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Anyone familiar with CA Historic Plate registration process?

Discussion in 'California & Nevada (Northern)' started by SaratogaCA, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. SaratogaCA

    SaratogaCA Formula Junior

    Sep 11, 2016
    303
    Saratoga, CA
    Full Name:
    Sam T.
    I was looking into registering my 308 as a California Historic vehicle. But it appears that doing so provides no benefit whatsoever.

    There is no smog waiver.

    And the form seems to indicate the full registration fees need to be paid in addition to the Historic Plate fee.

    The only thing I get out of this would be: I pay more, and I am certifying under penalty of perjury that my car is primarily driven to historic parades and car club meetings.

    Why in the world would anyone pay more to lose driving privileges????


    - Sam in Saratoga
     
  2. 1974gt4

    1974gt4 Formula 3
    Owner

    Sep 19, 2009
    1,496
    in my garage...
    Full Name:
    Dr. Italiani
    congratulations:
    you have discovered yet another method the DMV uses for extracting money from the hobbyist.


    I put a set on a '65 Buick Riv because of the color…and nothing more.
     
  3. HMB-Dino

    HMB-Dino Formula 3
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    Jun 28, 2010
    1,923
    Pebble Beach, CA
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    RonG
    Simple...because renewal is only $107 per year! So if you have a valuable classic that you rarely drive, it allows the car to be registered and save you potentially thousands of dollars in fees.

    I converted one of my already registered, but very rarely driven classics and it saved me over $4700 for the year. I also registered a Non-Op classic for historic plates and had no issue...ie, never had to pay the full (non-historic plate) reg fees.

    Yes, you can do this and still drive the car a lot, but then that exposes you to violating the intent of the historic plate, and who knows what the penalties are if caught. I drive my Dino 246GT numerous times per year, so it stays registered the regular way.
     
  4. LBBP

    LBBP Formula Junior

    Wow, that's another Calif. cash stream! Here in Tennessee our historic vehicle cost is a one time fee of 27.75 and no yearly inspections. Plus you only receive one plate.
     
    Thomas Magnum likes this.
  5. Brian Harper

    Brian Harper F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Feb 17, 2006
    3,728
    San Jose area
    Full Name:
    Brian Harper
    I don't have the historic plates but I know a bunch of owners who do. After an initial smog check (for post '75 MY) the DMV has never required a smog check again of any of the owners I know. I can see the value with a post '76 carb car for sure and if you plan on substantial mods to a FI car that will no longer pass a visual test I can see that. A stock FI car should pass smog. If it doesn't, you owe it to your Ferrari to fix whatever's wrong. That's why I still run regular plates: mostly stock and I want to drive it legally to more than parades.
     
  6. SaratogaCA

    SaratogaCA Formula Junior

    Sep 11, 2016
    303
    Saratoga, CA
    Full Name:
    Sam T.
    OK, so what you are saying is that I pay the standard reg fee the first time, and then the renewals are cheaper?

    Also, how did you save $4,700 for one year? If you are paying the standard reg fee for the first time, where did the single-year $4,700 savings come from?


    I have heard of classic cars being waived the smog requirement, but the DMV is no longer supposed to be doing that. The loophole, supposedly, has been closed:

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/b6694537-9245-49f4-93ff-f577dbe0abf6/12vin12.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
     
  7. HMB-Dino

    HMB-Dino Formula 3
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    Jun 28, 2010
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    The first year reg fees for my Aston Martin DB4 was ~$4900 (calculated based on purchase price), so $4900-107 is over $4700 savings...basic math. I didn't know about the historic plate option when that car was first registered, so I (unknowingly) coughed up the big bucks first time around.
     
  8. BrettC

    BrettC Formula 3

    Aug 13, 2012
    1,114
    Calif
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    Brett
    Didn't that $4900 fee include the sales tax? No way reg fee's are that high...... or am I?
    Historic plates don't cancel the sales tax.....

     
  9. HMB-Dino

    HMB-Dino Formula 3
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    Jun 28, 2010
    1,923
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    RonG
    No, sales tax on a $755k car is more like $58k. The $4900 was JUST the registration cost.
     
  10. BrettC

    BrettC Formula 3

    Aug 13, 2012
    1,114
    Calif
    Full Name:
    Brett
    Maybe a dealers license in order here to keep things in "inventory"....gotta love the tax man...Yikes!

     
  11. HMB-Dino

    HMB-Dino Formula 3
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    Jun 28, 2010
    1,923
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    RonG
    Just imagine the reg cost for a 250 GTO if you didn't go with historic plates!
     
  12. SaratogaCA

    SaratogaCA Formula Junior

    Sep 11, 2016
    303
    Saratoga, CA
    Full Name:
    Sam T.
    OK, so I went to the DMV to get the story straight.

    I was advised that Historic Vehicle registration will reduce one portion of the registration free down to $2 per year, but will not affect the other portions of the registration fee. In my particular case, that translates to total annual savings of: $78.

    Although the savings are nothing to write home about, nonetheless, when my car comes up for registration renewal, I think I will register her as a Historic Vehicle.
     
  13. HMB-Dino

    HMB-Dino Formula 3
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    #13 HMB-Dino, Mar 26, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
    The VLF (tax deductible) portion of my switch over to historic plates was $2, the other $105 was various fees. Since it won't be until Aug before I'm renewing an existing historic plate, I couldn't say what the total reg renewal fee will be.

    But if you ever get stopped with historic plates while leisurely driving about or doing errands, you leave yourself exposed to `violating' the agreement you made when applying for those plates.

    Lastly, and what should come as no surprise, unless you asked a DMV supervisor, you're likely to get different answers at different offices or even with different clerks at the same office. Part of the extra `entertainment' you get when visiting the DMV...no extra charge!
     
  14. BLACK HORSE

    BLACK HORSE Formula 3
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    Feb 11, 2004
    1,696
    Livermore, CA
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    Rob L.
    Yeah we thought about moving from California but we like the climate and I like the car events here (Monterey) and beside we have family ties that keep us here... However after retirement in 15 years we may move since California is not retirement friendly.. too expensive even after the kids move out and the house is paid off... But for now we deal with it...
     
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  15. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Moderator Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    8,038
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    #15 paulchua, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    I just got my historical plates.

    Savings are negligible as others have stated. It's really just for cool factor. The other thing is some owners report not having to smog - while others report they do. I know there was a misunderstanding in the past that the DMV had to send a memo to correct the smog policy. But as I stated, some owners post memo - still have not gotten a smog requirement years after the memo.

    As far as the law. It is vaguely written. Specifically the car must: "primarily driven in historical exhibitions, parades, or historic club activities"

    I would count "FOG" as well as "FCA" events as historical club activities..which is already 1/2 of my driving.

    What does primarily mean though? 90%, 75%? 50.01%?

    The law doesn't say clearly. I would argue if the same cop sees you everyday with these plates you should not get them.

    In Summary

    Pros
    ----
    slightly cheaper
    unique plate - I have only seen the plate a few other times in my 30+ years driving California roads
    "potentially" smog exempt

    Cons
    -----
    Chance of getting a 'fix it ticket' (though I argue very small)

    To me it's very worth it.
     
  16. HMB-Dino

    HMB-Dino Formula 3
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    Jun 28, 2010
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    RonG
    Not sure how you can say `slightly' cheaper. Depending on the value of your car, it can be an obscene savings. Even my daily driver leased Audi costs me about $500/yr to register, and no, it's not an R8.
     
  17. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Moderator Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    8,038
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    Hi Ron, you are 100% correct. Now that I think about it, my registration did go down from $700 to $127 - so that's a pretty good chunk of change.

    Cheers
     
  18. Kaivball

    Kaivball Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2007
    35,882
    Kalifornia
    What is your Mondial valued at?

    My '92 348 registration fee with custom plates is sub $300...

    Kai
     
  19. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Ours were $400 or more each. Even my old pickup was over $300. Now $45 and no smog certs.

    None of ours ever failed a smog and we got nailed for smog every single year. It was supposed to be random on cars with a high failure rate. Right. Every year for 3 exotics that never failed. Sounds random to me.


    Jerry still wonders why people leave.
     
  20. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
    8,038
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    #20 paulchua, May 3, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    THANK YOU!! Yes, after Ron jingled my memory again - I remember thinking it was excessive!!! when I got the bill I just paid it....I don't know the formula that went into how much registration costs - so I just thought it was standard "Ferrari Tax" stuff...
    $730 to be exact.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  21. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
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    #21 paulchua, May 3, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  22. Kaivball

    Kaivball Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2007
    35,882
    Kalifornia
    Holy ****!!!!

    That's what I pay for my Tesla.

    Something is seriously wrong. Mine is less than half of that {queue argument which car is more valuable...😜}

    That is really weird.

    Kai
     
  23. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Moderator Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    8,038
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    Hey, we're both from California - taxes are just something that I'm used to getting punched in the gut for!
     
  24. Kaivball

    Kaivball Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2007
    35,882
    Kalifornia
    Must be more expensive in Menlo Park than San Jose....

    😎

    Kai
     
  25. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Moderator Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    8,038
    Menlo Park, CA
    Full Name:
    Paul Chua
    Or DMV screwed up my registration and too stupid to have known!

    :)

    Cheers
     

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