register as Historic Vehicle?

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register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby Alfie » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:35 am

I am seeking input about my trailer registration. I live in California. The trailer was built in 1939 and originally registered in 1940. The last registration date is from 1968. I need to register it. The trailer qualifies for historic vehicle status. If I register it as such am I opening a can of worms? Is there a financil benefit or is it a financial consequence? Also, the trailer has black and yellow plates from the 1960's. Will DMV make me replace those since the registration is soooo delinquent? Any tips on how to word things?
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby DragonFire » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:28 pm

I'll ask around about the historic vehicle plates. It may mean no mods can be made...has to be stock, original (restored) condition. I'll ask my vintage car friends.

Last registered in 68? Wow. Well, you know the plate has not been issued to anyone else. I registered my Aristocrat which the previous owners had let lapse for 7 or 8 years, and was able to bring the plate current. It was the original blue and gold CA plate. But it was a 72 (first year for that color plate), and so was the plate, and I couldn't/didn't have to apply for a YOM plate (since it was the same plate from the beginning, and YOM starts at 68 or 69 now)..


I'm thinking you are safe with keeping the 60's plate if you pay a bit to the state to bring it current. That is awesome enough. The next thing I would do is try to find a YOM plate (39) and I don't know if there was a special sequence of numbers/letters at that time for trailers. On your current one it should have 2 letters followed by 4 numbers.

I would post this in the General Discussion so folks like Gage see it too. He's a car guy. In CA. I think you are best off registering it the way it is, with the 60's plate, and then looking into a YOM plate. Those suckers are expensive, but sometimes you find them for $10 in antique stores...some lady found them and thought they'd make cool decorations, or make them into purses, never did and just wants them gone.

Look online for 39 trailer plates. See what the letter/number sequence is. Then let me know..or tell us all...and I'll keep a lookout. I found a 70 trailer plate for my Grasshopper...and I'm hanging onto it until the YOM years change. Of course I may be too old to drive by then, but at least I've got the right plate!! Until then she's got a CA PTI plate. You have a cool plate worth hanging onto..mine had a NV plate and an expired CA PTI plate that they wouldn't reinstate.

Good luck and keep us posted. I love this stuff. As you can tell!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby 46Kit » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:46 pm

Formerly vehicles flying Historic Vehicle plates were not subject to an annual registration fee. You paid a one-time fee to get the HV plates and you were done. I'm not sure how long this lasted, but during one budget crisis or another some super-genius figured they could save the day by putting Historic Vehicle plates back into the program for an annual registration renewal fee. The only advantage to HV plates today is that you are not subject to back registration and penalties if you let the registration lapse and don't submit out a Planned Non-Operation certificate. And they look better that the regular plates the DMV is currently providing.

On the other hand, just about anything that is 25 years old or older can qualify as a "Collector Vehicle" making it exempt from PNO certification and by way of that absolving you from any liability for back registration and penalties. It's all in the Vehicle Code and it's all on-line:

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vc.htm

Go to the Table of Contents, the sections cogent to this registration dilemma are: 4604; 4604.2; 5004 & 5051. Read through and it will be pretty obvious which paragraphs relate to registering a Collector Vehicle. I have invoked this exemption several times. I always print out the sections from the DMV web site and highlight the relevant paragraphs. BTW: nobody at the DMV seems to be aware of this exemption so you may get some argument from the counter clerk. :x Keep your cool and work your way up the chain of command. Most likely they'll end up calling Sacramento and they'll be told that you actually do know what you're talking about. You'll have to fill out a Statement of Facts saying that you "own this Collector Vehicle for hobby purposes of historical preservation" or something to that effect and then you'll only have to pay the current registration renewal fee. If you're a AAA member their DMV services clerks can handle this too, but they may be a little more reluctant than usual. We've got the local AAA office trained and it's no problem now.

Regarding the black & yellow plates, do you really have two for your trailer? Don't trailers only get one plate? Either way, if you have some DMV documentation showing that the plate number is associated to that vehicle you may be able to keep it. Old registration slips or an old title with that plate number on it should do it. You should make it clear to the clerk at the beginning of your transaction that you want to keep the old plate on the camper if possible. If you don't have documentation it's pretty unlikely, but you may be able to work around that by using a DMV expeditor. If you can't find a DMV expeditor in your area ask a used car lot or tow company for a referral as these types of businesses typically use an expeditor service to handle their DMV transactions. What ever you do don't surrender the old plate to the DMV!

Hope this helps, let us know how it goes.

Regards-HW
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby Alfie » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:31 am

Dragonfire and HW,
Thank you sooo very much for your thorough replies. I feel well informed and like I have the resources to make some decisions.You guys are great. and BTW HW I see you live in the Bay Area. I am in Alameda about one weekend a month. I would love to see your 46 Kit trailer.
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby 46Kit » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:26 pm

Shoot me a PM when you're down this way and we can set up a rendezvous if I'm around, otherwise I'm planning to attend both the Dam Gathering and IRG 4.0. BTW: the plate on my Kit is the original black and yellow that was issued in '63. I wanted to get a '46 Year of Manufacture plate before I actually got the trailer, but when the seller gave me this little tidbit of info I decided that I ought to continue to preserve this part of the trailer's history. Hope you are able to keep yours...

Regards-HW
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby Alfie » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:59 am

It is about time I update this. It took 3 separate trips to DMV, including a physical inspection. They tried to take my 1940 pink slip. They tried to take the plates. They said I HAD to put modern plates on it.
:duh:
I stood my ground about all of it. I did have to surrender the last registration from the 1960's so the local DMV could send it to Sacramento for appeal. They needed proof that the plates went with the VIN. They had me fill out multiple papers and statements of fact. They had me write checks for one fee, then another. I was given a temporary permit pending the outcome of the appeal.

A month later I got a call from Sacramento saying I would have to surrender the plates and get new PTI plates. I asked why. The gal said, "The computer won't let me enter the old plate numers into the new system. It says it is invalid. You need new numbers." I said, "So there is no rule saying I can't? It is just a programming error? So this is an IT problem, not a violation of code or law?" she said, "Yes I guess so". :shock: My response was that I wanted to talk with IT to get the format fixed. She said I should give her a day or two to look into it.

A week later Sacramento DMV left a message telling me the computer error had been repaired, my information was now entered as requested, my tags were in the mail AND they would be sending me a refund for some of the fees I was wrongly charged. :applause: :campfire:
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby KCStudly » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:40 pm

Nice job slashing thru red tape and standing up for your rights!

If everyone caves into the bureaucratic mentality of "it doesn't fit in the box" because they are not motivated enough to try a little harder, we would all become slugs with ever diminishing rights.
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby Alfie » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:15 pm

Thanks :)

It was a balancing act between suppressing my urge to tell them they were idiots and wanting to keep them as allies to get the job done. I took many deep breaths and kept leading the DMV clerk through the correct steps.

The advice from HW and Dragon fire was very valuable. I couldn't have done it without them.
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby KCStudly » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:59 pm

So often said, and it is true that this forum has the best people. Everyone pulling together to share info and experience, and lots of support, technical, psychological, and emotional. We have it all! :thumbsup:
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby eamarquardt » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:56 pm

The California DMV is a PITA. AFQs? At my last visit, when I stood my ground and wanted them to take responsibility for and fix their error (I had irrefutable proof they had screwed up) they called the Highway Patrol to eject me from the office. Once the officer heard my story he called the manager out of her office (I had been told the fellow that called the CHP on me was the only manager in the office that day). It took her over an hour to NOT solve the problem but she did find the right folks in Sacramento who would look into it. I later got in touch with the district office and I do believe that some folks in the local office got some "well deserved feedback".

Never give up, never surrender.

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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby 46Kit » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:26 pm

Way to go, Alfie! Glad you got everything sorted out. BTW: did you realize that you got to see my 1946 Kit Kamper? I had forgotten about this thread (it has been a while...), but we camped next to each other at the Tin Can Tourist meet in Petaluma this past September! See you at the next gathering.

Regards-HW
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby Alfie » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:18 pm

HW are you the coffee barista? We sat around the campfire and chatted the last night.
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby 46Kit » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:07 pm

Not a barista in real life, but my wife Deb is a bartender here in SF. We did have our Atomic stove top coffee machine and were making cappuccino every morning, if that's what you're referring to. We were in the spot to the North of you, in between you and the SoCal Santa Clause in the yellow & white canned ham (Shasta, I think?) with the matching paint scheme 1960's Ford F150. Our tow vehicle was the grey '91 F150 with the utility body. We chatted several time over the weekend, but there were a lot of folks at that event!

Regards-HW
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Re: register as Historic Vehicle?

Postby Alfie » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:48 pm

I definitely remember you and your wife and your wine jug with all the pour lables!
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