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Thread: California DMV

  1. #1
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    California DMV

    At the end of April (the day after I purchased the Studebaker) I paid a visit to my local AAA office to have the title transferred into my name. I have been a member for 24 years but have never entered the building.

    I not only had to pay the sale tax but had to pay the 2018/2019 registration. for 2017/2018 I was told that the vehicle was registered as a Non Op (non-operational) and if I wanted to drive it before May 25th I would need to pay for this year also. I stated that I was working on the vehicle and this would take time for me to make it "road worthy". So, I pay and I am off.

    I then get all of my paperwork rejected by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with the following reasons. (the best are last)

    1. Must pay for 2017/2018 registration
    2. Must have someone with direct knowledge that the vehicle was not in operation during the 2017/2018 period
    3. Must have DMV, California Highway Petrol (CHP), or a "Vehicle Verifier" verify the stated vehicle VIN number
    4. Must correct the vehicle manufacture - Studebaker (with a hand written question mark added)


    My questions:
    1. Its on a non-op, what do you mean pay??
    2. The only person that could answer this is the previous owner who is 3 hours away. (yah I could email the form I guess) Of course I could just pay (see line 1) and this become void - which I am guessing is their plan??
    3. Really, because the vehicle is too old for the federal vehicle identification system I have to get CHP involved? Even better - DMV states that only the CHP can verify. CHP wants me to bring the car to them, see non-op for reason why this is not good. CHP also says DMV can/does this.
    4. Wait wait what??? The California DMV does not know what a Studebaker is??? wow.


    My DMV appointment is Monday.
    DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
    1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

  2. #2
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    Worst DMV in the world is in Calif
    sals54

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    I just hold a title until it I have it ready for the road and then do the transfer. It is signed ready to go but I dont see any reason to pay the tax etc until I have to.

    A story about CA and money. I own my own company and had a sales rep in Northern CA for years. The guy never sold much, but I kept him on the website just in case something came out of his area. One day i get a letter from the CA dept of revenue. Mind you I live in Delaware and the company is a DE registered company. The letter said that I had to provide sales in CA that my rep generated over the last 5 years. I tossed it in the round bin and went on with my business. I get two more of them and filed them the same. Then one day I get a call from the CA Dept of Rev. saying that if I don't provide this information they will fine my company. I told them that the rep did not work for me any longer and that he did not sell anything to report. The guy said that I would need to provide a letter to that effect and remove the guy from my website. I provided the letter, but left him on the website and never heard anything more about it. I called the sales rep and told him the Dept of Rev. was looking for him and he said that CA was trying to squeeze any $$ out of anyone, especially if they could get it out of state.
    Last edited by Dan White; 05-10-2018 at 05:09 PM.
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    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    CA...second ONLY to NY. People and Businesses leaving in DROVES...

  5. #5
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    Jerry Brown needs his train. Like the arbitrator at the DMV told me in a similar situation "Humor me, just pay.

  6. #6
    President Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
    CA...second ONLY to NY. People and Businesses leaving in DROVES...
    If you can believe it, I was actually born in Los Angeles. That place is apparently also known as the "City of Angels" (yeah right!) My father relocated my family out of there barely a year after I was born to Palm Beach because, and I quote, "[i]t is impossible to raise a kid in this nutty town". Keep in mind he was a high-flying stockbroker who had major incentive to stay during this time!
    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

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    Did you already pay for the registration? If not, good. Just ask for the title to be transferred. Then work on your car. I don't know if a loophole was "corrected" or not but at least it was the case that when a car was sold & it was in a "non-op" with the DMV, then no sales tax was collected & you just paid for the title transfer. one could wait 2 or 3 week, then get a registration & pay only for the tags, still no sales tax was collected. I did that a few times.

    I was told my 59 wagon would have to be inspected for the "vin" (yeah, I know it's a serial number & not a vin) but they call it that now, even though I showed registrations from 1979 in California. I told them the car wasn't being operated on & the reply was to tow it to the AAA office & they would verify it. That changed too & then I was told the same as you, that the CHP or the DMV office would have to verify. I still haven't done that. When I'm ready I'll go to the Arizona MVD, show them the paperwork I have & get a title. Every transaction I've done here in the past year has been so easy it makes me wonder if it was really legal since Calif. DMV puts you through so much crap. And to top it off the people are actually nice to you too! California sent me a renewal for my 60 convertible. Somewhere around $165 bucks whereas here it will run me less than $25. Is it really any wonder why people are moving out of there?
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  8. #8
    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    Did you buy the car from an other state? Usually the only reason they ask for a VIN verification is if the vehicle came from out of state or if it has not been registered in a while and is no longer in their system. If the "non op" is from California and current this should not be nessisary.

    Yes the DMV, CHP and AAA can do a vin verification. Unless they changed it a cop of sheriff can too, just have them fill out (sign) the VIN verification form.

    If it's on "non op" and you continue it you shouldn't need to pay registration for 2017-18. Since they assume you will be moving the car, they want to be sure you don't drive or tow it. A trailer is ok. That's why the "statement of fact" about its opperation on the road. You can get a permit to opperate on the road for a given day though. Otherwise if you put it on the street at any time its on "non op" you're on the hook for fees for the year. (if you get caught)

    We bought two Studes from the original owner a couple years ago. The DMV person had never heard of a Studebaker, not surprising since Studebaker went out of business 30 years before they were born. They didn't have a problem with the 1961 pink slip, but nobody in the office knew what to do with the 1953 one. they had to call Sacramento.

  9. #9
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    I just hope that the Former Owner did not Park the Car on the Street, Get a Ticket of any kind or get caught DRIVING it during the Non-Op Period, THAT would cause all this nonsense, but it SHOULD be on HIM not You!
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  10. #10
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    Somewhere I read on a Studebaker forum that there was a lady in CA that was good in straightening out title problems on Studebakers.
    Does anyone have her contact info?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    Somewhere I read on a Studebaker forum that there was a lady in CA that was good in straightening out title problems on Studebakers.
    Does anyone have her contact info?
    The lady I used to use has retired. I'm very upset about it. She was amazing.
    sals54

  12. #12
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    It seems once every 40 or so transctions something with the Calif. DMV actually goes right. My Studebker (on Calif. Non-Op at the time of purchase) was one of my few "One and Done" car purchases. At one point the guy goes, "Ooohhh..." and me heart sank expecting the worse. Then he says, "It seems there are $56 in fees posted already. Well, we'll just credit those to you." Perhaps one of the few times I didn't argue with the DMV. And they never even questioned what a Studebaker was either.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    Warren,

    The DMV used to be pretty bad in Arizona, but it has improved over the past ten years. It is an area that our state government did look at fixing. I don't know if someone in the offices of government had to go there or not, but I am glad it has improved. One thing they did was allow satellite office that were privately run that also helped but I have registered and plate a car that was not operating. It cost $25.00 on a Studebaker. The odd thing was if you just did a title transfer and not register, the cost was higher and would cost more to register. What they do now in that case is suspend the registration right after you get it and all you have to do now is show proof of insurance when the car is operational to reinstate registration.

    Bob Miles
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  14. #14
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    DMV update

    I have paid the sales tax and the NEXT years registration.

    I have an appointment next week Monday and will plead my case that the car is on a non-op and is STILL not on the road. (true enough actually) Hopefully I can stay on the non-op until May 25th (registration date) and not have to pay the 2017/2018 fees. I may pay the fees if they insists that I get the previous own involved in order to "prove" it was not driven.

    I have also called to get a CHP appointment. Looks like I will be putting that front bumper back on!
    DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
    1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

  15. #15
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    California sent me a renewal for my 60 convertible. Somewhere around $165 bucks whereas here it will run me less than $25. Is it really any wonder why people are moving out of there?[/QUOTE]

    Gees you think you got it bad.
    I got the renewal for my Champ the other day and it was $735Aud and its not unusual for cars to be nudging if not over the $1000 per year.
    Yes we are getting ripped off.

  16. #16
    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    As bad as California sound, North Carolina is about the same.
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  17. #17
    Speedster Member alaipairod's Avatar
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    AAA goes by the DMV book........You will get very little help from them on "collectable vehicles"
    I've had good experience with DMV offices that have personal that give coherent advise on getting your Studebaker CA approved....
    The one go to office that I recommend is the one in Santa Paula CA...........Good luck........

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaipairod View Post
    AAA goes by the DMV book........You will get very little help from them on "collectable vehicles"
    I've had good experience with DMV offices that have personal that give coherent advise on getting your Studebaker CA approved....
    The one go to office that I recommend is the one in Santa Paula CA...........Good luck........
    Bakersfield to Santa Paula is 208 miles and a 3 Hr. 20 minute drive round trip. I'd think paying the fees is less painfully.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sals54 View Post
    Worst DMV in the world is in Calif
    California is not that hard to deal with if you know more then they do and it is all in their books, when I go in with an old classic car more than 25 years old they can not charge you fine or back fees it is all in their book. most need the vin varied. and that is no problem if you know some one that does it and I do know someone, now the hardest part is getting an appointment and waiting the time to go, once there finding a parking spot could be a problem because of the new California thing of getting every one in the state a lic. or ID. the lines are out the door and around the building so the lot is full, even with a appointment and no parking one might miss their appointment. the peice of paper that DMV is most interested in is the statement of fact, I always say I have owned the care for 20 years and lost the title when moving. even if I have an old title in some one name other than mine I don't even use it if the car is not in the system. no sales tax then.
    Candbstudebakers
    Castro Valley,
    California



  20. #20
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    Sal if things get really out of hand at the DMV just realize you were born with a very special power, the power to shoot potent Malocchio's....feel free to employ that ancient and still useful remedy.
    Quote Originally Posted by sals54 View Post
    Worst DMV in the world is in Calif

  21. #21
    President Member WinM1895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkapteyn View Post
    Somewhere I read on a Studebaker forum that there was a lady in CA that was good in straightening out title problems on Studebakers.
    Does anyone have her contact info?
    Former Whittier DMV office manager is a member of SDC, she also sells on ebay (redtoyoubabe).

    I lost track of her (she has flaming red hair) when the Whittier office was closed for renovations. She resides in Downey.

    I bought a 56J that hadn't been registered in 20 some years.

    A few minutes w/a blue pencil, she passed the paperwork back to me, said go to the window and pay the fee.

  22. #22
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    That's right Bill, Ronda also helped me get my "Out of the System" '54 Starliner Hardtop back currently CA registered again, then the next year I just non-Opp'ed it and changed from my Calif. friend's Address to my Washington Address, no problem unless I plan to DRIVE it!
    That way, the Title will stay in the Calif. "System" until I register it here.

    I do not know if she is still doing that at Downey or not.

  23. #23
    President Member WinM1895's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    That's right Bill, Ronda also helped me get my "Out of the System" '54 Starliner Hardtop back currently CA registered again, then the next year I just non-Opp'ed it and changed from my Calif. friend's Address to my Washington Address, no problem unless I plan to DRIVE it!
    That way, the Title will stay in the Calif. "System" until I register it here.

    I do not know if she is still doing that at Downey or not.
    Ronda, couldn't recall her name. She lives in Downey, but when she did 'favors' for me, she was the office manager of the Whittier DMV office.

    I also belong to AAA (Auto Club of SoCal). I bought a 62V-K6 off ebay in NY, verified the title before I bought it, then went to AAA, showed the snip of a gal the title, it's a little piece of paper.

    Gal said this isn't a title. I said, oh yes it is. Older gal comes over, reaches under the counter, takes out a book that shows a facsimile of EVERY title worldwide. She turned to NY, there it was....the same little piece of paper that passes for a title in NY

    I paid the fee, got my new CA plates, went oughtta there happy as a clam.
    Last edited by WinM1895; 05-12-2018 at 06:46 PM.

  24. #24
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    California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) update

    OK, so I had my 3:00 appointment today and here is the update.
    I arrived at 2:55.

    First I feel I have to set the scene a bit. The parking lot, which is not huge, had a line of cars orbiting around looking for a place to park. I elected to pass thru the lot and park in the area behind the Jiffy Lube (a quick service oil change place) which is directly behind DMV.

    As I walked up and into the building there are small groups of people EVERYTHERE and none of them looked happy. I opened the door and the building is basically one large room with outward facing counter areas labeled "Window 1" to "Window 18". Around the edge of the room is the horde of people waiting to be called to one of these windows. There had to be 80 to 100, easily!

    I got in the short line for people with appointments and withing 3 minutes was in front of a window confirming my name, phone number, and appointment time. I was told, "Your name and number will be called in a few minutes." The system calls you by your first and last initials followed by the last 4 digits of your phone. I am sure this system was designed this way so that it is impossible to tell just how many people are ahead of you...

    I went to the area in front of Window 2 (which was not being used) and began waiting. At 3:00 an announcement was made that basically said (and I am sure I am paraphrasing), "If you are here for a written test or vehicle identification - the last of both will be at 4:30." This was followed with the phrase, "We are currently experiencing a 6 hour delay and some customers may have to return at a later date." In rapid order I had the following thoughts.
    1. A 6 hour delay???
    2. They close in 2 hours...
    3. I'm here for a vehicle identification!!!
    4. Oh wait, I have an appointment.

    Ten minutes later my name/number is called to Window 17. Well of course - I am at Window 2. By the time I could serpentine though the throng of deodorant challenged masses they had called my name/number again. As I stepped up to Window 17 I started with, "I'm sorry about that - I was obviously standing on the wrong side of the room!"

    I will attempt to detail the dialog and will refer to the DMV employee as "clerk" (because I never say a name tag)

    clerk: "How may I help you sir?"
    DT: "My title transfer was rejected? I had AAA assist but DMV did not seem impressed."
    clerk: (slight laugh as I handed him my paperwork)

    clerk: "OK it seems like you owe the 2017/2018 fees."
    DT: "Ummm the vehicle is one a non-op and I was told it could stay until the 25th when the registration would become operational. I have already paid the 2018/2019 fees."
    clerk: "No, the system shows it to be not on a non-op. It looks like AAA took it off."
    DT: "That was not what was suppose to happen, why would I do that?"
    clerk: "Let me take this to my supervisor." (he then takes my paperwork plus some freshly printed papers towards the center of the room)

    clerk: (upon returning) "OK, I going to attempt to put in a future date for when you will have the vehicle road worthy. If the system does not allow this you will have to pay the back fees or reschedule an appointment for after the 25th."
    DT: "OK"
    clerk: "Well it looks like they system took the future date. I will need to give you new plates."
    DT: OK?
    clerk: "You need to fill out this form attesting that you will destroy the plates when you get home." (hands me a form)
    DT: "I am happy to destroy DMV property."

    clerk: (while flipping thru multiple plate envelops) "Can I see your paperwork again? Oh, it looks like the system assigned you plates at AAA."
    DT: "YES it did.":
    clerk: "Then we are good."
    DT: "great"

    clerk: "OK, item 2. They want proof that the vehicle was not in operation during the non-op period???? I think we are good."
    DT: "Great!"

    clerk: "Item 3, must have VIN verified. Do you have the vehicle here?"
    DT: "No, its on a non-op."
    clerk: "Oh, that's right. Well you will need to have the Highway Patrol verify the VIN."
    DT: "Well the problem is the vehicle is so old there is no VIN. There is a serial number." (I then showed a printed page with 4 photos, one being the serial number plate)
    clerk: "Hmmm, do you have a photo that shows the whole vehicle?"
    DT: (with much excitement) "What angle would you like to see?" (as I opened my '50 service manual and pulled 6 more pages of photos)
    clerk: (after I had him a page of photos) "Let me show this to my supervisor."

    clerk: (upon returning for the second time) "Looks like we are good."
    DT: "GREAT." (at this point I was super excited as this meant I do NOT need to see the Highway Patrol)

    clerk: "Item 4, Correct vehicle manufacturer - Studebaker?" (pause for effect) I think we just did that."
    DT: "Yes we did!"

    He then says that will be $59. Now I don't know what this is for but I was super happy to pay it. I was good to go and all of this business is behind me. I pay the money and he asks, "Is there anything else I can help with?"

    Now this is were I knew what I was saying may not be the right thing. I could hear the words coming out of my mouth but my brain was screaming for me to stop. I said, "Well there is one more thing. The year is wrong on the title." Dead silence. He looked at me with that look of "Oh man, you just blew it." look. Calmly he said, "You will need the California Highway Patrol to verify this." My instant reply was, "Can I notice this when I get my new title and handle it then?" He replied with, "Take care of what?" as he handed me my paperwork and wished me a nice day.

    So, I will still need the California Highway Patrol to verify the year of the Studebaker. I am sure I will be the one explaining to them how this is possible due to the serial number and body tag but....

    In the end I was only at DMV for 45 minutes and the clerk was VERY helpful. I think he was just glad I was not upset at all. I had no beef with him or DMV and was only interested in getting this resolved. And we are almost there!
    DT Holder - Bakersfield CA, USA
    1950 Commander ("Resto-Mod" in progress)

  25. #25
    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    Unless the title says its a '53 or later I'd forget about it, to a civilian they all look the same anyway right. As long as the VID/ID number (whatever number you got away with) is the same on the car and the paper you're good.

  26. #26
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    Your lucky to find a parking spot and not miss your appointment. What the state of California is trying to do is get every body set up with a new Lic. and ID. card and don't really give a sh...t about people with paper work on a car.
    Candbstudebakers
    Castro Valley,
    California



  27. #27
    President Member SilverHawkDan's Avatar
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    Got my renewal notice in the mail today. 1956 Power Hawk is $120. Last year it was $82. Man Jerry Brown sucks worse then he did the first time people were stupid enough to vote for him.

  28. #28
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    If you have trouble again or anyone else in California with the non op or back fees when you buy a vehicle, fill out a "statement of facts" form (you can get it at the DMV or online), then prepare to ask for a supervisor (and a fight). No one needs to pay back fees or current fees (for a title change only) if you just bought the car.

    California DMV sucks, but it's VERY helpful if you know the laws better then them. Do your research first, I used to buy/get a official Vehicle Code book every other year, not sure if they're in print anymore or just online now.


    Warren, how do you like it there?. I'm looking at Williams (and surrounding areas) when I retire in 8 years, I want cooler weather, less people and land for a work shop. I was in Perris at the beginning of this month...it was quite warm.

  29. #29
    President Member JGK 940's Avatar
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    You know, I've never had a lick of trouble with California's DMV - including the six-month period during which a patient and helpful line clerk helped me legitimize and register my first car, an ex-Atomic Energy Commission '59 Lark I had bought in my 17-year-old ignorance with a bill of sale but without a pink slip. But then, regardless of how I feel about somebody's politics, I generally manage to keep my opinions out of forums like this one. Maybe I just get better better help from public servants because I treat them like friends and neighbors instead of beaching at them about rules and regulations over which they have no control. These people are required to establish a series of facts regarding your car the same way, and for the same reasons, as a title search is required when you buy real estate. These requirements are for your (or actually, your insurance company's) protection and they all look very, very different when your car has been stolen and modified and they help trip up the bad guys. BTDT; Just sayin'.

    As for OP:

    A Statement of Facts from the previous owner is required, along with a Statement of Facts from you, stating the car has never touched a publicly-maintained road during the entire '17-'18 registration year, in order for a Non-Op to be a valid substitute for reg fees for that year. Technically, this means the vehicle has to have been TRAILERED from private property to private property to complete the sale. The registration fees for that year should be all of about $100, an amount I'd happily pay to save the trouble of sending certified letters to the previous owner and filling out Statements of Facts. I went through that with my Lark. My Lark also required CHP VIN verification, which took all of about fifteen minutes once I'd gotten the car running and taped my red temp sticker into the back window. This inspection also corrected the question of the "STUDE(?)" manufacturer claim - the clerk's not necessarily indicating they've never heard of Studebakers; they're just indicating they want the CHP verifier to confirm that this car still is one. Vehicles let go to Non-Ops very often come back to roadworthiness looking very much like something other than what they started as.

    All the rest can be cleared up - or at least streamlined - by making an appointment to take your entire Report of Deposit of Fees packet to a registration clerk in the DMV directly. AAA are subcontractors, and they handle routine work reasonably well. But they are NOT DMV employees and are therefore NOT trained in how to handle unusual cases or authorized to make any exceptions. Working directly with a DMV reg clerk and supervisor will get you the straightest scoop available with the minimum of time and agitation and outlay of funds.
    Last edited by JGK 940; 05-16-2018 at 09:53 AM. Reason: spelling

  30. #30
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverHawkDan View Post
    Got my renewal notice in the mail today. 1956 Power Hawk is $120. Last year it was $82. Man Jerry Brown sucks worse then he did the first time people were stupid enough to vote for him.
    We have all republican government in Indiana and our car related fees sound higher than CA. The proceedure sounds about the same.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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