I feel for you. Talking to the NY state DMV is like playing 20 questions and getting no answers to any question.
I bought a boat once for 75 bucks from a guy, who got it in trade for some work he did, for another guy, that bought from someone else, who got it from a guy, who is now dead.
Sound familiar when buying old boats ?
Anyway…. The boat still had the hull registration number visible. ( I wanted to register the boat in my name, before I did any work on it.) You never know ? could have been a stolen boat, at one point ?
I called the local county DMV to find out who had it registered last, so I could get a bill of sale from them and register the boat…. And of course, the response I got was:
I’m sorry I can’t give out that information.
So, living close to another nearby county, I called that county DMV, and told the story above. And explained that I just wanted to register it, but can’t, because I need bill of sale from the last registered owner, (which was a 1957 model year) the DMV won’t tell me who registered it last ? When I got to the point of the guy was dead, the kind lady looked to see if he still had a valid driver’s license. Sure enough, the guy was still alive. Since the boat was so old, she gave me the last registered owner’s name and town , and the white pages did the rest.
A few days later, including an hour and a half drive, and 20 bucks for his trouble, I had a bill of sale.
So you may try calling multiple county, DMV’s, with your sob story to find a sympathetic ear ?
Since all you need is the listed maker and model year ? It may be doable ?
Good luck !!!!