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  #1  
Old 05-15-2008, 04:41 AM
chetwesley's Avatar
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'splain to me this wacky california car registration system

Hi,
I just moved to CA and I am thinking of buying a $500 volvo beater that was left unregistered fof 10 months or so.

I understand I'll have to smog the car and pay for that, but what's the deal with the expired registration fees? How much total can I expect to pay if I buy it? I can't find a table of fees anywhere on da net.

Educate me

CW

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Sold but fondly remembered: 1981 300TD Turbo Tan 235K miles, 1983 300SD Astral Silver 224K miles

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  #2  
Old 05-15-2008, 05:09 AM
ForcedInduction
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https://mv.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/index.jsp
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2008, 12:13 PM
chetwesley's Avatar
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Yea, I found that too, but problem is I don't have the vin or license plate # of the car, and I won't have it until I go to look at it, so I would have no idea whether it is worth it to buy it unless I collect that info and come back and punch in the numbers.

Anyone from California know a rough estimate of the fee for a car not registered for a year? Is it so esoteric of a calculation system that you can only do it by some strange formula of vin and licence plate numbers, maybe multiplied by my birth date, divided by my mother's maiden name?
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1979 240D w/4 Speed Manual, Light Blue Estimated 225-275K Miles - "Lil' Chugs"
Sold but fondly remembered: 1981 300TD Turbo Tan 235K miles, 1983 300SD Astral Silver 224K miles

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  #4  
Old 05-15-2008, 12:27 PM
sd300td's Avatar
huh?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chetwesley View Post
Yea, I found that too, but problem is I don't have the vin or license plate # of the car, and I won't have it until I go to look at it, so I would have no idea whether it is worth it to buy it unless I collect that info and come back and punch in the numbers.

Anyone from California know a rough estimate of the fee for a car not registered for a year? Is it so esoteric of a calculation system that you can only do it by some strange formula of vin and licence plate numbers, maybe multiplied by my birth date, divided by my mother's maiden name?
Registration is based on value of the vehicle. So, for $500 it'll be fairly cheap. My wagon costs $80 a year. My wife's C230 costs $216 a year to register.

You'll pay late fees because the PO didn't register the vehicle. So, in addition to the normal annual registration fee, you'll pay a prorated amount (10-months worth), plus a late fee penalty - probably 10-20%.

There is a estimate calculator on the DMV website as well.
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1982 240 D, 308,000 - 321,127 miles (sold)
1982 300 TD,166,500 - 226,000 miles
1998 E 320, 120,000 - 144,000 miles
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  #5  
Old 05-15-2008, 12:33 PM
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So assuming that the fee is roughly the same for an 89 volvo as it is for an 82 benz wagon, I could be in for roughly $150 to register it, plus the smog cost?
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Sold but fondly remembered: 1981 300TD Turbo Tan 235K miles, 1983 300SD Astral Silver 224K miles

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  #6  
Old 05-15-2008, 12:34 PM
Jim B.'s Avatar
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Probably it will not be that bad

What year is the car? And how many months exactly have gone by since the car's tags have expired?

If the car is old, the actual registration fee isn't going to be much.

The sticker on my 1991 560SEC for example, which is for a year and expires in December 2008, was merely $77.00 This is not much for a car that new, cost $84,500.

I bought a lien sale car for Chadahar here, a 1989 560SEC, for $2200 at the end of March of this year. The seller had brought the tags up to date, I think they were expired or off the car, but the car had BRAND NEW license plates and a sticker good through the end of April 2009 on them.

I still have the copy of the new registration card for the car.
It was $117 out the door for everything. Not sure whether or not the sticker was long expired, but I am pretty sure it was, so that would have included penalties.


all you need to worry about is the penalty. If it is an OLD beater Volvo I doubt it will be much, even it is double.

So I will say maybe about $50 extra is your penalty.

Probably out the door without paying more than $150 max, would be my wild a$$ guess.
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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

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  #7  
Old 05-15-2008, 12:40 PM
Jim B.'s Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chetwesley View Post
So assuming that the fee is roughly the same for an 89 volvo as it is for an 82 benz wagon, I could be in for roughly $150 to register it, plus the smog cost?
As I said above, I would think so. Good luck
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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2008, 01:36 PM
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Additionally, the seller is required by law to provide a smog certificate at the time of sale.
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2008, 02:58 PM
sd300td's Avatar
huh?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chetwesley View Post
So assuming that the fee is roughly the same for an 89 volvo as it is for an 82 benz wagon, I could be in for roughly $150 to register it, plus the smog cost?
CA thinks my 82 is worth $3,000-$4,000. I would think a $500 volvo would be a little cheaper to register.
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1982 240 D, 308,000 - 321,127 miles (sold)
1982 300 TD,166,500 - 226,000 miles
1998 E 320, 120,000 - 144,000 miles
2005 C 230 K, 26,000 - 77,000 miles (sold)
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2008, 05:19 PM
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well you could cheat the system. you could have the sales receipt with a smaller value and work something out with the owner because of the back payments involved. Just have the owner right a smaller amount on his taxes. i think that this could work, anyways California is cheating us for that stupid law so just look at it like getting even.
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2008, 02:25 PM
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It is totally illegal, but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomInTheTrunk View Post
well you could cheat the system. you could have the sales receipt with a smaller value and work something out with the owner because of the back payments involved. Just have the owner right a smaller amount on his taxes. i think that this could work, anyways California is cheating us for that stupid law so just look at it like getting even.
People do that all the time in California. Probably hundreds, or maybe thousands of times, every day.....

The seller simply leaves the "Price" line on the DMV bill of sale blank, and the buyer fills in the cheapest price he thinks he can get away with.

I know it is illegal, and the DMV probably has auditors.

If your bill of sale you filled out on that on that 2003 SL600 you just bought read $5,000, and one of them saw THAT, it's probably likely it would raise an eyebrow or two at the DMV
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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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  #12  
Old 06-07-2008, 02:33 PM
TheDon's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
People do that all the time in California. Probably hundreds, or maybe thousands of times, every day.....

The seller simply leaves the "Price" line on the DMV bill of sale blank, and the buyer fills in the cheapest price he thinks he can get away with.
heh.. I know someone that did that with his 300D 3 years ago.. they wanted to tax him for registering so he just changed it from 3k to $300... running parts car ...
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  #13  
Old 06-07-2008, 07:15 PM
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Silly states with these fees... with my fleet I'm glad I live in Maryland, I would hate to be taxed on each vehicle every year I'd go broke.

Also there is a limit to how cheap the tax value is. Here the lowest amount is $500 you can put on the title- It doesnt matter if you paid $150, they will still tax you as if you bought it for $500. I have paid $500 for evey car I've bought
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1980 500SE/AMG Euro
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1983 500SEC/AMG Euro
1984 500SEC
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1986 190E 2.3-16
1986 190E 2.3
1987 300D
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past: 1969 280SE 4.5 | 1978 240D | 1978 300D | 1981 300SD | 1981 300SD | 1982 300CD | 1983 300CD | 1983 300SD | 1983 380SEC | 1984 300D | 1984 300D | 1984 300TD | 1984 500SEL | 1984 300SD | 1985 300D | 1986 300E | 1986 560SEL | 1986 560SEL/Carat | 1987 560SEC | 1991 300D 2.5 | 2006 R350
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2008, 02:32 AM
chetwesley's Avatar
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Originally Posted by TMAllison View Post
Additionally, the seller is required by law to provide a smog certificate at the time of sale.
Sorry, this thread has been sinking down the list for like a month now, but I have a question about this. I have heard this about needing to pass smog before being sold, yet I see people selling cars all the time who say it needs work to pass smog. So are they just selling their car illegally?

Also, if the car has a non-op registration, does it also have to pass smog before being sold?
__________________
1979 240D w/4 Speed Manual, Light Blue Estimated 225-275K Miles - "Lil' Chugs"
Sold but fondly remembered: 1981 300TD Turbo Tan 235K miles, 1983 300SD Astral Silver 224K miles

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  #15  
Old 06-09-2008, 04:13 AM
Jim B.'s Avatar
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What happened to me....I got screwed on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetwesley View Post
Sorry, this thread has been sinking down the list for like a month now, but I have a question about this. I have heard this about needing to pass smog before being sold, yet I see people selling cars all the time who say it needs work to pass smog. So are they just selling their car illegally?

Also, if the car has a non-op registration, does it also have to pass smog before being sold?
THE CALIFORNIA LAW is this: It is the legal responsibility of the SELLER to get the car to pass smog, and provide the buyer with the smog certificate.

A savvy buyer will insist that the seller discharge this duty before the sale.

In the end it does not concern the DMV WHO got the car smogged, the buyer or the seller, just so long as the car HAS BEEN SMOGGED and the smog certificate has been provided, when the car is sought to be re - registered in the new owner's name.

However, many times, it is not done. In some cases for example, the seller sells the car at a steep discount and in consideration of the cheap price, the BUYER agrees to smog the car.

(This appears to be the case with your cheap old Volvo here...)


I got screwed and double crossed by a nasty buyer in such a situation once.

I was selling my 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale, which I had converted to an utterly illegal catalytic converter-free car, with a custom dual exhaust system hooked up to the 350 TH motor, the car ran out beautifully in its smog illegal setup, it really flew.

I disclosed the fact of the illegal exhaust system to the buyer, and reduced the price by $300, which I made clear to the buyer would be the cost to replace the exhuast to stock, single exhaust system with a catalytic converter, necessary to obtain a smog certificate.

In consideration of this, the buyer agreed to buy the car for the cheaper price, but agreed to obtain the smog certificate at his own expense.

The deal was done, and he bought my Oldsmobile.

Then, a week later, this buyer, who was this hard charging hotshot African American banker, phoned me back and said the car would not pass smog and could not get a smog certificate because of the illegal exhaust system on the car.

I then reminded him he kneww that when he bought the car, and I sold it to him cheap enough to handle that cost.

But, he insisted that regardless, that the the seller had to provide the smog certificate, by law, even though I sold the car cheaper to him, to cover the cost of HIM smogging the car, and he knew it.

He would not budge, and knew I sold the car without the cat on it, and it would never pass smog like that.

I was faced with either a lawsuit, or to go back and retrofit the catalyst and dhange the exhaust to stock myself.....

So, I took the car back to Reno, and had the dual exhaust system trashed, and put it back to factory at my own expense, with the catalyst and single exhaust and then gave him the car back, it got smogged.

So this sharp dealing crook got to have his cake and eat it too, at my expense.

To this day I resent that he got over on me.


But I will tell you this: It will NEVER happen to me again.

MY way, or the HIGHWAY.

__________________
1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)

Last edited by Jim B.; 06-09-2008 at 04:21 AM.
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