Packard Don

Collector Car License

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As a California mobile VIN verifier, recently I verified a number of vintage cars that were recently purchased as part of a larger private collection. He had several '30s Rolls-Royce, Stutz, Lincoln, Packard along with some '60s and '70s collectables as well. The owner of these cars said that he had a car collector license or permit of some sort, through the DMV. He wasn't referring to historic vehicle license plates either. Has anyone heard of this and would does it entail? What would one gain by having it? He implied that it had something to do with taxes but I wasn't in a position to be nosy by asking him and he did not volunteer more information!

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You can go right to the California DMV website and search all you want.  There is not mention of a "collector car" certificate or registration of any kind, only the Historical Vehicle registration.  Did you actually see the plates with these words on them?  If not, this wouldn't be the first time that an owner or seller incorrectly remembered something.

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Thank you and yes, I know as I've searched too, which is why I asked here. No, no plates as the cars themselves had nothing to do with it. It was apparently some kind of license or permit for the person, not for the cars, which I gathered was something like a dealer license but only for collectable cars. Perhaps it was only a local use permit of the building but it wasn't clear and I was not in a position to ask although he did imply that it was state (I presumed DMV) issued.

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Probably a dealer's license. Who is to say what "collectable" is when it comes to sales? I lived in southern California for 17 years....most of that time around old cars and never heard of that in the California DMV.

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I did ask him if he meant dealer license and he said no and he does not sell cars but has an impressive collection. I'm a California native and have been around old cars, especially Packards, since the mid-'60s when I was a teenager and bought my first Packard and had never heard of it either. I just wanted to be sure so thank you for the input!

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I remember reading that Jack Passey worked with the California DMV and CCCA to change the DMV's penalty system for unlicensed "Collector" cars. This was to prevent the DMV from collecting outrageous fees for non-operated Collectible cars. I remember that being mentioned on this Forum. I don't know what happened with this.

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An elderly friend mentioned something about this to me several years ago. There is an obscure clause in the ca dmv codes that says something along the lines of "if you are a collector of vintage cars and have several of them you have the same status of a dealership and are not responsible for any back fees or penalties on collector vehicles you purchase " I recall him saying that he's educated multiple dmv desk persons about this.

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He's not going to "educate" DMV counter personnel unless he can produce an appropriate section of the California Vehicle Code (CVC).  Even then, I have had occasions in which I showed the field office *manager* a copy of a CVC section printed that same day from the *DMV's* own website but she wouldn't accept it.  I've learned to ask the DMV "Public Inquiries Unit" in Sacramento for the appropriate chapter and verse in the DMV Operations Manual which implements the CVC; when I provided that reference the transaction went smoothly.  One would hope that someday their computer system will be able to link a CVC section to the related Operations Manual chapter and section,

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Does anyone have the Operation's Manual's chapter and section with this information, or can it be quoted here for future reference?

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I don't, but you might call the DMV Public Inquiries Unit at 916-657-6560 and ask them.  My last contact was about five years ago and not helpful--thought I was talking to regular field office staff.  Previous to that, they had old-car-friendly staff.

 

The three discussions at DMV field offices I mentioned above were all related to no penalties for not non-opping a car over 25 model years old, but of course, one must still complete a *certification* that the car was not driven, moved or parked on public streets and highways during that period.  It's in the CVC 5000 series, 50-(something early on in the series).  This was the major breakthrough by Jack Passey (I sure miss him) and the Association of California Car Clubs.

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I forgot to mention (as I've explained to more than one DMV manager who said "we don't care about the CVC") that the California legislature enacts the CVC--this is LAW.  DMV issues internal instructions for *implementation* of the CVC in its own document, the DMV Field Offices' Operations Manual.  One one occasion at a field office, with the manager present, I phoned the Public Inquiries Unit and asked them to explain the provisions of the LAW to their field office manager, which they did.

 

When visiting a DMV field office (I'd rather have a root canal, but sometimes it's necessary), I make a point of wearing clean, pressed, decent clothing rather than my usual garage attire.  Wearing decent clothes sets you apart from 90% of their clients in the office....  :-)

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Unfortunately, the "go to" response at most CA DMV offices, is NO. I've even had them argue that their own manual is wrong, and the clerk was right!

All you can do is ask to speak to a Supervisor, and that might get you nowhere. They want your MONEY!

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Another reason am glad to live in Florida. Can title but not register (tag) a parts car and can make an appointment at the DMV to transfer a title.

 

Not friendly to snowbirds though, it you import a car from another state and do not have a spare tag in the system (tags stay with the owner, not the car) there is a $225.00 "new tag fee".

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