xdmn

No back penalties for old cars in California

36 posts in this topic

Many of you may already know this. I still find many that do not though. There is a directive in the CA DMV code book, 4604(d)3, that exempts most old cars from having any back penalties due to not registering vehicles or not placing them in a "non-op" status. This equates to sometimes as much as $1,000.00 in penalties for not filing. It could make a barn find car somewhat unrestorable if you know you have to pay penalties. Past president of ACCC and active AACA member Jack Passey put this together for us back in the 70's. Thank you Jack.

Let me know if you need more info. Most DMV offices have to be told about this rule as they don't know it themselves.

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Thank you for this information, I need to sort out some Abarth cars to settle my brothers estate some day. there are also a few other cars that have been parked befor they did the non op. some parked since the early seventies.

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Under these guidelines, you should not have any penalties regardless of what the circumstances are.

Glad this may help.

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Can you find me that bill # so I can get a refund? I have been to the DMV 8 times so far to register a 1932 Buick and they have still messed it up, I just got the pink slip in with the wrong License plate # and the wrong vin# after going to the CHP and three more times to the DMV. I belive the only hire the mentally handicapped which is pretty hard to belive since most mentally handicapped people I know could get it right at least the second time.

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Hopefully these links will work

V C Section 4604 Nonoperated Vehicles

V C Section 5051 Definitions

V C Section 5004 Vehicles of Historic Value

V C Section 5004.5 Pre 1943 Motorcycles

The first link is the rule that anything that fits within certain guidelines as described in the subsequest links are exempt from filing non-op's and thus are exempt from back penalties. Basically anyone that is a car collector and what ever cars you may want to say are going into your collection. Even includeds parts cars. A few times we have had DMV offices that refused to comply once a car person pointed it out but we were victorious in every case because we have contacts at the top in CA DMV and were able to override them. And boy does that feel good.

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Again, the Association of California Car Clubs and specifically Jack Passey were instrumental in getting this verbiage installed in the code years ago. Thank you Jack.

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I'm seriously thinking about buying a classic car (more than 25 years old) that doesn't have a title. I checked with DMV and it currently has about $600 in back registration fees and penalties as it hasn't been registered in 11 years. Anyway, I'm trying to get prepared for the battle with DMV where I tell them that they need to waive the $600 in fees due to DMV section 4604 d (3). Would you be willing to share your contacts with DMV management if my local DMV office tries to force me to pay the fees? Also, question for you: if I am able to convince them to waive the fees due to this being a "vehicle of historic value," would I be required to have the special historic vehicle plates on it?

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I'm seriously thinking about buying a classic car (more than 25 years old) that doesn't have a title. I checked with DMV and it currently has about $600 in back registration fees and penalties as it hasn't been registered in 11 years. Anyway, I'm trying to get prepared for the battle with DMV where I tell them that they need to waive the $600 in fees due to DMV section 4604 d (3). Would you be willing to share your contacts with DMV management if my local DMV office tries to force me to pay the fees? Also, question for you: if I am able to convince them to waive the fees due to this being a "vehicle of historic value," would I be required to have the special historic vehicle plates on it?

I just ran across this old thread and since I JUST had a talk with someone that WITH THE HELP OF THE LOCAL DMV OFFICE decided to surrender the title of his father's collector car to avoid pack-fees and then bring it back with a SALVAGE TITLE.. YES-- TRUE! The DMV told him that was the ONLY way to avoid paying the penalties! Here is the actual chapter and verse from the Vehicle Code that everyone going into DMV should take with them:

(Actually, I always fill out a statement of fact (REG256) with this statement: "I am a collector and this is a collector vehicle exempt from back fees as defined in VC 4604 paragraph B")

5051 collector is defined:

(a) "Collector" is the owner of one or more vehicles described in

Section 5004 or of one or more special interest vehicles, as defined

in this article, who collects, purchases, acquires, trades, or

disposes of the vehicle, or parts thereof, for his or her own use, in

order to preserve, restore, and maintain the vehicle for hobby or

historical purposes.

VC4604 Is the code that describes the non-op penalties, Section D lists the exceptions:

(d) A certification is not required to be filed pursuant to

subdivision (a) for one or more of the following:

Paragraph 3 is the collectable car exception that you NEED to keep in mind and ask for a supervisor if any problem:

(3) A vehicle described in Section 5004, 5004.5, or 5051, as

provided in Section 4604.2. However, the registered owner may file a

certificate of non-operation in lieu of the certification specified in

subdivision (a).

VC5004(a) defines collectible vehicles. Paragraph 3 is the broadest category:

5004. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, any owner of a vehicle described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) which is operated or moved over the highway primarily for the purpose of historical exhibition or other similar purpose shall, upon application in the manner and at the time prescribed by the department, be issued special identification plates for the vehicle:

(3) A vehicle which was manufactured after 1922, is at least 25 years old, and is of historic interest.

5004. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, any owner of a vehicle described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) which is operated or moved over the highway primarily for the purpose of historical exhibition or other similar purpose shall, upon application in the manner and at the time prescribed by the department, be issued special identification plates for the vehicle:

(1) A motor vehicle with an engine of 16 or more cylinders manufactured prior to 1965.

(2) A motor vehicle manufactured in the year 1922 or prior thereto.

(3) A vehicle which was manufactured after 1922, is at least 25 years old, and is of historic interest.

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Sounds to me like the above makes modified or Hot Rod vehicles ineligible. It also sounds like you would not be able to put one of those historic license plates on a Hot Rod either.

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I see no mention of originality in the above statutes. Only age and historic interest is mentioned.

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-QUOTE=58Mustang;1366821]I see no mention of originality in the above statutes. Only age and historic interest is mentioned.

Age is the main factor in dealing with this(25 yrs old and older or a model of which there were less than 2500 sold in CA in a model year). The DMV should not be(nor are they) in a position to tell anyone what is collectable and what is not. There are people out there collecting and restoring Pinto's for heavens sake. I deal with this issue almost weekly and I can assure anyone out there, the law and the statues are on our side. In no case have I ever lost this argument with the DMV. You just have to be willing to escalate it to me or know the DMV code good enough to show them what is correct. Just last week I was on the phone with a 17 year DMV employee at the phone center and a supposed expert on this statute that was telling me there was some magical list of "collectible" vehicles that DMV maintained. There is no such list. Bill 209-402-6167

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there is a separate code for custom built cars. they issue 500 new VIN's per year for newly constructed vehicles. Hot rod and modified vehicles ARE eligible to fall under this code as long as the vehicle fits the 25 years old or older part. Again, DMV is not and should not be in the business of determining what is collectible. We should be careful not too abuse this though.

Bill Adams

209-402-6167

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This may sound ridiculous, but does this give someone an incentive to store a car for long periods of time (decades?) without having to register it? The reason I ask is because I am looking for my father's car (which I believe is/was in CA), and I wonder if someone may be storing it without registering it.

Thanks,

Rich

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This may sound ridiculous, but does this give someone an incentive to store a car for long periods of time (decades?) without having to register it? The reason I ask is because I am looking for my father's car (which I believe is/was in CA), and I wonder if someone may be storing it without registering it.

Thanks,

Rich

It may indeed cause someone to store the car for long periods of time without registering it, which is the requirement in CA if it is used on the road. If you are going to store a car you own and it will not be on the road, you should file the required non-op form. The cost is minimal. One of the keys to keeping and using this statute is to not abuse it. Or use it as it was unintended. However, we find that for the most part, collectors are unaware of these statutes altogether.

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Posted (edited)

most other states have no requirement to register a stored car

Most other states do not charge back penalties for cars. You do have the option of filing a certificate of non-operation though if the car will not be on the road. We do have the exemption for smog requirements on pre 1975 cars so that helps to offset the negatives here in CA

Edited by xdmn (see edit history)

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It may indeed cause someone to store the car for long periods of time without registering it, which is the requirement in CA if it is used on the road. If you are going to store a car you own and it will not be on the road, you should file the required non-op form. The cost is minimal. One of the keys to keeping and using this statute is to not abuse it. Or use it as it was unintended. However, we find that for the most part, collectors are unaware of these statutes altogether.

Thanks! I know that in Indiana (as in other places), if a car is stored outside, especially on a city street, it has to be fully registered. I wasn't sure about requirements for inside a garage. Cheers.

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Called ya today ! Wyane RE : D M. V Mack RD. First visit today I made my second visit to the DMV I was cold out there before it on the first time I went there I was pulling 457 dollars for the registration and put a? Weeks man how much about the vehicle for it was going to be till tax on that included 357 today I went in today again from 357 up to $610 and it also I was told that by the DMV down and called after I left there today was not going to pay the 500 $10 if they want to go over there for the for the registration that I was told we can restrict 57 so I'm going to let you go over there and see where we're at and hopefully you can get back with me my phone number is 916 667 5372 and I look forward to your call thank you Wyno

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What the heck are you talking about????? I read that post 3 times and though I recognize every word, I cannot make out a single thought using any of them

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Most other states do not charge back penalties for cars. You do have the option of filing a certificate of non-operation though if the car will not be on the road. We do have the exemption for smog requirements on pre 1975 cars so that helps to offset the negatives here in CA

Just remember that while 1975 and newer are exempt currently from emission checks that all cars from 1966 to 1975 ( have exhaust emission controls ) and according to law a owner must maintain those systems. If you read California smog control laws you will also notice that the state can pull those vehicles back into smog check at any time if the state deems it necessary. Newly passed California Cap and Trade law will no doubt sometime in the future bring those cars back into smog check. One of the reasons this will happen is the state is scaring away businesses in record number. The company I worked for ( major auto manufacturer ) left Ca. in 2006 and I understand Toyota Motor is in the process of moving it's headquarters to Texas and there are literally hundreds of companies that have left the state. All this means is California will be looking for alternative place to reach it's carbon offset requirement. As in the past the state has always picked on the auto owner because there is apathy in the ranks and little struggle passing laws against the aware motorist. The most recent example of the state and it's appetite for motorist money is the new mileage tax law that was passed a few weeks ago, whereby a GPS will track your mileage or you will have to go to DMV once a year for mileage check verification in addition to the already gas tax fee on a gallon of gas.

The negatives in California are plenty and growing every day. All this with a state legislature that can pass laws with not a 2/3 majority like it used to be, but with a simple 51% majority. It's no wonder people from outside California ( especially the ones that ran away from that state ) call it the California Socialist Republic.

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And the "Tax by the mile" will spread..... to all of "Amerika".

Just remember that while 1975 and newer are exempt currently from emission checks that all cars from 1966 to 1975 ( have exhaust emission controls ) and according to law a owner must maintain those systems. If you read California smog control laws you will also notice that the state can pull those vehicles back into smog check at any time if the state deems it necessary. Newly passed California Cap and Trade law will no doubt sometime in the future bring those cars back into smog check. One of the reasons this will happen is the state is scaring away businesses in record number. The company I worked for ( major auto manufacturer ) left Ca. in 2006 and I understand Toyota Motor is in the process of moving it's headquarters to Texas and there are literally hundreds of companies that have left the state. All this means is California will be looking for alternative place to reach it's carbon offset requirement. As in the past the state has always picked on the auto owner because there is apathy in the ranks and little struggle passing laws against the aware motorist. The most recent example of the state and it's appetite for motorist money is the new mileage tax law that was passed a few weeks ago, whereby a GPS will track your mileage or you will have to go to DMV once a year for mileage check verification in addition to the already gas tax fee on a gallon of gas.

The negatives in California are plenty and growing every day. All this with a state legislature that can pass laws with not a 2/3 majority like it used to be, but with a simple 51% majority. It's no wonder people from outside California ( especially the ones that ran away from that state ) call it the California Socialist Republic.

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I have used the section of the vehicle code cited but the first poster. It saved about $300 in back fees. In fact, I got a refund from the DMV because the friendly DMV lady observed that I had overpaid (paid the penalty) and she realized that the cited section of the vehicle code would apply. On the other hand, just recently I tried to cite that section of the vehicle code when completing the registration of a 1976 Gremlin which had been in my garage, hangar and back yard for over ten years. The DMV clerk denied my attempt, but the resulting fees still were not too expensive so I did not protest.

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I defected from the Peoples Republic of California in 1998 and haven't looked back. Anyone notice the red star on the state flag?

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I have used the section of the vehicle code cited but the first poster. It saved about $300 in back fees. In fact, I got a refund from the DMV because the friendly DMV lady observed that I had overpaid (paid the penalty) and she realized that the cited section of the vehicle code would apply. On the other hand, just recently I tried to cite that section of the vehicle code when completing the registration of a 1976 Gremlin which had been in my garage, hangar and back yard for over ten years. The DMV clerk denied my attempt, but the resulting fees still were not too expensive so I did not protest.

You have to make the same argument each time as you are always going against the grain on this. Every time I can convince a collector to stick to their guns on this, we win as the code is on our side. Please contact me via this forum or at xdmn@yahoo.com and I will help you with this.

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Hopefully these links will work

V C Section 4604 Nonoperated Vehicles

V C Section 5051 Definitions

V C Section 5004 Vehicles of Historic Value

V C Section 5004.5 Pre 1943 Motorcycles

The first link is the rule that anything that fits within certain guidelines as described in the subsequest links are exempt from filing non-op's and thus are exempt from back penalties. Basically anyone that is a car collector and what ever cars you may want to say are going into your collection. Even includeds parts cars. A few times we have had DMV offices that refused to comply once a car person pointed it out but we were victorious in every case because we have contacts at the top in CA DMV and were able to override them. And boy does that feel good.

Looks like I need to update the links on this as the CA DMV has changed the web address or something.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/vctop/vc/d3/c1/a5/4604

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/vctop/vc/d3/c1/a8/5004

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/vctop/vc/d3/c1/a8.3/5051

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