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      10-11-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
mdosu
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first time registration for out-of-state vehicle in CA

A quick question for those who recently registered a car in CA that was from out-of-state:

After I complete the registration form, it looks like I need to then get my car inspected by authorized DMV inspector. After I schedule my appointment and have my car inspected, do I then turn in my registration form and pay my fees then? Or do I have to set another appointment to turn my forms in?

When do I have to do my first smog test? Do I need to do the smog test before I go to the inspector and before I turn in my registration form?
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      10-12-2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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My experience from several years ago:

1. Got the smog test done. Told them I was registering the car for the first time.

2. Took car to DMV and got it inspected. They gave me paperwork.

3. Filled out a form to register car in CA.

4. Took paperwork back inside along with smog and DL and insurance and previous registration.

5. Got temporary registration and was mailed the license plates and tags separately.

Good luck! You can do this in one visit to dmv.
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      10-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
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You can go it all in one visit. Just make sure you have all the paperwork
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      10-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #4
mdosu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgi View Post
My experience from several years ago:

1. Got the smog test done. Told them I was registering the car for the first time.

2. Took car to DMV and got it inspected. They gave me paperwork.

3. Filled out a form to register car in CA.

4. Took paperwork back inside along with smog and DL and insurance and previous registration.

5. Got temporary registration and was mailed the license plates and tags separately.

Good luck! You can do this in one visit to dmv.
Very useful, thanks!
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      10-12-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
mdosu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgi View Post
My experience from several years ago:

1. Got the smog test done. Told them I was registering the car for the first time.

2. Took car to DMV and got it inspected. They gave me paperwork.

3. Filled out a form to register car in CA.

4. Took paperwork back inside along with smog and DL and insurance and previous registration.

5. Got temporary registration and was mailed the license plates and tags separately.

Good luck! You can do this in one visit to dmv.
Also, you had to bring in your title correct? I thought you have to retitle the car here.
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      10-14-2013, 12:28 AM   #6
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Sorry for the delay but the iphone app wouldn't post my response and I had to wait until I got to a real computer.

I forgot about the title. Good catch. Yes, take the title with you and fill out the CA form "Application for Duplicate Title" - I did this at the same time too. I should add that I make small banter with the people in DMV and this usually goes very well. They become more helpful when I make a mistake. And hell, who doesn't want to be treated nicely :-)

One last point: if the vehicle has anything obvious that CA frowns upon, be warned. The inspector may call this out. My motorcycle had an obvious aftermarket exhaust that the inspector said looked cool and smiled. For my car, I had tint on the front side windows and rolled down the windows prior to pulling up for the inspection.
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      10-14-2013, 12:30 AM   #7
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Sorry for the delay but the iphone app wouldn't post my response and I had to wait until I got to a real computer.

I forgot about the title. Good catch. Yes, take the title with you and fill out the CA form "Application for Duplicate Title" - I did this at the same time too. I should add that I make small banter with the people in DMV and this usually goes very well. They become more helpful when I make a mistake. And hell, who doesn't want to be treated nicely :-)

One last point: if the vehicle has anything obvious that CA frowns upon, be warned. The inspector may call this out. My motorcycle had an obvious aftermarket exhaust that the inspector said looked cool and smiled. For my car, I had tint on the front side windows and rolled down the windows prior to pulling up for the inspection.
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      10-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgi View Post
Sorry for the delay but the iphone app wouldn't post my response and I had to wait until I got to a real computer.

I forgot about the title. Good catch. Yes, take the title with you and fill out the CA form "Application for Duplicate Title" - I did this at the same time too. I should add that I make small banter with the people in DMV and this usually goes very well. They become more helpful when I make a mistake. And hell, who doesn't want to be treated nicely :-)

One last point: if the vehicle has anything obvious that CA frowns upon, be warned. The inspector may call this out. My motorcycle had an obvious aftermarket exhaust that the inspector said looked cool and smiled. For my car, I had tint on the front side windows and rolled down the windows prior to pulling up for the inspection.
okay thank for that, didn't see that i had to fill out the form. Looks like you filled the title form in person, I might as well fill it before my appointment, so all my paperwork are orderly and ready to go.

My car isn't modded, isn't throwing a CEL or any issues.
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      10-14-2013, 06:20 PM   #9
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I just did this entire process two weeks ago and I completely agree with 'rgi'. Make an appointment and save yourself time then do exactly like rgi said and you will be registered in less than an hour! Just a heads up CA DMV is back logged so your temp registration may expire before you receive your permanent registration. DMV told me it could take up to 3 months! Enjoy your car in the meantime and have a little patience and the rest will take care of itself. Peace.
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      10-21-2013, 11:08 PM   #10
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Just got my plates today so it's about 2 month wait
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      10-22-2013, 01:54 AM   #11
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If you have AAA membership, you can go to their office and they will do the inspection and give the plates and registration immediately after. Get the smog test done a couple of days earlier, and it gets electronically transmitted to the DMV/AAA. We just showed up at the AAA office with the documents, and got everything done after a few minutes in the line.
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      10-22-2013, 11:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gesler View Post
If you have AAA membership, you can go to their office and they will do the inspection and give the plates and registration immediately after. Get the smog test done a couple of days earlier, and it gets electronically transmitted to the DMV/AAA. We just showed up at the AAA office with the documents, and got everything done after a few minutes in the line.
Ha! thanks for the tip. That's funny, b/c I just saw a billboard ad that states that service. Is that service included in a standard AAA membership?
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      10-22-2013, 08:19 PM   #13
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I don't remember exactly; don't think we paid any fee to AAA for the service but I did have the professional membership at the time. As long as the fee, if any is nominal, it's probably worth it. Don't know if have been to the DMV office for you license yet but the AAA office was far less crowded and no appointment is needed.
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      10-22-2013, 10:23 PM   #14
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AAA is the way to go in California and it is included in the standard membership. I know this may be common sense to you, but you will need your vehicle with you as well. I had to register three cars and had to make three trips.
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      10-29-2013, 08:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgi View Post
Sorry for the delay but the iphone app wouldn't post my response and I had to wait until I got to a real computer.

I forgot about the title. Good catch. Yes, take the title with you and fill out the CA form "Application for Duplicate Title" - I did this at the same time too. I should add that I make small banter with the people in DMV and this usually goes very well. They become more helpful when I make a mistake. And hell, who doesn't want to be treated nicely :-)

One last point: if the vehicle has anything obvious that CA frowns upon, be warned. The inspector may call this out. My motorcycle had an obvious aftermarket exhaust that the inspector said looked cool and smiled. For my car, I had tint on the front side windows and rolled down the windows prior to pulling up for the inspection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by m3anAPPLE View Post
I just did this entire process two weeks ago and I completely agree with 'rgi'. Make an appointment and save yourself time then do exactly like rgi said and you will be registered in less than an hour! Just a heads up CA DMV is back logged so your temp registration may expire before you receive your permanent registration. DMV told me it could take up to 3 months! Enjoy your car in the meantime and have a little patience and the rest will take care of itself. Peace.
do you remember if you have to show up with any proof of residency? I just realized I don't have a single bill in my name for my residency (all under my wife's name). I also do not yet have gainful employment, so no pay stub or anything like that.
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      10-30-2013, 03:40 AM   #16
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Hey, sorry to jump into this thread. However, i just purchased a vehicle out of state as well. The car was purchased through a dealer and financed through my bank in which they hold the title. I paid for title, tax and license... but i was curious if the dealer takes care of the registration of the car in CA or do i have to take care of that myself?

If so, i have to get the car smogged and inspected prior to registration as i am currently reading in this thread...?
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      10-30-2013, 02:14 PM   #17
mdosu
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also, do you need a CA driver's license before registration?
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      10-30-2013, 02:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatsBFc View Post
Hey, sorry to jump into this thread. However, i just purchased a vehicle out of state as well. The car was purchased through a dealer and financed through my bank in which they hold the title. I paid for title, tax and license... but i was curious if the dealer takes care of the registration of the car in CA or do i have to take care of that myself?

If so, i have to get the car smogged and inspected prior to registration as i am currently reading in this thread...?
i think you have to title it yourself since the dealer was out of state.
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/howto/htvr9.htm
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      10-30-2013, 11:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
also, do you need a CA driver's license before registration?
It helps! If you show up at DMV registering an out-of-state car but you have an out-of-state license, that might invite a lot more questions than you want. Showing proof of residency is easier with a driver's license.

Remember that CA has this thing about 10 days after "moving to CA" you must get a CA license and 20 days to register your car. I don't know of anyone that checks this stuff but there was a question on the form about when the vehicle was brought into CA. Lie! This isn't the best time for full disclosure.
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      10-30-2013, 11:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgi View Post
It helps! If you show up at DMV registering an out-of-state car but you have an out-of-state license, that might invite a lot more questions than you want. Showing proof of residency is easier with a driver's license.

Remember that CA has this thing about 10 days after "moving to CA" you must get a CA license and 20 days to register your car. I don't know of anyone that checks this stuff but there was a question on the form about when the vehicle was brought into CA. Lie! This isn't the best time for full disclosure.
I know about the 10-day, 20-day rule. There's technicality in that date too. It's based on when you have "gainful employment", "declare residency (lease, purchase house)," or "start school"

I'm going to lie about when the car first entered the state (today), that's when I got my smog test done too. Just to keep all the dates together and easy to read.
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