Titles are required when purchasing a new mobile home or transferring ownership. A title is the document showing ownership which is issued by the County Clerk. Upon the sale of a mobile home, the seller should provide the buyer with a title for two reasons:
The buyer has proof of ownership.
Movement of a mobile home cannot commence without proof of ownership.
The public record reflects the correct owner for tax assessment purposes. If the transfer of ownership is not reflected through the issuance of a new title in the buyer’s name, all assessments and tax bills will remain in the seller’s name.
Before issuing a mobile home title, the county clerk requires a "Mobile Home Tax Status Statement" issued by this office providing proof that all current and delinquent taxes are paid. Therefore, taxes must be paid to change a mobile home title. It is recommended that a prospective mobile home purchaser contact the treasurer’s office to determine if the seller has paid the taxes up to date.
Before moving a mobile home on any street or highway, the owner must present to the treasurer’s office, a certificate of title and pay the current year’s taxes (and delinquent taxes, if any). In the event the ad valorem levy has not been set for the current year, the current year’s tax is computed by the County Assessor upon the levy for the previous year. Upon payment of the current year’s tax, the treasurer’s office issues the "Application for Movement - Tax Release." This identifies the mobile home, the new location and shows the paid taxes. The owner shows the release to the Ports of Entry to receive a moving permit.
Mobile homes not attached to real property are assessed as personal property. The collection of delinquent mobile home taxes is handled differently than those of real property. The tax upon personal property is a lien upon the personal property until paid. Instead of selling the county’s lien at a tax sale, the treasurer’s office levies distress on personal property. A distraint is a seizure of the mobile home and subsequent sale to satisfy the tax obligation.