MVD / DMV Stories
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Thread: MVD / DMV Stories

  1. #1
    Pedal Smasher Autoholic's Avatar
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    MVD / DMV Stories

    I'm curious what stories, both horror and good, you guys have about MVD's or DMV's.

    I was at a MVD today to transfer the title on the 73 Opel GT I recently purchased. I took off from work a little early to try and get there with enough time to be seen. MVD's where I live, lock the doors at 4 and close shortly after 5. Friday is always a busy day at a MVD, but I couldn't do it before today. My work keeps me rather busy. While waiting in the line for title transfers, recent vehicle purchases, VIN inspections, etc. I'm looking over the title and to my horror, I notice a mistake. I remembered the family saying their had been an issue with the title not having the full VIN. I thought that meant it had been taken care of, because who would just let that go? I'm quickly realizing this could be a huge problem...

    Well, I'm here so I might as well see what MVD says. I wind up getting helped by a manager, an somewhat old guy but he was really nice. I mention to him that there is a mistake on the title, that it is missing a digit. I already know this could mean the vehicle will need to be physically inspected in order to correct it. The problem with that, it doesn't idle and I'm fighting a fuel supply issue. I'd have to trailer it. To trailer it, I'd have to take off work for a day, rent a trailer, load it, go to the MVD, unload it so you can open the doors, do all the paperwork that needs to be done, then reload the GT, bring it back home and then bring the trailer back. It would cost me at least $70 and a huge headache. I never like taking off work just because it creates more problems, I have well over 100 hours of sick leave saved up I can use.

    So, this could be a large issue that I'd have about 2 weeks to resolve. The manager was super nice, and took care of it. I had proof of insurance with the correct VIN and photos on my phone that included the various VINs. 73's can really suck for those that don't know they kinda have two VINs. The guy actually remembered the Opel GT, I must have gave him some happy flashbacks to when he was young. We talked a little bit about cars while he worked, joked a little. He fixed the issue and he could have stuck by the law and required a physical inspection to fix the mistake. You don't just alter the VIN on a title lightly.

    During our convo, he mentioned wanting coffee. So after I left, I went to a Starbucks and got him a large coffee and a cinnamon roll. That cost me ~$6, but he easily saved me $70 and a whole day of headaches. I brought it back and had it sent over to him, waved and said thanks. He seemed to really appreciate it. By this time, it was after 3 on a Friday. While MVD can really piss you off, I want to work at one far less than having to go to one. The public can be full of idiots. I'll happily thank someone for being humane while working on my problems.
    rrossjr and MikeNotigan like this.
    "Autoholism is an incurable addiction medicated daily with car porn." ~Zeppi

    1973 Opel GT project car - Plans: 2.5L CIH, Weber 38 DGAS, Getrag 240, Lowered 1", Watts link, exterior color - Rainforest Green Pearl, interior color - tan
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  3. #2
    Member Michael A. Smith's Avatar
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    My Old Man used to say that "the last thing that a public servant wants to do is serve the public", and nowhere could that be more true than in New Jersey's MVD back in the years I lived there. I have a Triumph Spitfire4, otherwise known as a Mk I, one of the last of the production run built in late 1964. However, it was not sold until March of 1965 in the 'States and, as was the custom then, the South Carolina MVD (where the car was first registered), identified it as a 1965 vehickle, and that is how it remained and was identified when I bought it. Following a restoration, I petitioned the NJ MVD to change the year on the title to 1964, as I did not want to be held accountable when I sold it to someone thinking I was selling the following Mk II model, whose production started in 1965. The NJ bureaucrat was entirely recalcitrant, absolutely refusing to process any paper or forward any further requests. And this was in the Trenton HQ. The problem is fixed. I now live in Maine where no car older than 25 years has a title -- they are all sold with a Bill of Sale, on which I can identify the car any way I choose (and the BOS is accepted by out-of-state MVD's).

    I should tell you about getting the Factory Five kit car registered...
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  4. #3
    Pedal Smasher Autoholic's Avatar
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    Go ahead share the FFR story. I know kit cars can be hard, especially many years ago.
    "Autoholism is an incurable addiction medicated daily with car porn." ~Zeppi

    1973 Opel GT project car - Plans: 2.5L CIH, Weber 38 DGAS, Getrag 240, Lowered 1", Watts link, exterior color - Rainforest Green Pearl, interior color - tan
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  6. #4
    Opeler runs5k's Avatar
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    I live in Quebec, Canada a couple miles from the New York birder. I bought my GT in California and had it shipped to the New York border. To get it into Canada I left it there for 48 hour while the US border checked out the title to make sure the car was not stolen. After two days I showed up with a flat bed to pick up the car on the US side. Then I had to get it cleared at the US customs where they did a visual check to make sure the car had the proper vin. Next stop was the Canadian border where the vin was checked and I payed a government tax called Goods and Services Tax (GST). Before I could even think about plating the car in Canada it had to pass a Quebec vehicle inspection which is really, really tough Once I got the car to where I thought I was ready for inspection I obtained a 2 day transit pass to be able to drive the car to the inspection garage. Having passed inspection I headed back to the license bureau with my inspection sheet, my bill of sale and my California title. You have to pay a provincial tax on the value of the car when you plate it, hence the bill of sale. The lady working there said that the title didn't have the car's weight listed and that was compulsory in Quebec. She said I would have to get the car weighed and bring back the weigh slip. I told her I had a manual for the car that listed the weight. She said go and get it. When I returned she looked at it and said it would do. (Lucky for me I'm from a small town and rode the same school bus with this lady) Since then it has become even more complicated. Before when you showed up at the license bureau bill of sale will do. now if you purchase a classic car it has to be evaluated by a car evaluator...the bill of sale is of not acceptable.
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  7. #5
    Pedal Smasher Autoholic's Avatar
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    Dang. Gov’t wants what it can get in taxes. I’m glad we don’t deal with appraisals for registration here. My total was $350 for the 2 yr registration, plate fee, licensing tax and something else. Had to have proof of insurance, which cost me $309 for a year. Not bad compared to other countries where it costs you thousands to have a car on the road.
    "Autoholism is an incurable addiction medicated daily with car porn." ~Zeppi

    1973 Opel GT project car - Plans: 2.5L CIH, Weber 38 DGAS, Getrag 240, Lowered 1", Watts link, exterior color - Rainforest Green Pearl, interior color - tan
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  8. #6
    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    You never said this was restricted to Opels so here goes.

    In late 1989 I bought a new 90 Ford Ranger truck in Arizona. In 1990 I then moved to LA for a job and had to get the truck registered. After taking a day off to do that (the CA DMV was really horrendous back then, not sure if that's still the case), and waiting in line for hours, I finally got up to the registration window.

    They took one look at the Arizona registration and said it didn't have the truck weight on it. I said they could take the weight off of the GVW sticker on the door frame and they wouldn't accept it! They said i'd have to go to a certified CA scale to have it weighed. Grrrr. OK, so I look up where a scale was and it was an hour drive away. Went to do that, and by that time it was too late to get back to DMV.

    So I took the next day off. Waited in line for a few hours again. Got up to the window and the paperwork was in order. However, since the truck only complied with the 49-state emissions standards and was not CA emissions certified I had to pay a $600 penalty. Yeesh.

    So, two days off and a $600 fee (plus registration fee of another couple hundred bucks) to get a fairly new one-owner vehicle registered in CA.

    About 8-10 years later, after I had moved back out of CA, I received a check to refund the emissions fee with interest! Turns out they lost a lawsuit that forced them to refund that money. Woo Hoo, found money!
    The Scifi Guy likes this.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"
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  9. #7
    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    I'm not even going to try to get my no title Opel Wagon properly and legally registered here in Jersey. Although the NJ DMV's website says that it's possible to title and register a car with no title, an in person visit to a local DMV had a bitchy old crabapple tell me: No way! She almost laughed in my face at the thought of being able to title a car with no title in Jersey. She never heard of such a thing and she didn't care what some Jersey gov'mint website says. I'll just register the car as an antique and no one will ever inspect the car or compare VIN's or nothin'. Someone told me they have a '75 title for a Wagon, so I'm hoping that pans out, but if not I'll register it as an Opel GT with a spare title I have laying around.

    If anyone spots the discrepancy, I'll just say I modified the car.

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  10. #8
    Pedal Smasher Autoholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwschumm View Post
    You never said this was restricted to Opels so here goes.

    About 8-10 years later, after I had moved back out of CA, I received a check to refund the emissions fee with interest! Turns out they lost a lawsuit that forced them to refund that money. Woo Hoo, found money!
    It doesn’t have to be Opel related.

    Interesting ending. I bet that was a nice surprise. I remember there have been a couple times when CA changed regs too quickly and that meant vehicles might not be CA legal. CARB compliance is literally what made Alfa develop the Spica mechanical fuel injection system that is a crazy piece of engineering art.
    "Autoholism is an incurable addiction medicated daily with car porn." ~Zeppi

    1973 Opel GT project car - Plans: 2.5L CIH, Weber 38 DGAS, Getrag 240, Lowered 1", Watts link, exterior color - Rainforest Green Pearl, interior color - tan
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