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Old 06-09-2019, 03:12 PM   #1
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CA registration

I have recently purchased a 1997 ford e150 Collins short bus and am trying to get it registered in Ca. I have it gutted out but nothing else done. They say I have to register it as a Commercial vehicle even though it's not for hire and private use till I can get it converted over. Is there any way around that so I doubt have to pay the 400 for weight charges and not limited on parking restrictions, thanks for your help
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:19 PM   #2
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Are you importing from out of state?

With a vehicle less than 14001 GVWR you don’t need to retitle as a Motor Home. I also have conflicting insurance information that leaves me wondering if it’s advisable to change the title to MH. National General says they don’t care about the vehicle title designation. Good Sam says it CANNOT be retitled as a MH to get insurance through them (though I think Good Sam IS National General (!)

If your vehicle is more than 14001 GVWR and is not CARB compliant, that will compel you to change the title to MH in order to register.
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:30 PM   #3
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Register it as an RV in Vermont by mail then take your VT paperwork for your "RV" to California DMV and have it transferred to CA.

VT is most happy to register your vehicle even though you have never set foot in the state. They will register it as an RV if you simply put "RV" on the application.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:02 PM   #4
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Out of state vehicles have to be inspected by the DMV in Ca. before they can be registered soooooooo?
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:09 PM   #5
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Out of state vehicles have to be inspected by the DMV in Ca. before they can be registered soooooooo?
Jack
If registered and titled as RV/MH in VT and one "moves" to CA and tries to register their fully designated/titled MH, would CA throw away the titled MH designation and reclassify it as something else???
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:17 PM   #6
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If registered and titled as RV/MH in VT and one "moves" to CA and tries to register their fully designated/titled MH, would CA throw away the titled MH designation and reclassify it as something else???

Well, an empty bus sure looks a lot like a box truck - which would look like you were trying to skirt the regulations for a vehicle over the weight of a CDL, commercial registration fees, license fees, and smog regulations (because I believe motorhomes are exempt.) So yes, I could see them denying the transfer of registration. If it looked like a motorhome, or was vaguely converted, it would probably go through.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:45 PM   #7
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I think state reciprocity says no, but the Cali is its own world, might even require ongoing inspections?
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:49 PM   #8
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Register it as an RV in Vermont by mail then take your VT paperwork for your "RV" to California DMV and have it transferred to CA.

VT is most happy to register your vehicle even though you have never set foot in the state. They will register it as an RV if you simply put "RV" on the application.
Vt. makes a killing on collecting sales tax for items never purchased in the state.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:15 PM   #9
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Out of state vehicles have to be inspected by the DMV in Ca. before they can be registered soooooooo?
Jack
That sucks.....

I have itchy feet and have moved a lot.... I have move to SoCal three times. Each time I had to register my vehicles. I had to go through smog check on cars, no inspection on RV's

If it has changed to the point that all vehicles coming into California from out of state require additional inspection including RV's that would be a pain and pretty much kill the VT thing for CA residents.

I am glad to be out of CA. It was bad enough when I lived there and it sounds like it has gotten quite a bit worse.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:39 PM   #10
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I read the requirements for a motor home in CA a while back. The wording was something like must have 3 of the 4 following items: Sink, Stove, Toilet, Fridge. (sure about 3 of 4, but not the actual items)
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:44 PM   #11
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I am glad to be out of CA. It was bad enough when I lived there and it sounds like it has gotten quite a bit worse.
Things have changed a bit. I moved out in '07.

This is a real pic from L.A. and it's current.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:51 PM   #12
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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You have to stand firm with the DMV. Vehicles NOT being used for commercial purposes and NOT designed for transportation of GOODS (people are not goods) are NOT commercial vehicles. I scrutinized the code and the DMV manager had to review my case and ultimately decided I was correct in my assessment of the vehicle code, that my shuttle bus qualifies as a private vehicle. Yes I had it inspected at the DMV as well. It's registered like any other multi-passenger van, not a commercial vehicle.
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:38 PM   #14
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You have to stand firm with the DMV. Vehicles NOT being used for commercial purposes and NOT designed for transportation of GOODS (people are not goods) are NOT commercial vehicles. I scrutinized the code and the DMV manager had to review my case and ultimately decided I was correct in my assessment of the vehicle code, that my shuttle bus qualifies as a private vehicle. Yes I had it inspected at the DMV as well. It's registered like any other multi-passenger van, not a commercial vehicle.
While this is true some places still require a commercial license to operate over 26K lbs, or with air brakes. Standing firm against DMV employees is not a wise choice.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:14 PM   #15
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Well if you're going to need to take it out of state otherwise. . .

And I disagree, these are petty public servants, paid **by us** to implement the laws.

They may feel like king of their domain, but if you know the law is on your side, keep escalating, both in the executive branch, up to the governor's office, and also with your state representatives, you will likely get justice.

Of course, exercising a pleasant, calm, professional demeanor throughout, no excuse for losing your temper or putting people down just because they are ignorant or have a low IQ.
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:55 PM   #16
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While this is true some places still require a commercial license to operate over 26K lbs, or with air brakes. Standing firm against DMV employees is not a wise choice.
Standing firm when you are correct in interpreting the code (I work with Federal Codes) then it is your right and responsibility to know your rights. They work under the same laws and regulations and cannot simply make up rules. If I simply gave in to the clerk I wouldn't have my new title and registration.

The manager conferred with DMV headquarters to confirm and called me to let me know my interpretation was in fact correct. This wouldn't happen if I just accepted the clerks lack of understanding, I studied it and made sure I was informed. My bus is an E350, it doesn't have air brakes or over 25k lbs.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:06 PM   #17
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I should have clarified so you would know you both agree with me. You will seldom get the win on a disagreement at the counter help, you will just piss them off and they will deny what ever you are attempting to get done. Then you have to involve higher ups. But you'll get nowhere at the window with an attitude.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:28 PM   #18
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Definitely agree about attitude.

And assumed we were long past the window stage, or even the branch manager
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:26 PM   #19
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What really determines how the DMV operates is the California Vehicle Code. The CVC is enacted through the DMV and various law enforcement agencies such as the CHP and other LEAs. The DMV cannot tell you that something allowed in the CVC is not OK by their standards. Print out the relevant sections of the CVC, read them thoroughly, and take them with you to the DMV just in case the clerk there is unfamiliar with what you need. It ain't rocket surgery!

As a State of CA employee myself I can well understand what the DMV staff have to deal with each day, so if you're nice to them and treat them like you would want to be treated yourself you'll go a long way to getting what you want. That's one job I would NOT want to do! Those folk aren't out to deliberately make your life miserable, but they just to try and follow an incredibly complex and ever-changing set of labyrinthine rules and regulations. It's also useful to go to little-used DMV offices such as in rural areas, and to go fifteen minutes before closing on a Friday afternoon. I did just that when I registered my bus when I bought it - the pink slip from the school district hadn't been signed, so the girl behind the counter said with a wink that if we could get it signed she would process it straight away. We stepped outside, the seller scribbled a plausible-looking squiggle on the pink slip, we went back in, the girl smiled at us and immediately registered my bus as an Auto (Bus Body) and gave me my license plates with no questions asked. Easy. Five minutes tops, and everyone was happy, DMV girl included!

After I repaint my bus into something different than NSBY (it's already so faded that it probably isn't a true NSBY any longer) and make the interior look more like an RV's, I will ask the police at the facility where I work to sign off the REG-256A change of registration form. They're State of CA police, and they'll help me if they can. Once I have that form verified I can then have the DMV change the registration to House Car, or whatever they call RVs these days.

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Old 10-03-2019, 07:34 PM   #20
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Things have changed a bit. I moved out in '07.

This is a real pic from L.A. and it's current.
I bet!
I left for the last time in 1988. Zero desire to ever move back. Heck, Washington is becoming more like California. I am ready to move.
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