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New guy with about 100 questions,

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by Mike B, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

    I just recently found out these trucks even existed. I live in Illinois and a buddy in Montana just ordered one, where, apparently they are legal to drive on the road. Right away I was enthused...my wife says I'm easily impressed :p I've spoken with my local title and license service, the lady there assures me I can get license plates IF I can get a title. I've spoken with a couple import dealers in Missouri who had no suggestions on how to obtain a title. In looking thru the sponsors I found a dealer here in IL, I plan to call them this morning.

    My question is regarding the title. Do these vehicles come with a title or if not, how does one go about getting a title, is it even possible? If it's at all possible to get one licensed, I'd like to buy one ASAP.

    I'm have tons more questions on vehicle types, what to buy, features, etc. right now I need to find out how to get one on the road.
  2. MichTrucks

    MichTrucks Moderator Staff Member

    Mike you will generally get a bill of sale. There is no Japanese Title as such, There is an export certificate but not much else.
    You will need to see what is need to ge a title in your state. I can title here in Michigan but it is for off-road use. I don't have plates on the truck I drive, Just a SMV sign.

    Avenues to investigate may be: Title as a home built assembled vehicle, etc. As there are mini trucks titled and on the road, there must be a way.

    Hope this and that call you made to the dealer gives you what you need.
  3. Mighty Milt

    Mighty Milt Active Member

    i live in arizona and am in the same boat, they want a title to register it, i'm currently working on bonding a title.

    apparently when they export them from japan they surrender the japanese title for the export documents. one mvd i went to was going to take my export certs as an MSO but i hadn't been through emissions yet, by the time i got through emissions they changed their minds.
  4. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

    I appreciate the info. The import dealer basically said there is no way I'd be able to get plates, and if one did slip through the cracks, they would eventually catch it. He pretty much said the same things you are telling me about the title etc. I'm betting I can get an off-road title as I have one for the quad.

    That option has crossed my mind too. I can legally drive a tractor on the road with only a SMV sign, so I would guess this would be the same? Even if it is, I could see getting harrassed by the local cops with no plate...but I'd do it IF I were sure I was in the right. I really just want to be legal but it seems the deck is stacked against trying minimize the effects $4+ per gallon gas. If these trucks could be licensed here, I'm sure there'd be a huge market for them.

    Home built assembled might be another option. Dune buggies can be licensed here as long as they have a windshield, wipers, and lights. I don't see a lot of difference. I'll need to ask the title/license lady about that.
  5. MichTrucks

    MichTrucks Moderator Staff Member

    Be vague when asking the title lady. I would probable be asking about how you can title that thing you are building from parts at the auto salvage yard. I may eventually go this route.

    One the other, The SMV sign, I have my sprayer "That is full of 2-4-D" in the back of the truck when I am going to town. I was just spraying with it. What I don't do is just go driving arround. Truly I use the one I drive right here on the Farm, lost of acreage and horses. But still I don't want to be stopped. There is no need to be challenging the law.

    Just My Humble Opinion
  6. Colin

    Colin Member

    Look into registering it as an ATV. In Minnesota, there's a classification called 'Class II ATV' - basically, multi-passenger ATVs with a dry curb weight greater than 900 lbs. They're allowed on county roads, rural roads, city streets (unless ATVs are specifically disallowed by the municipality,) etc. You're not allowed on "trunk roads" (which I take to mean interstate highways, since the ATV manual is vague.) Ditch riding is prohibited in/on a Class II ATV.

  7. ltclarry

    ltclarry New Member

    Mike, I am also in il no way to get plates. Bought mine in sep 07 have put on 1800 miles so far no problems. Put SMV ON BACK AND TAKE IT EASY!!!
  8. Colin

    Colin Member

    Never say never... where there's a will, there's a way. :D
  9. jtpc

    jtpc Member

    I've said this before on posts, but I suggest the easiest way is talk to your representative and make them legal by passing legislation. Then you don't have to worry about jumping through hoops and feeling semi-illegal.
    This way its easy for you, easy for the tag agency, and easy on your conscience.
    And you won't have cops questioning you.
    (OK and LA are first to be openly pro-minitruck being street legal with legislation)
  10. danish

    danish Member

    I'm in IL and currently working on a bonded title like Milt is (whom gave me the idea so thank you Milt). The lady at the license service gave me all the forms to get it started and my insurance agent has the paperwork ready for the bond. It doesn't seem too hard; a letter of appraisal (my buddy works at a dealership and signed it for me), a law enforcement certification (any police officer can sign it, my old neighbor is the deputy chief in my town), bill of sale, title bond (1.5 times the appraised value, the agent will take care of it all), and your check book to pay for the taxes. I'm excited to get it licensed for a trip I have to Moab, UT in March so now I can take in the national parks if all goes as planned. I'm trailering it there of course..Good luck to you...
  11. Clifford

    Clifford Member

    We run all over in ours in Illinois. But, we are also very good friends with the local policemen. Gotta watch out for the state guys on one highway. But, we can duck into the nearest farm field, and go to work when necessary!
    Gotta have that SMV plate on all of the farm equipment anyway, so no problem.
    Checking on the yellow flashing light thing now...
    Of course, I wanted wig-wags to go with my air horn!
  12. spaniels1

    spaniels1 New Member

    Illinois info

    I hadn't found this thread and posted to another - but I live in Illinois also.
    I've inquired to the state (without giving my name or info). They told me that the mini-trucks are not legal to use on state highways or interstates due to their not passing safety testing?

    BUT - there is a local fella in the neighboring town that uses an ag hitch (no ball) and the orange triangle. He says the cops pulled him over a few times and then left him alone. Said he was okay as long as there isn't a ball in the hitch.

    That's what I am hoping to work with - but if it is a farm implement - or considered one like described above, do I have to own farm ground to qualify? (I don't).

    Yes, I think that the long term solution would be to get some legislation breaks - but that sounds like a long haul.

    Most of my driving could be done on gravel, and within 60 minutes of my home. If I can get that done and avoid tickets - I'd be in good shape saving fuel.

    Beyond that - I'll be checking with the state and county cops to see what they say. Interested in hearing the result of the builder title route. Why not... ???

    I'll post back what I find out. If anyone has any additional info to share - please let me know. My truck will be finished in about 3 weeks. Anxious to get on down the road in it.


  13. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

    I've never heard of this bonded title and am unclear exactly what it is. I'll question the license service lady on it.

    If you haven't already been there, Moab is beautiful.

    Contacting representatives is always a good idea, but I would like to get it done whithin my lifetime. In my personal experience, contacting representatives makes you "feel" like you've done your part, but generally has little or no effect, at least in my state.
  14. Colin

    Colin Member

    Agreed. I'd rather find a loophole and drive my truck today rather than call a representative and let my truck rot while the bill sits in a dusty file cabinet in the capitol for years on end. I don't have time for bureaucratic bullshit - I'm busy with my pursuit of happiness.

  15. spaniels1

    spaniels1 New Member


    Colin, Mike B - agree 100%

    With that said - I'm looking for loopholes.

    Bonded title - sure thing. Did that with an old 56 chevy pickup I found years ago. You bond the title - if nobody has a viable claim to the vehicle within a set period of time (it's usually long - like a year or two) - you get a new title.

    If anyone knows of good illinois loopholes - I'm all ears. I want to drive this truck - all over!

    Thanks again!
  16. Sorry for the devil's advocate on licensing.

    I for one hope titles are never issued for our mini's. That would mean we would have to insure them, and then when the insurance companies try to fix one of these even from a minor fender bender, we would either get dropped like a hot potato or pay about the same rate as the guy with the Viper! The other prob in my thoughts is the number of morons who would spend too much time gawking and POW! As we all know in a mini vs. full-size encounter, we would be toast:eek:
  17. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

    Here's what info I got from the license service today;

    There is no such thing as a "Homemade Title" for a vehicle. That would be for a trailer only. There is however a "Specially Constructed" title. This would cover buggies or trikes made from VW's, etc. and might be possible. The trouble I see with that is the Secretary of State sends a man out to inspect the vehicle to verify that it has the requirements to be titled as such. I'm pretty certain these guys are up to speed on the mini-truck laws in this state and would quite likely be rejected. If you already own a mini, you probably have nothing to lose by trying and it seems less involved than a "Bonded Title". In my case, I'm reluctant to spend the money on a mini unless I'm pretty sure I can legally drive it on the street.

    The Bonded title info was just as danish said. It remains bonded for a period of three years. It's basically in place to assure that the vehicle does not belong to someone else and protects the state from liability. This route might be do-able. The trouble I could foresee is getting an insurance company to insure it if they are concerned about the legalities of street use. Also, in today's litigious society, getting local law enforcement to sign off on it would most likely be a problem in my area. If it were a bit more rural, and there were a few more "good ol boys" around, that might not be the case.
  18. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

    I sent this letter to an IL rep today.

    Mr. Stephens, I write you in regard to a topic of which you may not be aware. There are "mini-trucks" being imported to this country from Japan. These small trucks are produced by a number of manufacturers and are capable of 40+ mpg, most are 4 wheel drive, can attain speeds of up to 60-65 mph, and are completely legal to own in this country. They are used vehicles exported from Japan where they are driven on the street daily, and can be purchased through importer/dealers here in the U.S. for a very fair price depending on the specific brand and features. However, Illinois law prohibits licensing these economic vehicles for street use. I find this unbeleivable when I see scooters and motorcycles being used for the same economic reasons. I write you simply as a citizen who has looked at every available option to "legally" buy, title, license, and drive one of these vehicles and have found none. It would suit my specific needs where most of my driving is within 1 hour of home and could be saving considerably on fuel. I'd love to see the State of Illinois recognize that these are an alternative to spending $45,000 on a new Hybrid automobile for folks who cannot, or are simply unwilling to pay it. Some other states already allow legal street use of the mini-trucks, and apparently more states including Missouri are going to begin allowing them in the near future.
    For information purposes only, I'm attaching two links. I hope they come through.


    Sincerely, Mike B.
  19. Kinokawa

    Kinokawa New Member

    I have read all of the posts here but I didn't see the truck I am after mentioned. Specifically, I want to know if these same issues apply to the Daihatsu Hijet.
    I realise the last post was in '08, but I hope for results nonetheless.

  20. okaufman

    okaufman Member


    I'm in Illinois also and just picked up a suzuki carry. Am about to start looking into getting it plated....can you give me some pointers?

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