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Author Topic: Registering and Titling Our 2552 In California  (Read 895 times)
Pax
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« on: November 23, 2013, 12:33:53 am »

Registering and Titling Our 2552 In California

For those that live in CA, thinking of purchasing a PC from Indiana and wondering about the California DMV process, I just went through it (new 2552, delivered to me in CA) and thought I'd share....

First, Phoenix Cruisers are (50 state) California Certified for registration here.  You have 20 days to register and pay fees, from the time the PC enters California.

I found dmv.ca.gov instructions a bit confusing as to what was required.  Here's what I would suggest to others.
 
Bring the following with you:

- Paperwork received from Phoenix USA: Bill of Sale, Odometer Disclosure Statement, Out-Of-State Delivery Affadavit (all three of these were delivered to me with the PC). Also, bring the two title certificates (one for the Ford and one for the PC, both of which I received via FedEx from Phoenix USA about a week after delivery)
- Completed Application for Title or Registration (form REG 343).  It can be found on the DMV website.  You'll be entering the info on this form for the Ford section of the PC. Most of this is pretty self explanatory, except for the Type Of Vehicle where you should check 'Auto' and body type should be 'MH'.
- Valid CA Smog Certificate.  Yep, brand new rig from out of state has to be smogged.  Average around here for a motorhome is about $130.
- Optional: Completed Verification of Vehicle (form 31).  This is to verify the Vehicle ID Number (VIN).  They will do this for you at DMV if you bring your PC with you or you can have the VIN verified beforehand by a trained Peace Officer, Auto Club Employee or Authorized CA Licensed Vehicle Verifier (for a fee) and you bring the completed form 31 in to DMV.  If you bring in your PC to DMV for VIN verification, you might want to check out the DMV office first for obstructions, low hanging trees, etc.  I'm glad I did this and decided to go to a neighboring town instead of mine.
-Your checkbook (they also now take debit cards). They will collect lots of fees (about $780 worth in my case) and both state and city 'Use Tax', which is pretty much your sales taxes (in my case, about $9,100)

They will give you your plates and stickers right then and there and will send you the new CA Title in about three weeks (unless you've financed)

I had a young DMV employee who obviously was not very familiar with registering an out of state motorhome, so it took a while (about 40 minutes). At least I had made an online appt and got right in when I showed up.

Hope this helps some prospective owners in CA.....

 - Mike
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 06:19:42 am »

Good info Mike. We also took a good bit of time at the Maryland DMV but I don't think our processor was a newbie, just hadn't processed that many motor homes. I want to pass on something I overheard during one of our trips to the factory. Kermit was talking about someone in California having trouble with their PC registration. Apparently there are two VIN numbers. One that comes on the Ford truck and one that Phoenix puts on there for the motor home. I got the impression you are supposed to register with the Phoenix VIN and the owner was registered with the Ford VIN, thus causing problems down the line (though I don't know what problems that might be). Your posting reminded me that I need to go through the documents and see how ours is registered. I'm pretty sure she registered it as a Ford instead of a Phoenix. Again, don't know what effect mis-registration may have.
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

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Pax
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 11:16:42 am »

Both the website and the DMV office were pretty clear in that 'vehicle' was a Ford and the 'body type' was a motorhome.  They also go as far as to physically verify the VIN, making sure all numbers match (door frame, engine, title, etc) and then certifying it.  Can't see them getting that part of the process wrong, even if you put the wrong (PC rather than Ford) VIN on the registration application.

- Mike
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RheaNL
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 05:21:43 pm »

Just a note to all new buyers....
We picked up our new PC at the factor and when I got to the DMV in Colorado (where they did the same visual inspection of all labels/plates), we discovered there had been a typo switching two digits in the label on the door frame. Required we have another "sticker" shipped from the factor with the correct information and another trip to the DMV. Advice to all new buyers--check all the labels and paperwork before you leave the factory.
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 07:10:50 pm »

I guess Maryland is lax. We took only the paperwork to the DMV. This DID include a MD Inspection Certification so maybe they just match the VIN on our Title paperwork with the VIN on the Maryland inspection form and figure they are good to go. No one ever had all items in hand at the same time except us.
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

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lmichael
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 10:02:54 am »

Since we're full-time, we get to choose our residence state.  We selected South Dakota for various reasons, but one was the ease and low cost of registration/title.  There's no inspection, and our mail forwarding service handles all the paper work for a very reasonable fee (renewals can be made on-line directly by me).  Texas is similar except they require annual safety inspections.
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 02:42:23 pm »

We are considering South Dakota. Do you have to go there and set everything up or can you do it remotely? We figured we'd need to go there to get drivers' licenses if nothing else. Also, do they charge the sales tax over again? We already paid Maryland 6% so we don't want to pay another state also. Our tenant has only been in our house for three months and already wants to extend a year so the Phoenix will be our full time home at least through August 2015. We need to seriously consider this residency and mail forwarding. We haven't seen our mail since we left the DC area on October 2nd. It is going to our son's house and he did scan and send pics of the envelopes but we haven't been successful in getting him to actually send it to us. This is not cutting it. So, how hard and costly was the process in South Dakota?
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

Plan at least three years on the road - living, laughing, working and playing in the PC.
lmichael
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2013, 10:18:49 pm »

You do have to go to SD and spend one night in a campground (receipt required showing campground address) to get drivers license, but it only takes about 15 minutes to get it.  Everything else can be handled via a mail forwarding service.  We use Americas Mailbox out of Box Elder (Rapid City area).  Their website has information on all your questions.  Since you already paid tax on your PC, you won't have to pay anything else to SD.  We chose Rapid City because the other parts of SD have a wheel tax.  There are several mail forwarding services in SD.  Americas Mailbox has 3 levels of service depending on what you want forwarded.  Their fees are shown on their website.  Can't remember the exact amount, but the initial registration/title on our PC new was in the mid $900s which included sales tax.  Renewal this year was in the upper $90s.  Drivers license was $15 and good for 5 years.  Rapid City is in the Black Hills, so there's a lot to see in the area.
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 07:22:12 pm »

Thank you, we will definitely look into it. We have relatives in Spearfish which is at the top of the Black Hills so we are familiar with the area and would welcome the excuse to go back and spend time in Custer State Forest. For those unfamiliar, they have a huge herd of bison that just wanders across the road, herds of pronghorns, burros, and numerous other critters as well as gorgeous scenery. Note the bison are contained and do not wander freely through the campground. You drive over cattle grates when you enter their area.
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John, Holly, Chloe & Snickers (The "nanny' cat)

Plan at least three years on the road - living, laughing, working and playing in the PC.
Big Green Machine
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 04:00:47 pm »

Just wondering...what does it take to be considered "fulltimers"? We just licensed our 2011 in Indiana & it was nearly $1500 for 14 month tags. South Dakota sounds wonderful! As soon as we sell this house, We will hit the road for at least 6 months out of the year, more if necessary.
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2011 PC-2551 w/ slide.
Rich, Bonnie, & Cricket.
Unit available for showing anytime!
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