California Title and Registration of Diesels

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People with RVs, exotic/expensive cars, and those who hate CA registration costs often register their vehicles in Montana under an LLC where the vehicle is the only asset held by the LLC. There is a little industry around this practice (you can Google Montana vehicle registration with LLC for the details). I have not and do not plan on doing this, but my understanding is that registration of expensive cars is really cheap compared to CA (like $800 compared to thousands in CA for a car purchased in the six figures ) and there is no smog testing required for registration like there is in CA. I think there may be some vehicle insurance issues though and the CA DMV is hip to the practice and has a tip line for reporting these vehicles registered in a different state that are always on CA roads, so maybe consult with someone who has done it before or does it as a service so you have all the information you need and weigh your options.
 
Hey all,

Was looking into buying a Toyota Master Ace Surf that I saw in my area for a ski bum camper van build. However skimming through this thread has made me incredibly disappointed being in CA. I was wondering if any one had any experiences registering their diesel car in South Dakota like they do for cars they take to Baja or Tijuana? Does CHP give you hard time if you get pulled over with South Dakota plates?

Are you the guy who ran the taco surf account a few years back? Cool stuff.

As for the van, you could go the Montana/south Dakota route and it would probably be fine, but there's always a chance it could get popped at some point. Really uncommon, as they're mainly looking for people buying expensive RVs etc like the comment above says. There are a few hiaces and liteaces registered in the state, they come up for sale occasionally. and I just heard of a guy getting a diesel hilux through registration with the help of a broker of some sort. I can send you the number if you want to message me on here or on IG @calamar.i) . No clue if the guy is valid was just referred by someone on instagram
 
Yes you may get hassled. It is specially an issue if your neighbors rat you out. This is a real risk but lots of folks take it. The only other option is to pay $10k to CEE in Santa Ana and wait a few months to get it tested and modified.
 
Are you the guy who ran the taco surf account a few years back? Cool stuff.

As for the van, you could go the Montana/south Dakota route and it would probably be fine, but there's always a chance it could get popped at some point. Really uncommon, as they're mainly looking for people buying expensive RVs etc like the comment above says. There are a few hiaces and liteaces registered in the state, they come up for sale occasionally. and I just heard of a guy getting a diesel hilux through registration with the help of a broker of some sort. I can send you the number if you want to message me on here or on IG @calamar.i) . No clue if the guy is valid was just referred by someone on instagram
Haha nah, the username comes from the Model of the Van I'm looking at which is Toyota Master Ace Surf. Taco Surf is dope though!
 
Not sure if this is relevant.

I’m onto my 2nd 7x series in CA and decided to registered my 75 with permanent plates in Montana. This go around I didn’t bother to waste time and money with the CA DMV.

Montana at the moment doesn’t care what state your insurance covers. Hagerty doesn’t care what state your car is registered in.

Ball park cost was shy of $1k for the llc, temp tags, and permanent registration. ouch!
 
Not sure if this is relevant.

I’m onto my 2nd 7x series in CA and decided to registered my 75 with permanent plates in Montana. This go around I didn’t bother to waste time and money with the CA DMV.

Montana at the moment doesn’t care what state your insurance covers. Hagerty doesn’t care what state your car is registered in.

Ball park cost was shy of $1k for the llc, temp tags, and permanent registration. ouch!

This is what I did when my AZ reg expired a couple years ago. Did you just use one of those online registered agents?

Congratulations on the pickup! Looks like a beauty.
 
Thanks man!

I did use an online agent. Hit me up whenever you’re down San Diego, we can grab a drink.
@saltycoconuts have you brought your rigs out to any of the local shows? We are also in San Diego, not sure if we have ran into each other yet!
 

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