The continuing saga of registering the trailer... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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I bought my Campster in Washington, with plates due to expire the end of May. So, before the end of May, I got a local sheriff's deputy to verify the VIN, and sent the appropriate forms to California for processing (many forms, including the above verification and an affadavit from me as to why I was doing the registration from Washington.)

So I called today to check on why I have not received anything.

So far they have not STARTED processing my registration. (The VIN was not in the system, which means it was not processed. That is, assuming the guy I talked to looked in the right place for it.)

I have less than a month left to get it registered to go back to California. No problem IN California- I have 20 days after I entered to get it registered- but I have to tow it through Washington and Oregon on the way.

So I call Washington. Sure, they can give me a 3-day permit to move it--- for $20! That's twice what the registration is in California. And of course, that only gets me to the Oregon border. Then I have to buy another $20 permit from the State of Oregon. They are more generous; theirs is good for 21 days. And they tell me that I can use Washington's permit in Oregon (although Washington said I couldn't.) Maybe I can use an Oregon permit in Washington?

What's the cost of a ticket for towing an unregistered trailer? (I have a Washington plate but it expired in May.)

I'm going to be pretty mad at California if I have to pay $40 because they didn't process my application in three months time.

Bobbie
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
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Why don't you just register it in Washington and leave it at that. Just leave the Washington plates on the thing until it comes time to renew then change it over to Cal.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:10 PM   #3
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I work in a County government office in Florida where this seems to work well:

Call your state senator in Ca or better yet email them with your problem, and this may expedite process.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:59 PM   #4
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Why don't you just register it in Washington and leave it at that. Just leave the Washington plates on the thing until it comes time to renew then change it over to Cal.
I can't register here because I'm not a resident (although I pay property taxes.) I already went through that with my boat- which lives here. And most of the use will be in California, and it is cheaper to pay the extra $20 and register it there than to register it in Washington, anyway. ($10 in Ca, $37 in Washington.)

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Old 07-20-2007, 06:21 AM   #5
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Don'tcha just love dealing with govt. offices?

Still, if it makes you feel better... here in Alberta, my trailer plate cost me $115.54 (taxes included)....hmmm, maybe I should move to California..no snow and cheaper registrations.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:21 AM   #6
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Hi Bobbie,

I just went thru the reg process in CA. You need to take the trailer to a DMV office after you enter CA (assuming it has never been registered in CA). They need to verify the VIN, among other things. Then be prepared to pay 7-8% of the purchase price to register it. The DMV will not process your registration until "all of your ducks are lined up". In other words, not until all the papers are filled out and signed and all the fees are paid.

If you own property in WA, why not renew the trailer registration there and skip the CA registration altogether? If you live part of the time in WA, that should be acceptable.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:47 AM   #7
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If the taxes are based on the sale price I think my Bill Of Sale would state that I paid almost nothing for the camper .
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:27 PM   #8
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When I transfered the title for my Love Bug here in Wisconsin, I spoke with 5 different people at the DOT. My question was-"Do I need to license my 1000 pound Love Bug?" The question comes up because the license application states that trailers under 2000 pounds do not require registration. I spoke with the DOT officer, the floor supervisor, department supervisor, and department head. They could not answer my question. They finally came up with the ultimate answer-pass the buck. Their final answer-Ask someone at the Wisconsin State Highway Patrol. I go over to their office and get the dumbest look imaginable from them. Their answer-What the heck is the DOT doing? They make these decisions. We just enforce the law. I got signed papers from the DOT and the State Patrol agreeing that they could not determine if I neede to register the camper. I have been pulling the camper for 3 years and have not been pulled over.

I am going to go ahead and register the camper before I pull out of state because I think that WI is one of the last places not to require trailer licenses. We don't register any of our utiltiy trailers and they don't need brakes until they get over 3000 pounds.

It's surprising that they have not decided that this is a golden calf waiting to be cashed in.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:08 PM   #9
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Hi Bobbie,

I just went thru the reg process in CA. You need to take the trailer to a DMV office after you enter CA (assuming it has never been registered in CA). They need to verify the VIN, among other things. Then be prepared to pay 7-8% of the purchase price to register it. The DMV will not process your registration until "all of your ducks are lined up". In other words, not until all the papers are filled out and signed and all the fees are paid.

If you own property in WA, why not renew the trailer registration there and skip the CA registration altogether? If you live part of the time in WA, that should be acceptable.
I was told on the boat registration that I could not register there if I was a California resident. Plus, with $10 PTI in California vs. annual registration in Washington, its no contest. And I plan to mainly operate it in California.

I had a peace officer up here verify the VIN and sent it with an affadavit and appropriate forms and fees to California- I was supposed to be able to get it registered before I returned to California. The problem is that they seem to either have lost it or have a long backup. Once I'm IN California I have 20 days to register it- but I have to get there first. I will probably wait until the day before I leave, and if the plates have not come, pay the $20 to Washington and get a trip permit for three days.

It's frustrating- it isn't like I waited until the last minute to do this! And when I called I asked if they could trace my application and they said no, it was still in incoming mail if not in the system. And that means it could be in a stack somewhere or could be lost and no way to figure out which. I am going to call again on Monday and see if I get someone who has a clue.

Bobbie
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:53 PM   #10
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.. here in Alberta, my trailer plate cost me $115.54...
... but it is permanent unlike Washington. And unlike California's PTI, it isn't only for trailers under some arbitrary size. I'll take a hundred bucks once over annual renewal - even if it were only $1 - any day!
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:56 PM   #11
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If the taxes are based on the sale price I think my Bill Of Sale would state that I paid almost nothing for the camper .
I lived in Ontario, where motor vehicle registration includes collecting the sales tax. The fraudulent Bill of Sale (with understated value) was a well-known trick there. If overdone, it raises suspicion (no they won't believe you bought it for $1). I think if I were running the registration system, I'd make it very unpleasant for someone trying this stunt and getting caught to complete any vehicle registration...

I'm now in Alberta, where there is no provincial sales tax, and thus no collection of it as part of registration; life is simpler, in this respect anyway. (The tax Scott mentioned was the federal government's tax on the registration service, not on the trailer.)
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:10 PM   #12
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The purchase price is recorded on the title transfer papers, so if one wanted to cheat, both seller and buyer would have to be in on it. The real place to cheat would be on autos or things where part of the renewal fee is based on cost as well. A one-time tax is one thing, but on autos you have to pay that tax over and over again (it diminishes as the vehicle ages.)

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Old 07-20-2007, 02:12 PM   #13
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I lived in Ontario, where motor vehicle registration includes collecting the sales tax. The fraudulent Bill of Sale (with understated value) was a well-known trick there. If overdone, it raises suspicion (no they won't believe you bought it for $1). I think if I were running the registration system, I'd make it very unpleasant for someone trying this stunt and getting caught to complete any vehicle registration...
It is still this way for trailers, they go solely by the bill of sale (within reason I assume...).

With vehicles (cars etc) it used to be that way but they got wise, now they charge you the tax based on the bill of sale price, or Canadian Red Book wholesale value - whichever is higher.
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:49 PM   #14
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they now check the value on newer trailers, this is new to Ontario, just in the last 2-3 years.

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Old 07-21-2007, 04:48 PM   #15
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The plot thickens. I just got a letter- sent to my California address, NOT to the address here where I asked to have the registration sent. It says I owe another $19. I'm going to call Monday before I send it and find out what it is for and ask them to expedite it and PLEASE send the plates to the right place. (And obviously the trailer WAS in the system Thursday when I called and the idiot told me it was not.)

Bobbie
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Old 07-21-2007, 05:55 PM   #16
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The purchase price is recorded on the title transfer papers, so if one wanted to cheat, both seller and buyer would have to be in on it.
Yes, that's how it works. The seller may issue two reciepts - one for the Bill of Sale price, and another for the difference. The seller's willingness to participate in the fraud is a negotiating point.

Quote:
The real place to cheat would be on autos or things where part of the renewal fee is based on cost as well. A one-time tax is one thing, but on autos you have to pay that tax over and over again (it diminishes as the vehicle ages.)
Ontario sales tax used to be 7% (I'm not sure of the current rate). 7% of thousands of dollars - even once - is sufficient motivation for many. I had not heard of registration fees based on vehicle value, so I don't know how significant the cost is.
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:03 PM   #17
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I had not heard of registration fees based on vehicle value, so I don't know how significant the cost is.
Unfortunately, it's a common practice in some US states, like Calif, AZ, GA, NE and likely others and can be thousands of dollars on a new vehicle, continuing every year based on Blue Book Value, especially a BulgeMobile motorhome RV!! WA voters a few years back had a citizen's initiative to dump that form of taxation.

States with no sales tax, like OR, have had problems with out-of-staters claiming false residence to evade the tax on new RVs:


Quote:
Friday, December 14, 2001

Everyone Wants To Reduce Their Personal Tax Burden

Whenever the issue of eliminating the income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax comes up, I am asked what I will do for a career. My answer is that my career will go on just as before. Money is money. Instead of helping people reduce or elminate income taxes, I would be just as busy helping people do the same with their sales taxes.

A long running popular tax savings (aka avoidance, evasion) strategy for people who live in states that have high sales & property taxes is to register their vehicles in tax free states. Oregon is one of the most popular because there is no sales tax nor property tax on vehicles. Just as I warn people who ask about doing this, jealous neighbors usually turn in these people because nobody likes to see someone else avoiding the taxes the rest of us have to pay.

This article in today's Arkansas Democrat is interesting on several levels. The high taxes here in Arkansas have driven many people to register their vehicles in Oregon. There is even a local business providing that service for people, for a fee of $1,000. Just as with the most aggressive tax collection state, California, Arkansas is cracking down on the people it can find avoiding the Arkansas taxes.

The extra ironic thing about this Arkansas case is that the lawbreaker who has been arrested is a judge whose very own paychecks come from the same taxes he evaded.
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:55 PM   #18
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Hi Bobbie,

Yes, it is frustrating! I spent a couple of hours in line for what I thought was a routine registration. Everyone else in line was frustrated as well. Don't know what to tell you. Hang in there!

BTW, I grew up in Fresno and graduated from Bullard HS. I have a distant cousin in Fresno with the same name as you, but a different spelling, Bobbeye Meyer, I think. Hope you get your registration accomplished.
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:04 PM   #19
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Well, the saga goes on.

The trailer is now in California, after a $29 expenditure to get a trip permit to move it through Washington and Oregon, and still sits, without current plates, in my garage. I called the Cal. DMV today to see what the status is. They told me that "Sacramento" has sent me a "correspondence."

Of course, they have no idea what that correspondence is. It was mailed August 31 (I assume from Sacramento, though I suppose they could be outsourcing their correspondence work to parts unknown.) It has not arrived in Fresno, 3 hrs away, as of today, the third working day after August 31. I don't know if it was mailed to me here in Fresno or to Washington (in which case it would be forwarded back here.) I tried to call Sacramento but was put on hold and as it was close to closing, will wait until tomorrow.

I asked about a temporary operating permit. The guy I talked to said they won't give me one for a trailer. Then he said they would, but I have to pay all the fees. (How do I know if all the fees are paid since they can't seem to tell me why I'm not getting the license/title/registration?)(How will THEY know if all the fees are paid?) I don't need to bring the trailer but I need the paperwork. Hello, the paperwork went to Sacramento more than three months ago.

I made an appointment for next Tuesday to get the temp. permit (probably another futile exercise) and will try calling Sacramento again tomorrow. (That one is not an 800 number so being put on hold is even more annoying.)

Who knew it was going to be this hard? If I'd waited until I got back here to register the trailer I'd be done now.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:52 PM   #20
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What a nightmare! Hope you can get it all accomplished before Lake Casitas! But I'll bet you're wanting to take some additional trips into the mountains before then. Don't forget to try Eshom Campground, near Badger (not Badger Pass). Wonderful place, first come first serve, and great camp hosts. However, it will be closed for two weeks in September for some Native American gathering. And you need to try Rock Creek, up 41 and out of North Fork towards Mammoth Pools (not Mammoth Lakes). Again, very nice camp hosts. Both are 1 1/2-2 hours away. Good luck!
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