the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards states, “(a) A manufactured home serial number which will identify the manufacturer and the state in which the manufactured home is manufactured must be stamped into the foremost cross member. Letters and numbers must be 3/8-inch minimum in height. Numbers must not be stamped into hitch assembly or drawbar.”


Good luck!


Awesome. It’s a dirty business at times, I’ll go crawl under there.

No numbers. So I’m going to have it moved and make a very nice storage shed out of it. I’m not currently in the mood to get into a legal dispute over it.

Update, I found a number, it’s a ML5 which appears to be a vehicle ID number. Does TDHCA handle those or do I go to the DMV?

Call the TDHCA they are super helpful in general.