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Old 06-06-2009, 04:56 PM   #1
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Dealing with CA's DMV

The time for us to pick up our new 19' is a little over a month away -- yes, we're excited! Tempering that excitement, however, is the fact that I have to deal with California's famous (infamous?) Department of Motor Vehicles. On Monday, Tammy is sending me the documentation I'll need to get the trailer initially registered before picking it up. I'm hoping those of you from California on the forum who have bought new can give me some advice on what all is involved in the process (I have an app't on 6/15), and how to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. Having never owned a trailer before, this is just one more area where I'm a total rookie.

Thanks in advance,
Bruce Wray
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Well we're picking ours up next week and didn't do anything to initially register. I'll let you know if we make it back home to Northern California!

But really, it's always been my understanding that in California you have 10 days to register a vehicle that you've purchased. That's what we did when we bought our used Casita in Oregon. We had to take it into the DMV to register it though, as they wanted to measure it. Hopefully it will be as easy with the Escape!

Dealing with DMV can be a bear! I was on hold for 30 minutes last week as I needed to get an answer to a question regarding the sale of our Casita. The recording kept coming back on the line to suggest that I might want to hang up and try some other time, but I just persevered and eventually someone answered!
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Actually it's pretty easy.. What you'll have to do is get a travel permit from the DMV to bring the TT into CA, I think it costs $17.. You'll need to have the physical TT inspected.. I highly suggest getting it inspected at the DMV office as the form can be filled out by any CHP or Police officer, but if they make a mistake and not fill out the form properly DMV will not register it (as what happened to us..basically a wasted trip to DMV) and you'll end up bringing it back nto the DMV anyway .. After it's inspected, DMV will registered it and give you the plates.

Also on the Travel Permit, I think it was valid for 30 days (from when you get it from DMV).. If you plan on taking a trip that is longer than the 30 days (from when we got the form, which was our case) The DMV clerk was nice and left the date "blank" and we filled it in after we picked up in Chilliwack..

The inspection process was pretty straight forward.. they verify the VIN and some other CA requirements and basically just fill out the form, which you then present to another clerk who then updates the system and gives you your plates..
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Thanks for the info. That sets my mind at ease..relatively.

Bruce
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

This is from the California DMV site:

"Fees must be paid within 20 days of entry or residency to avoid penalties. Any vehicle owned by a California resident must be registered within 20 days of entry into California unless a special permit was obtained." (Emphasis mine.)

The way I read this is that one has 20 days to register and pay fees. However, if someone needs more than 20 days (like if they're on a 30 days trip), then a special permit is required. Hey, I could be wrong but that's how we're going to operate...
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:50 AM   #6
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Since I am going to pick up the "Suite Escape" next week, I am going to call California AAA's DMV line. I figured since I'd have papers, that may be good enough. I can't add her to my policy until I take possession, but they said I'm covered for 30 days. Needless to say, I'm going to call and add her asap. Hopefully, I will be given the correct info.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

WOW! That sounds like some kinda process! Good luck, and it sounds like you might need it!

It's a little easier up here in the land of the ice and snow! I had insurance and plates before we left home. No inspections or measurements.

Must be getting pretty excited??!!

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Old 06-08-2009, 10:39 AM   #8
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

And how! I've got half my living room floor with containers of "stuff". Now comes the whittling down process. Since I will be stopping in Oregon, (one of my kids lives there), I might take it all to that point and transfer only the bare necessities to Chilliwack. Definitely the electric blanket will go the whole way.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:00 PM   #9
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Guess what? I just called our DMV and was told that since mods were made for me, I have to get a certificate of construction signed by the manufacturer, before I can register it. The good news was that I don't need anything other than border papers. ( I guess one gets something by somebody upon entry to the US.) More bureaucratic baloney! :
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandra L
And how! I've got half my living room floor with containers of "stuff". Now comes the whittling down process. Since I will be stopping in Oregon, (one of my kids lives there), I might take it all to that point and transfer only the bare necessities to Chilliwack. Definitely the electric blanket will go the whole way.
You could just ship the bulky stuff to Oregon (don't have to deal with customs) and then pick it up on the way back with the Escape..
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:24 PM   #11
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Jeff, Did you have to get a "Certificate of Construction"? This gal told me that since mods were made for me, that it wasn't "off the shelf", so to speak, that I needed that for registration. But nothing about just bringing it in. did your invoice have an itemization called "customization"? I may have to ask Tammy to call that "miscellaneous" and print me a new invoice. This gal said that if there was even the slightest change, that the certificate was needed. Sheesh!
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #12
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

As far as the Oregon stop, I'm stopping there in both directions. I wonder how Wolf will like the roof? I'm going to put the soft stuff in a roof-top carrier, and the rest should be OK in the back in containers. The additional stuff such as a little shop vac (one gallon) can wait till she gets home. I'm going to have my son help with the weighing of contents to get a ballpark idea of how much "stuffing" i'm doing.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:48 PM   #13
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandra L
Jeff, Did you have to get a "Certificate of Construction"? This gal told me that since mods were made for me, that it wasn't "off the shelf", so to speak, that I needed that for registration. But nothing about just bringing it in. did your invoice have an itemization called "customization"? I may have to ask Tammy to call that "miscellaneous" and print me a new invoice. This gal said that if there was even the slightest change, that the certificate was needed. Sheesh!
No we never heard of it.. It's funny how everyone gets different answers when they call/deal with the DMV.. We were told we needed the Travel permit, nothing about the 20 days to get it into the state.. But I can tell you when we picked up our AS in Nevada, we dealt with DMV over the phone and got different responses at different times..

The Bill of Sale from Escape did have a line item for modifying the wardrobe. During the whole process with the DMV it never came up, I wouldn't even mention it. During the inspection process they checked the VIN, weight, number of axels, length and that was basically it.. They didn't ask if I had/did any modifications to the TT (even tough there's a line item on the invoice).. they just filled out the form..
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:40 PM   #14
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

How did you get a travel permit? Did you go to a DMV office? AAA doesn't do transfers so they had no info. I've thought about leaving it in Oregon for a year to avoid the hassle, but I don't think I could bear to have her so far away after hatching!
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:45 PM   #15
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Yep.. when Tammy initially sent the paperwork to us, we (like) everyone else thought "no big deal" just make an appointment to register the Trailer... That's when we found out about the inspection process and the Travel Permit.. So we paid the registration at that time & got the travel permit.. So all we had to do when we got back was get it inspected & they gave us the plates..

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Old 06-08-2009, 06:36 PM   #16
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Wow, I'll never complain about our DMV in Virginia AGAIN!
Sandra, you're gonna enjoy that Escape!
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:32 PM   #17
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

After thorough (in my mind anyway) investigation of other tts, I know the "Suite Escape" will be thoroughly appreciated.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:45 AM   #18
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Re: Dealing with CA's DMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandra L
k. Definitely the electric blanket will go the whole way.
We have spent the last 2 weeks in Oregon. We have not even turned the heater on once yet, so I doubt you would need an electric blanket. In fact, we have had a window or two cracked open at night or it gets quite warm. The temps here have been great lately, highs around 70, just right.

That sure seems like quite a hassle registering your trailer. In Alberta, we just tell them what it is, give them the serial number and proof of purchase, and you get a permanent plate.
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