Yes, they can do this and they do it all the time. If you want it registered, then you will have to pay the amounts to get it registered. Contact the prior owner and ask them to pay for the time they owned it. If they refuse, you can take them to small claims court since your claim is probably less than $10,000.
I agree with the first answer to this question. In response to your question as to whether this is the type of case that is suitable for treatment as a class action, no it is not.
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I dont' see a Class Action suit. Also, governmental immunities come into play. Your issue is with the prior owner.
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