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 > Registering an out of state RV in CA?

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Mbrittingham

California

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Posted: 05/11/20 10:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all!

I’m new here and am currently looking into buying my first RV! My family had campers while I was growing up and I enjoyed those days so I’m looking to get into it again! And it’ll make traveling with my large dog a bit easier on her and me!
I saw this adorably redone 1977 Dodge Sprinter Class A this evening and would really like to buy it. The current owner was very upfront with its issues - no ac while driving, oil leak in rear manifold (her mechanic told her not to worry about it and to just refill oil as needed?), scratched windshield... none of which screamed at me “walk away” (maybe that’s a bad sign for me?) but then she told us that the RV was registered under her mom in Arizona... and we live in California. I have no way to keep the tags in Arizona, so I’d have to register it with CA... but I don’t think it will pass smog. What can I do here? Is it a lost cause? My dad and I both did some research on the DMV website but couldn’t really see anything specific to my issue. I texted the seller letting her know that it looked as if she would have to smog it regardless of if I or another person bought it here in CA or else she would have to sell it in Arizona. I also offered to reimburse her for the smog test if it passed because I do really like the idea of this RV.
Please let me know any and all opinions! I am brand new to this! I don’t mind something with personality that needs some extra love every now and again but I do need something that I can legally register in my state!
Thanks in advance!

cpaulsen

Oregon

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Posted: 05/12/20 05:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smog and Vin Check in Ca. Are the first things to do in Ca.


cpaulsen


midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 05/12/20 06:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RUN don,t walk. this is a money pit. its just worn out.

ksg5000

Oregon

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Posted: 05/12/20 06:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As far as registering I would talk with someone at DMV and if Calif is like Oregon there likely closed because of the pandemic. Buying any vehicle from 1977 will likely require extensive attention/repair and if your looking to RV vs have a project I would look elsewhere. Just my 02.


Kevin

jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 05/12/20 07:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have to buy it, why not register it using the current owners address in Arizona? You can register it for 5 years at a time in Arizona. Smog won't be as stringent there.

DownTheAvenue

Sunny South

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Posted: 05/12/20 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Apparently, the vehicle is in California. Have it tested at the seller's expense. If it passes the required tests, then you can buy the vehicle and pay for the tests. If it fails, you are not out any money and know this vehicle is not for you. If the seller refuses to test the vehicle, you can be certain she knows it will not pass.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 05/12/20 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not sure a 43 year old vehicle has to be smoged in CA. If you don't register it in CA within 30 days I recall and you get stopped it can be pricey. You will also owe sales tax.


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Mbrittingham

California

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Posted: 05/12/20 09:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DownTheAvenue wrote:

Apparently, the vehicle is in California. Have it tested at the seller's expense. If it passes the required tests, then you can buy the vehicle and pay for the tests. If it fails, you are not out any money and know this vehicle is not for you. If the seller refuses to test the vehicle, you can be certain she knows it will not pass.
this is what I ended up doing! She is getting it smogged and will let me k ow how it goes.

Thanks for all the quick replies!

Executive

California/Arizona/South Dakota

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Posted: 05/12/20 09:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smog checks are the biggest PITA to registering a vehicle in California. It's also the one of the most abused systems. That said, California law requires ANY gas powered vehicle built AFTER 1975 to pass the smog test. IMO, the smog station will see a 1977 vehicle as a money maker for them. Expect it not to pass on the first try. So, now a few questions. First, where is the vehicle currently? It sounds like it's in Ca but with Az plates, correct? If that's the case, a smog check will still be required to register it in Ca. The 30 yr rolling exemption went away years ago. You'll also have to present the vehicle to a DMV employee for a VIN check. Know where your VIN is located for your convenience. Otherwise expect the DMV person to spend time looking for it. Your county will determine your USE TAX, which is simply a SALES TAX under a different name. Whatever your county's sales tax is will be what you'll have to pay. If the vehicle is currently in California, I'd ask the seller to get it smogged prior to purchase. That certificate is good for 90 days. Take that cert to the DMV along with a fist full of cash and you'll be good to go.....Dennis


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 05/12/20 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"no ac while driving, oil leak in rear manifold (her mechanic told her not to worry about it and to just refill oil as needed?), scratched windshield"

And it is a 1977? 43 years old. Don't buy it!


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