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Old 06-02-2016, 12:30 PM   #1
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Buy out of state, register in California?

I'm hoping to buy a NEW diesel pusher from a midwest dealer. I live in California, and need to register the coach there. What am I facing?

I imagine the selling dealer will give me "temporary tags" or similar so I can drive it around for a few weeks to visit the area, then drive it back to California.What if the trip takes a bit longer?

I imagine in California DMV might charge me additional sales tax if I didn't pay California's high rate, plus registration fee. Anything else?

I worry that California DMV might question whether a brand new coach (Freightliner chassis) might not comply with California emissions requirements. Just about every new car sold anywhere in U.S. is 50-state compliant, but are motorhomes? How can this be proved to California DMV?

Anything else I'm overlooking?
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:00 PM   #2
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I'm not sure about the diesels but the gas models have to have the 50 state compliant sticker on it to be registered in California. I'm not sure why you would pay the out of state registration, but when you register in Ca you will have to pay the state taxes on the sales price, based on where you live in Ca, and the appropriate DMV Fees. You can go to the DMV Fee Calculator site and it will tell you what your fee will be to the penny. Some states have a reciprocal agreement and will refund whatever you pay to offset the Ca fees.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:33 PM   #3
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I've looked into this and it's actually simple but it takes planing.

Gas coaches do need to be 50 state certified but if buying new I don't think you can buy one that not certified.

You will have to pay sales tax based on the county you live it. However if you pay sales tax where you buy it you'll only have to pay the difference to CA. So if your county in CA was 8% and the state you bought it in was 6% you'll have to pay 2% when you register it. If the state you bought it in was 9% you don't get the difference back. If you pay no sales tax the CA gets it all when you register it. If you want to stick it to CA then pay most of the sales tax where you bought it.

Some states will give, sell, a temp registration but this can be a PITA. You can also take all of the CA DMV paperwork with you, including the temporary paper tag, and fedex it to someone back in CA who can take it directly to the DMV and register the coach for you. That person can then FEDEX you the plates and completed registration. If you take this route you should go over the details with the DMV before you pickup the coach so you know exactly what they will want.

Lastly, if you don't want to pay any tax it can be done but it's hard and you'll need to stay out of CA for a year.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelhawk View Post
I'm hoping to buy a NEW diesel pusher from a midwest dealer. I live in California, and need to register the coach there. What am I facing?

I imagine the selling dealer will give me "temporary tags" or similar so I can drive it around for a few weeks to visit the area, then drive it back to California.What if the trip takes a bit longer?

I imagine in California DMV might charge me additional sales tax if I didn't pay California's high rate, plus registration fee. Anything else?

I worry that California DMV might question whether a brand new coach (Freightliner chassis) might not comply with California emissions requirements. Just about every new car sold anywhere in U.S. is 50-state compliant, but are motorhomes? How can this be proved to California DMV?

Anything else I'm overlooking?
We've purchased two DP's out of state...one in Az and the last one in OR. In Az, we paid the AZ state tax, which was more than our CA Kern county tax and the dealer said we would get the difference back. Well, that never happened. Az did give us a temp license to allow us to return to CA and get it registered there. We also (this was in 2007) had to prove to the CA DMV that the engine was CARB certified and they had to physically see the tag on the engine.

Our 2nd coach we purchased in Oregon, paid the CA Kern county tax plus registration fees to the Oregon dealer who in turn sent the $$ and all necessary paper work to CA DMV in Sacramento. They also provided us with a 10 day temp license. Upon returning to CA, we once again had to prove to the CA DMV that the diesel engine was CARB certified and they had to see for themselves the VIN number in two places plus the CARB sticker on the engine.

So... be sure to know exactly where the CARB sticker is located on the engine (have the deaerl show it to you personally as sometimes the sticker can be hidden by hoses or other stuff on the engine.

Good luck.... it will be a PITA so just be patient and it'll work itself out.

Ron
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:50 PM   #5
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CA also requires that a diesel meet CARB requirements. Somewhere on the motor will be a small sticker stating it meets the 50 state emissions requirements.

You might be able to get a statement from Freightliner
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:13 PM   #6
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You can get a statement from Freightliner stating the engine is compliant for your own peace of mind, but CaDMV doesn't care what it says. You have to take your vehicle to DMV and the agent has to see the sticker on the engine. When I bought my coach in '14 it had a Detroit in it. I asked for a letter from Detroit, which they provided, saying it was a legal engine in Ca. It also stated where the sticker was on the block. The girl crawled halfway in my engine compartment to see the sticker.
Buying out of state and mailing your docs to someone in Ca to register it will not work. They have to see the coach.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:31 PM   #7
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For a gas rig I had to have it smog checked even though it was brand new. And oh yes, DMV had to see it.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:18 PM   #8
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I bought two in TX, and paid GA TAVT tax both times, not TX tax, as part of the transaction itself. They sent the funds to GA. They also provided a 60 day temporary tag. When I returned to GA, the tax had been paid and they gave me my new TAG.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:10 PM   #9
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Buying out of state and mailing your docs to someone in Ca to register it will not work. They have to see the coach.
Well, sorta.

You can do all the necessary tax, registration $$ collection at the dealer (add it to you financing if you want) and have them send it to Sacramento....but yes, the DMV still has to physically/visually check for the CARB sticker.

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Old 11-05-2016, 02:45 PM   #10
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I was close to trying to open the inside doghouse when the DNV guy found the required sticker on the door frame. Thanks Tiffin!


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Old 11-05-2016, 09:53 PM   #11
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I would be very careful. If it passes smog this year it may not next year. Cali has an emission plan in place to phase out all older diesels. So in five years you may need to sink several hundred dollars in new emission equipment.

Although I'm not sure how far it imposes on personal vehicles, my knowledge is of commercial vehicles (semis mainly) but I'll see if I can dig up a link.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:17 PM   #12
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I live in Oregon and pay no "0 "sales tax. The folks I've known from here haven't pay'd out of state tax when buying out of state but it's a good question on how .. I assumed the selling dealer handled the paperwork ..and registration back to Oregon not charging any tax ... just like a pvt transaction.
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:13 PM   #13
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Most new vehicles pass CA emissions. There is a sticker under the hood. It will say USA emissions standard, but you want it to say it meets California emissions. If it does, you're fine. Then when you come to CA you have to have it weighed and smogged. There is no sales tax for vehicles in CA - there is use tax. This is the way CA makes sure they get tax from out of state purchases. Wherever you buy it, you will pay CA use tax when you register it, which is 7-9% or so depending on your county. You may be able to avoid sales tax in the state you buy it if you are registering in CA. If you have to pay sales tax, you are double taxed because you will also pay use tax in CA. The only way to avoid use tax is to not use it in CA, which means register in another state and keep it out of CA for the required time - I don't know if it's 6 months or a year. It used to be that people would register vehicles in Nevada or Oregon to avoid CA taxes. That's why they started the use tax. No matter where you buy and register, if you use it in CA, you are required to pay use tax. So the only way to avoid it is stay out of CA.
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:39 PM   #14
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In CA you can use a private registration service. Much easier that dealing with the CA DMV, IMHO. I use Barb's Auto Registration in Escondido. I bought my coach which the previous owner had registered in Montana. Barb's handle everything, including the required visual inspection of the MH.
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