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eurovanman 01-18-2016 06:47 PM

Buying in Idaho, driving home to CA.
Hi I am about to buy a used RV in Idaho. I will be purchasing it from a private seller and will be driving it back to my state. I am having a lot of trouble figuring out what I need to do regarding registration and taxes.

In Idaho owners keep their license plates.

Do I drive it back to Cali with no plates?

Do I go to the Idaho DMV and get temp tags in Idaho?

Will the Idaho DMV charge me sales tax, because I know the California one will charge me tax to get cal plates?

If anybody out there is familiar with purchasing from Idaho or other states where the owners keep their plates, I would love some information.


DDDonkey 01-18-2016 07:09 PM

I bought my "new to me" coach last year in Georgia and drove it home to Arizona from a private sale also. All that I had to do was take a notarized bill of sale, proof of insurance and release of lien from the seller to my DMV (in AZ) to get a 30 temp tag to drive it home. I would just contact your local DMV and ask them? Good luck and congrats one the purchase!

blang 01-18-2016 07:10 PM

Since you are registering in CA, go to CA DMV and ask them for their version of temporary or "drive away" plate/permit. That will go on the coach to get you back to CA. There will be no sales tax in ID as you will have nothing to do with ID DMV... all of that is between the Seller and ID.

I am not a lawyer but I did watch The Good Wife the other evening. ;)

Mr_D 01-18-2016 07:17 PM

We are WA residents, bought in OR and drove the rig through CA and to AZ, then back again with a 4 day stay in CA.
But we wanted to keep our "old" plate and it was considered to be a vanity plate. Called the WA DMV and they said just to put the old plate on the new to us rig and do the paperwork (including almost 10% sales tax) when we got back. Worked out perfectly other than the speeding ticket in CA and I had a hard time finding the insurance paperwork for the officer.
You may have to pay sales tax in ID, but CA will (should) take that off the CA tax, or at least that's the way it's supposed to work on out of state sales.

sd1209 01-18-2016 07:17 PM

I bought a used MH in Boise in 2009..Lived year round in San Diego then.....I had a pretty good relationship with the seller and promised him I would mail the plates back when I arrived in SD......Which i did......Worked fine......Registered the MH then in California....That would seem to be the easiest...

I recently sold a motorcycle in San Diego that was registered in NV, my residence now for most of the year.....NV also insists you return the plates....The buyer was a good guy and promised he would return the plates as soon as he got to DMV...Which he did....

If the seller in your case insists on keeping the plates you legally have to have some type of Emergence Operating Permit, or similar. to drive it on the hwy.........

TQ60 01-18-2016 07:32 PM

In ca the dmv sells drive it permits just for this but mainly for driving it in ca.

They were 10 bucks and it is blank meaning you fill in when used or needed.

We had one that we carried blank with all information and pen handy so wife could fill in fast while looking for safe place to pull over.

But going to another state mucks it up but first stop is ca dmv to see what to do as this is a normal thing for them.
Drive it well to not get attention

tgdameron 01-18-2016 07:35 PM

We bought in Mountain Home last year. There is no sales tax in Idaho on a private sale. CA DMV should issue you a 30 temporary in order to move the vehicle from ID to CA.

EZDZIT 01-18-2016 07:48 PM

On your way back to CA, consider taking care of your DMV business at the Alturas, CA DMV office. We are CA residents and we bought our motorhome in Oregon. We had an appointment at that DMV office and arrived early at opening. We were the only customers and after taking care of business we chatted with the friendly clerk for another 30 minutes and still no more customers! This kind of service is unheard of in southern California!
We paid the registration and CA Use Tax (sales tax on out of state purchase) (Ouch!) and with proof of registration in hand left on a cross country trip.

falconman 01-18-2016 08:06 PM

Bought ours in Florida where the plates stay with the owner, not with the vehicle.
Fla DMV would issue a permit if you were willing to pay Florida sales tax first. When you reached your destination state that money should be credited towards your registration if each state has such an agreement. I chose not to leave that kind of money in Florida hoping Calif DMV could figure it out when I got there. We just drove it cross country without any plates and had no issues. I carried all the sales paperwork just in case. I figured if we did get stopped the worse that would happen would be a citation for no plates. I don't think that an LEO would bother as long as your paperwork was in order and timely. We stopped in AZ for a few weeks and at one point drove to a small DMV office in Blythe to finish the paperwork and pay the fees.

Lisablue85 01-18-2016 08:33 PM

Plates always stay with the owner, not the vehicle, in any state, after a sale.

jmcannonball 01-18-2016 08:49 PM

I live in Washington and bought my "new to me" coach in Nevada from a private owner. The owner kept his plates (unbeknownst to me!) so I drove from Las Vegas to Seattle with no plates and had no trouble at all - got lucky I guess. I went to WA DMV and paid the 9.5% sales tax plus license fees and got my new plates.

falconman 01-18-2016 08:53 PM

In Calif, unless it's a personalized plate, the plates go with the car. Just look at any used car lot.

eurovanman 01-18-2016 09:02 PM


Originally Posted by Lisablue85 (Post 2905822)
Plates always stay with the owner, not the vehicle, in any state, after a sale.

Not in California.

Mr_D 01-18-2016 09:04 PM


Originally Posted by Lisablue85 (Post 2905822)
Plates always stay with the owner, not the vehicle, in any state, after a sale.

In WA, they do go with the vehicle unless they are handicapped plates or personalized. When we traded the TT and P/U in on our first MH the dealer tried to make me leave my handicapped plates on the P/U, which I refused to do. He asked how he was going to move the vehicle without plates. Told him that was up to him to figure out.

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