CA DMV Question

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Gman's picture
Last seen: 16 years 4 months ago
Joined: Monday, November 20, 2006 - 23:24
Points: 1720
CA DMV Question

I received this from the EV list.

Be very careful about what you call your vehicle, especially in California. About two years ago, the DMV and tax authorities did a sting on custom car builders who, for example, took a '55 Chev and extensively modified it, sometimes producing a car worth $100K+ and sold and registered it as a '55 Chev, thereby avoiding a hefty tax. The builders paid huge fines for their slight oversight.

Can you explain how this worked? If they registered it as a '55 Chevy, and it really *is* a '55 Chevy, what law is being broken? In every state I've lived in, vehicle registration price has nothing to do with the true value of the vehicle; they only use its "book" price. They don't care if I put $10,000 worth of EV parts into a car with a book value of $100 -- I still pay registration based on its book value.

Insurance is another matter; if you expect to be reimbursed for what the vehicle is really worth, then you need to insure it for that value.

chas_stevenson's picture
Last seen: 12 years 8 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - 17:14
Points: 1309
Re: CA DMV Question

I still pay registration based on its book value.

The registration is not where the problem is. You must pay sales tax based on what you paid for the vehicle not what the book value is. This is true in most states and I know for sure it is true where you live, remember I lived there for many years myself. They were maybe charging the buyer a much larger amount than they were claiming for tax purposes. Anyway, that's my guess.

Chas S.
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